What I have learned from going back to work after becoming a Mom.
When I went back to work after a hiatus of 4 years, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t sure if that was exactly the right move as a parent. We had talked about the benefits for us with me being the SAHM, how it was actually helpful to the hubby seeing he had days where he would have meeting after meeting. His peace of mind knowing that he didn’t have to rush home gave him comfort in his days. But as I had struggled with myself during that time. I had found an opportunity that I thought was the perfect fit!
There was an ad for a local company that was looking for a person to Job Share a position with, your typical job share position that I had researched allowed the two people in the position to come to an agreement with how they would balance the 40 hour work week. They would be essentially doing the exact same job, they would communicate daily with the tasks that they are working on, and be each other’s rocks. Each person in the role would help the other if there was one week where one needed to be off for the day the other would fill in and vice versa.
All the reading I had done regarding job sharing made it sound like the perfect fit for me and our small family. So I dusted off my resume and off it went!
I landed the job and was excited and scared to get back into the working scene again! My life had changed so much in the four years I was out of the career life. I had two little humans who were my main focus, I had a husband who had relied on me to be the sole caretaker of our kids during his working days.
I accepted the job knowing that the hours would be consistent, 12 pm to 5 pm Monday through Friday. What I didn’t know was that there would not be any flexibility in the event to adjust those hours as life “happened”. Sad to say I left that job after 5 months. It was a tough decision to make and I felt horrible about taking the job and leaving in the short duration. But it was the right decision for myself and my family.
What I can say is that I learned a lot and am grateful for that opportunity. It gave me more insight into the direction I needed to go in this new role as Mom, a working Mom at that.
I am still working part-time and have found it to be a great fit! I was lucky to have the opportunity to go back to the company I had worked for passionately pre-kids and they have been so understanding and flexible regarding what life had thrown our way.
Here is what I learned so far from going back as a working Mom.
- Be upfront regarding your priorities! If you are like me where you were the sole provider of childcare during the day for your family letting go of that isn’t easy. I am still the one that stays home the majority of the time when the kids are sick, have doctor appointments, field trips etc. In addition to our two little humans, I am also the sole care provider for an aging parent, and recently learning about the life changes when your spouse is diagnosed with a Chronic Illness.
- RESEARCH your childcare options! Have a list of babysitters on hand that you trust and that your kids love! Find that childcare center that fits you and the kids! And make sure that they are flexible as well in regards to your schedule changes. Be fully PREPARED to wait for an opening! [We put our name in on a local childcare center’s list and it has taken a full year to get our children into the center.]
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Look, not all of us are wired to be June Cleaver, and that is ok! You are the best Mom for your kids. You are doing what you need to do, and for some of us that is working – either full time or part-time.
- Be prepared for chaos! The chaos is part of life, even when I was a SAHM, and it is still there now that I work outside of the home right now part-time. It is part of life and you need to just be ok with it, if not you will drive yourself batty!
- Find your own DAMN tribe! That is right!! That tribe may consist of the following: Childcare providers, your babysitters, the cleaning person, your therapist, and your girlfriends who don’t have kids. I have learned as we have struggled as parents who don’t have the huge family support that most people have, that your tribe is what you make of it. Some people are just lucky to have grandparents on both sides of the family who will take the kids every chance they get. And for the rest of us – it is the people who help support you during your daily lives.
- LET GO! This is a big one and I saved it for the end. Let go of the belief that your house needs to be spotless and only cleaned by you, it’s ok to hire a cleaning person! The Brady bunch had Alice remember. Don’t beat yourself up with the idea of “home” cooked meals! If you need to get take out a night or five during the week do it. It is your life, it is your family. The kids are fed, the kids are happy, the kids are healthy, and the kids are loved – DONE!
Don’t beat yourself up. This life is your normal, making it the best that you need to for you and YOUR family. Because in the end, that is all that matters!