Mothers, Ready To Go Back To Work?
By Tracey Steer
Monster Contributing Writer
Motherhood is it's own full-time job, and for all the ways that it is a most blessed and wonderful experience for many, staying home to do the job 24/7 is tough indeed: there's seldom any pay, the hours are terrible, there's never any time off.
Sure it's rewarding in other ways, and we love our little angels more than life itself... but we sometimes miss the contact of other adults. And wearing clothes that don't have spit-up on them. And wearing cute purses, or handsome bags with laptops in them, and not hulking baby bags with leaking sippy cups in them. We want to use our words. The complicated kinds with many syllables, and maybe even dropping an f-bomb now and then. There are only so many times a person can do the Hokey Pokey before contemplating a murdering spree. Going back to work? Sometimes, THAT's what it's all about.
Consider working part-time as a way of keeping a foot in the work-world, without disappearing entirely – being off the grid for extended periods of time can have it's drawbacks, if you don't have a job or a career just waiting for your return. Times change. As do technologies. Part-time jobs can serve as a way of “trying on” new kinds of work – especially if you've been out of the force for several years, and are perhaps unsure about what to try next.
It's good to keep your finger on the pulse of things that interest you. Keep your fingers in pies. Or make pies! If you enjoy cooking, why not try a cookware shop or local bakery? If you love books, work in a bookstore or a library for opportunities. Crafty sorts should check out craft stores, no? If you're handy, try The Home Depot. Try looking for work in fields that interest you most, so you can maximize your job-satisfaction. You'll be happier if you’re immersed in work you enjoy.
Retail sales job can make for great part-time work, usually with flexible hours. Positions like these often require a lot of interaction with other people – an excellent change for those of us who have been shackled away in baby-prison for some time. If you love fancy clothes, apply at a boutique – even if just to get the employee discount – there's really no shame in that. If you try a local gym or YMCA just to get back into the working game you may be offered package-rates for your family to use. Hey, perks are perks!
Depending on what your childcare arrangements are, and what the costs associated might be, finding some part-time work could be ideal while your family is still young, and you find your time away from home is limited.
Caution: If you think you might ever need or want to return to work, do yourself a favour and get your child's name added to a subsidized daycare list as soon as possible. If you're pregnant, do this now. (Yes, I'm completely serious.) You can always decline an available space when the time comes, but if you wait until your nerves are completely frayed and you're climbing the walls, and indeed, have already secured a job somewhere, there's a good chance that spaces in the lovely and affordable daycare close to your home has a two-year long wait-list. Your alternatives will be private care, in or out of house, with price-tags attached that might negate your take-home salary in the end. You'll only be working to pay the sitter.
And one needn't feel guilty about re-entering the workplace. Children need happy adults in their lives, so if carving out a little 'Me-time' means being away from home, working in an environment that contrasts the sometimes-drudgery of Mommyhood, then so be it. It's making a change that breaks up that Groundhog Day effect we all experience. You will be better off, and your kids will be benefit from having a happy mommy at home as well.
And a little extra money in your pocket is never hurts!