Going Back to Work After Baby

The definition of a working mom seems so widely misinterpreted, doesn’t it? I’ve heard so many people say that a stay at home mom (SAHM) must be on vacation 24/7 because they get to stay home with their kid(s) all the time. It’s not a real job. It’s also disturbing that moms who had careers prior to baby lose credibility in their careers if they leave the workforce to care for their children.

Ahem. That makes me squirm a little.

During maternity leave, I worked harder than I did when I went back to work (and I work hard!). Seriously, I was constantly either taking care of things around the house, changing my son’s diaper, changing his onesie (again), getting his bottle ready…..the pace never slowed down! Ever!

Many women who decide to stay home with their children discover a grim reality when they are faced with the need to return to work – and women who return to careers they had prior to maternity leave face unprecedented guilt and emotional turmoil.

Even if you love your job (like I do), it’s a gut-wrenching feeling to face the new normal of leaving your baby with someone else all day. It slowly gets easier, but it never really feels better.

Alas, it’s a necessary reality. It is an unfortunate truth in our culture that women aren’t viewed as career women if they are out of the workforce for any length of time, and often the financial situation most new parents are faced with results in the need to return to work.

For me, the return to work was traumatic. I cried a lot. It has been extremely hard to be without my baby all day. Even after being back at work for 2 months, I felt like a terrible mother for being away from my son so much. I had to put on a brave face and act like I was okay. I still do, although I’m handling it better than I was.

It is far and away the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but there was simply no other option.

If you need to make that decision and feel stuck in a rut emotionally as well as with your resume or LinkedIn profile, I can help with some of that – there many ways to market your days at home with baby or reword your career responsibilities when it is time to showcase your awesome skills for a new career opportunity.

I won’t lie to you – the emotional part of it won’t go away. You will find positive ways of handling the process of transitioning back to work, but you will always be emotional when it comes to your baby.

As well you should be!

Whether you are in a corporate job, nonprofit job, or stay at home mom, here are some bullet points to illustrate what you do every day:

  • Plan and manage your day
  • Multitask and delegate tasks as needed (family, friends, etc.)
  • Organize materials for daily use (diapers, onesies, bottles, laundry, dishes)
  • Manage your time like a boss
  • Handle difficult situations with grace under pressure
  • Carefully and effectively work with difficult personalities (oh, those tantrums….)
  • Efficiently complete detailed daily operating procedures (laundry, dishes, washing bottles, etc.)

Career changes are difficult, but with a little creativity and strategy, they don’t have to be so daunting. Look at all of the fantastic bullet points you could put on your resume – and that’s just skimming the surface!

I strategized heavily to get where I wanted to be professionally and learned a lot of hard lessons along the way. One of them was the importance of always tracking accomplishments. It’s easy to forget all of the awesome things you do each day. Writing them all down in a journal makes it so much easier to update your resume!

If you need a quick boost, one of the best ways to get a jump start on your career change strategy is updating your LinkedIn profile.

Updating your LinkedIn profile is a great way to show recruiters you’re an ideal candidate in your industry – and it typically takes less time than giving your resume a makeover. Plus, it is one of the first places recruiters will look when they want someone fabulous to join their team!

Another important step is optimizing your LinkedIn profile so the right recruiters find you. Recruiters search for specific position titles or keywords, so it takes some research to understand what they are looking for and how you can get noticed in a new industry.

You’ve got this, mama!

I’d love to hear your goals and ideas – and most of all, I want to hear your mommy stories. ❤️

Please comment below or email me!

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