Many changes have occurred in my life the last 9 months. Some I have had no control over, others I was able to decide when or where the change would occur. I knew getting a divorce would mean I would need to go back to work full time. Much sooner than I anticipated. Panic set in. I wasn’t ready.
I wanted to give me and my boys time to adjust to our new home and new life. I was firm on this because I did not want to overwhelm the three of us with drastic change again and again. I gave us the summer. Together we explored, played, ate and slept our way thru the hot humid months. I focused on enjoying the last weeks with them.
I set a date. The day came and I jumped feet first into the job hunt. After staying home for the last 5 years and having a 7 year old resume, I was scared. I didn’t know what to expect. I felt inadequate. Here is what I learned about being a SAHM going back to work.
Use your resources
There is so much information out on the web to help build a resume, cover letter, how to prep for an interview. My biggest asset was Pinterest. I pinned the heck out of articles and blogs that focused on a SAHM returning to the workforce. And it helped. I gained confidence from reading other women’s words and advice and hearing their success stories. They showed me that being a SAHM IS work experience I can be proud of. I have learned more in the past 5 years in this role than any other job I have had.
Own it. Show it. Market it. Someone or some business will want you. Because they know how valuable you are.
It is difficult for me to reach out for help especially to strangers or people I don’t know well. But when my mom gave me a 3rd cousins wife’s email address to send a resume, I swallowed my pride and sent it. That’s how it is done. I reached out to family, friends, and college alumni. Let them know I was going back to work. Use LinkedIn, alumni sites, Facebook, email, mom’s groups, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever is available and reconnect or connect with others. People want to help. Let them.
It takes time
A lot of time. Time to search for job postings. Time to fill out applications. Some took 5 minutes and some took 60 minutes. Time to complete a personality survey. Applications with 1 quick step. Applications with 5 lengthy steps. I applied for 5 positions in 7 1/2 hours. I prepared myself for this. The boys were away. I focused. I made it my day job. When the boys were home, I spent hours each night, after they were asleep, working on finding a job.
Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up. Relax. It will happen. Keep going.
Buy a new business suit
Splurge. Do it. You will feel more confident and comfortable. Get clothes that fit. Put away or donate the clothes that you use to wear before kids. Make an appointment for a hair cut/color. Spend money on you. Update the look. It is worth it. You are worth it.
Trust your gut
I went back and fort between 2 positions. One offered more money. One offered more flexibility. I felt more comfortable with one than the other. I had to decide what was really important to me. I am a single parent and I needed a company that valued family. I wanted to enjoy going to work and have a connection with the people around me there. I found it.
Love your daycare
This was the most stressful and heartbreaking decision for me. The location, cost, and environment were my top priorities when deciding. I was not going to settle until both me and my sons were in agreement. I did have to remember that not everyone is like me. They may not keep house like me, serve the same meals like me, or discipline like me. As long as I agreed with the approach and direction they had for my children. I found one and she is wonderful. She loves my boys. Truly cares for them and wants them to grow up with independence and a steady hand.
Remember it is easier to switch a daycare than a job. Your children will do great. They will flourish. Listen to your heart. Take your time. Do your research. It will happen. Trust yourself.
I was terrified to go back to work. I doubted my ability. My intelligence. My confidence. I thought I was going to miss out on so much of my boys lives. It hurt knowing someone else would care for them. However, I knew that the time was right. The pleasure of staying home was gone and I was getting restless.
God knew. He knew it was time. Time for a new stage of life. He knew we would be fine. He wasn’t going to let us down. He listened to my prayers. We are better. Stronger. Happier. Our time together is sweeter. We are still adjusting to the new routine. Tears are an everyday occurrence. I miss them. I think of them and wonder what they are doing.
It is good. It is right.
And when its your time, it will be right and good too.