From Career Woman to Stay at Home Mom
The Mom Song
Boyz II Men - A Song For Mama
Donna Summer - She Works Hard For The Money
The Women With You by Kenny Chesney
Dear Momma - 2Pac
"THIS IS FOR ALL THOSE WOMEN WHO HAD TO OR CHOSE TO PUT THEIR CAREER ON HOLD TO RAISE THEIR CHILDREN AND FOR THOSE WHO WERE ABLE TO OR HAD TO CONTINUE WORKING IN THEIR CAREER. MOMS ARE MOMS NO MATTER WHAT PATH THEY MAY TAKE AND SHOULD BE APPLAUDED."
After being married for six years I was incredibly excited to find out I was pregnant. For a few days I had images of working until I had the baby and then going back to work after a few months. It was the perfect plan having a family and keeping that dual income. That was until I found out that I was pregnant with triplets, then I could clearly see that the plan would have to change and I was not very comfortable with that. To understand why we have to go back to the beginning…
I have always worked and had goals when it came to what I wanted to do professionally. I started working when I was in high school first babysitting for neighbors, working for my cousin in her bakery and later becoming a waitress for a local café.
After high school I went to college and worked throughout my college years first in the campus bakery and later in a local bookstore (this experience is a story in and of itself for possibly a later time). I went to college originally to get a degree in accounting but decided that the core courses were way to early in the morning and therefore I quickly switched to sociology as a major which was and still is a natural thing for me since I am a people person.
However even with a sociology degree my first job out of college was with a CPA firm so I guess numbers have always been my calling. After a few years of moving up within the firm there was no where else to go and I decided it was time to make my next move. I set my sights on a career in telecommunications and focused on finance. I quickly moved up the corporate ladder always setting my sights on the next level and direction. I enjoyed what I was doing because I was constantly moving to the next step and continuously challenged. A few years before I became pregnant I decided that to continue on my path it was important for me to continue my education and to get a master’s degree, so I did just that at my company’s expense. It was at this time that my husband and I decided that we would not try to get pregnant until I graduated. I graduated in June and found out that I was pregnant on the 4th of July.
I was by all accounts a business/career woman work was my focus and I could not imagine my life without that focus and drive. But now I had a decision to make. Going back to work with one child would have been possible for us however with three it would not be that easy. Daycare for three would definitely take a big chunk from my paycheck and would not be financially sound. So we decided that I would stay on at work and figure out how to do the daycare throughout the pregnancy.
Luckily for me my pregnancy was easy; morning sickness was a killer (why do they call it morning sickness when it happens all day long? I still don’t understand that one.) but that was the worst of my problems. Everything else was relatively easy going. After a few months I went on maternity leave and was set to return to work two months after the babies were born. However during my leave my company went through a merger (which was really an acquisition) and my department was closed. I was let go a month after my babies were born. Now what?!?
Some would call it bad luck others would call it a sign. Either way I had three babies and no job. There was really no choice in the matter at that point since my company would not hire me back on in a different department. So my husband and I decided that I would stay home. This was fine for a few months because it took me a while to adjust to the craziness of raising three babies. Soon after the first 9 months I started to get cabin fever (I really had it way before then but I was holding my own for awhile). It was at this time that I started looking for jobs working from home. For me I could not be a stay-at-home mom without doing something, that is just my nature and it was not financially sound for me to go back to work. So in the first years I started out slowly working when I had down time; like for naps or when I had coverage from others.
As my children got older I continued to work from home in different capacities and increased the hours that I was able to work as they started pre-school, kindergarten and first grade. I can honestly say that it was not an easy decision for me to make and in all honesty the decision was somewhat made for me due to circumstances beyond my control. I do not regret any part nor do I wish things were different I am simply happy that I could be both a stay-at-home mother and a work from home mother as well.
For some the transition is not so easy nor do they have a choice of whether or not they can or cannot work outside of the home. Having gone through this experience there are a few tips I can give on how to transition from a career women to a stay-at-home mother they are;
- MAKE A PLAN – Making a plan is essential it has to be flexible enough to consider all options and possibilities. Understand the financial needs of your family as well as the costs of staying at home or going back to work.
- WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS – Can you work part time? I have a friend that is working one day a week while she raises her children so that she will have a job to come back to. Does your job offer telecommuting? Some companies do offer telecommuting part time and full time this could be an option for you depending on the type of work that you do. Can you take an extended leave? I have another friend that actually was able to take 2 years off and retain her position after those 2 years. There are many options out there make sure you consider them all.
- THIS IS NOT THE END – Having children and becoming a stay-at-home does not mean the end of your career, it simply means that you are taking a break or even changing directions. The one thing that I have learned since “taking a break” is that I truly do not like finance, I do it well but it is not what drives me so this was a good time for me to find what I really want to do when I grow up.
- FIND A GROUP – Find a parent’s or a mom’s group in your area or even online. They can help with ideas on how to deal with your situation and possibly have options for you that you never thought of. Groups are a great way to stay sane by interacting with other adults something that can be foreign to the stay-at-home mom. I have found that talking to others that are in the same or similar situation can be incredibly helpful in forming ideas.
- FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU – Find what works best for you. You might try staying at home and find that it just does not suit you. You might want to go back to work or find a way to work from home. Consider different options and create something that works for both you and your family. There are numerous options and combinations to choose from. Take the time to look at them all.
Going from career woman to stay-at-home mother is not easy for everyone. Some take to it immediately, some need a little while to adjust and still others never get used to the idea. Try to make the transition as easy as possible by following the steps above. Understand what you are getting into, where you want to be and what you want to do. Because no matter what choice you make you are still taking on the most significant career of all that of the underpaid, overworked, sometimes underappreciated but always important; Mother.