Going Back to Work After Being a Stay at Home Mom
Going back to work after being at home with my children for six years was one of the hardest decisions I had ever made. I struggled with so much mommy guilt I almost made myself sick. I wanted the perfect job to come at the perfect time.
I'm happy to say the perfect job did come, but a little earlier than I expected. I was nervous about leaving my youngest in the care of other people, when he was still too young for school.
When I was finally offered the job I should have been thrilled. It was really the perfect job for me and my family, and with the tough financial times it was going to release so much pressure and help my husband and I 'stay above water'. The people who I would be working with were fantastic people, and I knew the environment at work was going to be positive, so why was I so afraid? Because after six years of being with my children non-stop I was having trouble letting go. I was having trouble letting someone else (who many times would be my mother or my husband) play a bigger role in my childrens day.
In life we make tough decisions and we don't always know if they are wrong of right at the time. Sometimes we need to trust our instincts and have a little faith in our decisions. The truth is the future holds many questions and nothing is ever certain. Keeping a positive attitude about the things we do control, and the decisions we do make, is essential when life starts to change. After talking to some wonderful friends of mine who work full time while also being excellent moms, I began to relax and realize that going back to work may be an adjustment, but it was not going to hurt my kids or my family. In fact there was a good chance it would be good for us.
Keep that positive attitude. In order to help deal with the anxiety that I had about going back to work I decided to focus only on the positive. I reminded myself that this was a GREAT job and I was very fortunate. Financially it would help our family tremendously. My kids were well adjusted kids and they loved going to play with grandma and friends, so for them it was probably going to work out perfectly, it was me I worried about.
Here are some tips to help mother's deal with the adjustment of returning to the work field.
1. Think about the positive reasons you are returning to work. Try to focus on these reasons. It is hard to be away from your kids but if you remember every reason that you are doing this (most likely it is for them) then it helps you to cope with the day.
2. Make the time you do have with your children high quality mommy time. When I was a stay at home mom high quality mommy time was probably harder to find. I was home all day, and usually I was searching for that break in the day when I could just sit and have a cup of coffee without running after one of my children. When I would get home from work I would make myself play their favorite game, cook their favorite dinner, and just fully express to them how much I love them.
3. Don't worry so much about housework, its not going anywhere. One of my first articles is about letting go of my clean house. Saying Goodbye to My Clean House. I have a couple goals that I try to meet each night, dishes being clean and enough clothes for the kids to wear the next day. Other than that, housework during the week is hit and miss depending on my energy level. Another thing I do is try and get my kids involved in my chores so that way we are spending time together and getting some things done.
4. Get everything ready the night before. Make lunches, set out clothes and set the coffee machine. Anything that you can do the night before to help you not have to rush in the mornings, will help make the mornings run smoother.
5. Enjoy work. It's hard enough to be away from your kids, but if work is a negative environment then it will make it worse. Find a job that is enjoyable, with co-workers that you get along with, and a place you feel comfortable. Working doesn't have to be a 'bad' thing, in fact many moms work full time and are excellent mothers. There are many needs some mothers have (including an adult conversation every now and then) that can be met in the work place, making it easier to spend quality time with their kids when they are with them.
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There is no right or wrong decision
Regardless of your choice to return to work, if you are reading this article you have probably at least considered it. With tough financial times it has become necessary for many stay at home moms to return to the workplace. Stay organized, spend quality time with your kids when you are not at work, and let go of that mommy guilt. You are not alone and you are NOT a bad mommy for taking care of your children and family by providing for them. Good Luck!
After experiencing both being an at home mom, and a working mom; I ultimately decided to stay at home because my financial situation allowed me. However, the time I did work I was able to see the benefits of being a working mom. I think we as moms, regardless of our situation, deal with the guilt that we are never doing enough. We need to embrace what we do have and work towards showing our children how to be strong, independent and loving individuals.
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