Author’s note: This article was written before the novel coronavirus reached the United States. Now that non-essential workers are urged to work remotely, I have updated several sections to reflect the reality we’ll be facing for the next few months. Hang in there, mamas — we can get through this by supporting each other and following the CDC guidelines.
Making the decision to return to work after you’ve had a baby isn’t easy. When they grow up so fast, every moment not spent with them can feel like an enormous loss. But whether you’re parenting solo or needing a second income to make those household ends meet, stepping away from the workforce is simply not a long-term option for many moms.
And sometimes it’s not the household finances that demand your return to work, but your own mental and emotional health. As rewarding as motherhood can be, sometimes a mama needs a bit more, something to remind her of who she is outside of the mother role.
No matter what your reasons for returning to work, there are a host of flexible work options to help you strike the perfect balance between parenting and a career. This article will show you how!
Consider Work-at-Home Opportunities
Technology isn’t just changing the ways we communicate and seek our entertainment. It’s also changing the way that we work. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can now build a rewarding and well-paying career right from the comfort of your own home!
Best of all, with a little bit of ingenuity and a lot of self-motivation, you can actually get paid doing something you love. Always had a way with words? Consider a career as a freelance writer or an online writing tutor.
Always been the crafty and creative type? Hop on Etsy and build your own virtual storefront selling your handiwork!
Crunch the Numbers
No doubt about it, freelancing or starting your own online store can be a lot easier said than done. It can take time to build a steady revenue stream when you’re working the gig economy.
So if you’re looking for something a bit more stable, you might consider a career like bookkeeping or accountancy. Experienced Certified Public Accountants can end up pulling in more than $100K a year, and they often have a lot of work flexibility, including the option to do most, if not all, of their work from home.
Hit the Books
While the salary and telecommuting options of an experienced CPA might seem more like an impossible dream than an attainable reality, it is possible to pursue your ideal career from home by first pursuing the courses you need to get there.
Thankfully, what the internet has done for the world of work it has also done for the world of education. That means that you can find online licensure, certification, and degree programs, fully accredited and often quite affordable, in nearly every industry you can imagine.
The key to earning the credentials you need to land the dream job you deserve is to choose carefully. Weigh your options to find the online program, and the courses, that offer you the flexibility, content, and support you need.
A word of warning, though: diploma and accreditation mills aren’t going to do you any good when it comes to launching your professional career. So do your due diligence. Make sure the program you are considering is fully accredited by a reputable accrediting body in your area of professional interest. You can find this information, for instance, on the US Department of Education’s website.
Returning to the workforce after bringing a new little bundle of love into the world isn’t easy — especially when you’re probably going to have to run a gauntlet of recruiters.
To make the process as painless as possible, it’s important to prepare mentally and socially for the recruiting process. That means upping your interviewing game by running through the questions your prospective employer is likely to ask. Get together with a friend over skype to stage a few mock interviews. You might even video yourself during the process to see what’s working for you and what you might improve upon before you face the real deal.
Being prepared also means making sure you’re in prime physical condition. Job hunting is one of the most stressful experiences there is. And you combine that with the challenges of a new baby and you’re rife for health consequences, ranging from high blood pressure to anxiety.
It’s crucial to pay attention to your body and to be on guard for signs of trouble, such as a general feeling of unwellness or bouts of lightheadedness that often accompany spikes in blood pressure. Taking the time to practice self-care is not only going to make you a better prospective employee, it’s also going to make you a healthier and happier mama!
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Returning to work after becoming a mama may be the most difficult decision you will ever make. This is especially true in the current job climate. With the novel coronavirus wreaking havoc on the economy, many companies aren’t actively hiring. And in such scary times, it’s tempting to pull your babies close and shut the rest of the world out.
But working can mean giving your brain a much-needed break from the news. It can give you something to focus on, some relief from the stress of a panic-stricken world. And working doesn’t mean you can’t also be the amazing mama your baby deserves.
Now more than ever, there are rich and rewarding opportunities for both work and education that give you the flexibility you need to be there for your little one while also building a fulfilling and lucrative career. All it takes is a bit of determination, and knowing where to begin!
Magnolia Potter is a muggle from the Pacific Northwest who writes from time to time and covers a variety of topics. When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a good book.
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