Whether the decision to return to work is for personal fulfillment or to help make the monthly mortgage, many once stay-at-home moms are suddenly finding themselves returning to the workforce. Whatever the reason, the decision is never an easy one and there will be bumps along the way. By following a few, simple steps, this transition can go a bit smoother for both you and your family.
Before sending out that first resume, you need to sit down with your family and ask yourselves a few difficult questions. By laying the groundwork for your return to the workforce early on you will save yourselves a lot of misunderstandings or disagreements down the road.
Is your husband on board with the decision of you returning to work?
Many men struggle with the idea of their wives returning to work and that they no longer are the main breadwinner of the house. You and your spouse need to be on the same page when it comes to returning to work. He needs to understand your reasons and the goals you hope to accomplish.
And, once you are in agreement, he must understand that he is going to be asked to perform more duties around the house. Some men, grown comfortable with their wives performing most of the household and child raising duties, attempt to remain in that role, when the woman returns to work. Is he willing to prepare dinner on nights that you won’t be at home? Is he capable of getting the kids up, dressed and fed before taking them to school? Small discussions with a list of expectations with your spouse, before you return to work, can help save for future disagreements.
Childcare – who will care for your children while you are at work?
Will you and your husband work opposite shifts, so one can watch the children while the other is at work? Will you pay a family member or another outside source to provide care for your children? If you do pay someone to care for your children, you must know how much you will need to earn from your job to make working worth your time. If you are paying $40.00 a day in childcare, is it really worth it if you make $8.00 an hour with your job?
Once you return to work there are a few things you can do to make the experience go a bit better as well.
Use a schedule to your advantage
Start by purchasing a “family calendar,” a special type of calendar that has an allotted spot for each family member to record his or her appointments and upcoming events. This calendar will assist in keeping everyone’s schedule together and help for not forgetting appointments or over scheduling yourself.
Establishing a weekly menu and grocery list for a once a week shopping trip, will ensure you know in advance, who is cooking, what they are cooking and that all ingredients are on hand. This also will become a time, and money, saver as you will not clutter up your day with an unplanned trip to the grocery store because you forgot an ingredient.
Giving up control
By allowing your husband and your children to start taking up many of the family chores that you formerly did in your stay-at-home role, you will find yourself more relaxed and that your family will become more self-efficient.
By giving more responsibility of their own laundry to your children, for example, you are not only take the burden off yourself but you are teaching your children important life skills. Older children can be taught to wash, dry and put their own clothing away. Younger children can learn to sort their clothing and help you fold and put their own clothing away.
Allow your husband to take a more active role in parenting your children. The man you married is capable of filling out school forms and returning them to the school. He is able to get the kids off to soccer practice. He is able to attend parent / teacher conference nights and take care of homework or minor issues that arise when your child is at school.
Lowering your expectations on yourself
The simple fact is, you are not Superwoman and that sometimes, after spending 8-10 hours always from your family and home working, you might not be up to cleaning the bathroom before you go to bed or folding that last pile of laundry sitting on top of the machine. By lowering your expectations on yourself and your family, just a bit, you may find that life still functions just fine. Even better, you may find, that you enjoy it more.
Returning to work and being away from your family and home is never an easy decision but sometimes, depending on the woman, her wants and needs it can be the best choice for you and your family by following these few simple steps.