Events, features and things to do for families in New Hampshire
Life after being a stay-at -home mom
How to take the leap to going back to work
By Bridgette Springer
Deb, a stay-at home-mom of two kids ages 4 and 8, is contemplating going back to work after four years at home. She knows the extra money would be a great addition to her family’s income, and would welcome a break from the day-to-day routine of being home with kids. However, when it comes to updating her resume and reaching out to employers, these tasks have proven to be a bit of a hurdle. In addition to filling in the gaps in her work history, she is questioning if she wants to go back to her pre-family career. Staying home certainly has its issues, but so does going back to an office, and Deb is contemplating completely starting over, as in going back to school and finding work that really inspires her.
Deb is not alone. Approximately two-thirds of women who left work to raise children want to go back to work, according to CBS News. Blame it on the recession or perhaps it’s the thought of kids going to school during the day so there is more time to work without having to spend all of your earnings on a sitter. Whatever the reason, there is a mom trend out there. Here are some tips on how to make a go of it.
Helene Iris, Life Coach and author of “Small Business Success for Women,” based in Spofford, counsels women on starting their own business. She offers up a solution by advising moms like Deb to break down their hopes for going back to work into steps. She has been mentoring women for the past 12 years, and sees first-hand the concerns and fears many women face when starting anew.
Once you have established these basic steps, it may be time to start making a plan. Jane Siebel, mother and founder of Employmoms.com, (sold to the Leddy Group staffing division in 2010), and FlexPages, which matches job seekers with companies that offer flexible work schedules, is a stickler for being prepared.
At home with her first child, she invented Tidy Table Covers, and before that was the Executive Director of a non-profit in Boston.
“I’ve always had my finger on something.” She offers some valuable advice for moms who want to get back to work.
Basic steps and a working plan in hand can help many a mom find inspiring work. Not that being home isn’t fulfilling, it would just be nice if we got paid by a special mom taskforce for the supposed $138,095 a year we are worth, according to MSN Money. Since that isn’t possible, it would be uplifting for some to get out there and do something for oneself. For career ideas, consider visiting the New Hampshire Economic and Labor Information Market which has a list of the fastest growing occupations at www.nh.gov. Topping the list is:
They’ve done it
For more inspiration, here are some moms with advice on discovering their dream jobs one step at a time.
Molly Brandt, owner of Beadorable Designs, Concord
Before Molly Brandt had kids, she was a fourth-grade teacher for seven years. After baby number two arrived, she was suddenly turning her passion for jewelry design into income. “I basically started out creating mother’s name bracelets and baby bracelets.”
“It took a year and half before I was carrying my own business card, but by then I was participating in boutique and home shows,” Brandt said. As for getting the word out about her business, when Brandt wasn’t working, she was putting the word out at kid’s activities and in coffee shops. As for advice for moms who have a hobby and want to turn it into a business idea, Molly points out this is a 24/7 business and she sets financial goals for herself as her family counts on her income. Molly must be her own boss, and while her creative force was behind the start of Beadorable, it’s really her business sense that has made it a success.
“I change my products every season, and started making belts and Gor-tex necklaces as well, so this has set me apart from other jewelers. They are my signature products and I always keep the designs fresh,” she said.
Danielle MacInness, photographer
Pre-kids, Danielle MacInness was also a teacher. “After I had my first baby I had every intention of going back to work, but it didn’t work out like that,” she said.
Eight years and three kids later, I had to do something I was truly passionate about. I wanted to use my artistic skills and it was important to me for my kids to see me doing something besides being a mom,” she said.
That “something,” turned into her own photography business. To prepare herself, MacInnes took marketing and photo shop classes online. As for her work, she says, “It allows me to leave the house and do my own thing. I feel so lucky I get to do what I love.”
Her advice for moms looking to turn a hobby into a bona fide business, “Take a marketing class and get a mentor. If it is something you are passionate about, just go for it.”
Lisa Sera, nursing student, Great Bay Community College
Lisa Sera, mother of three, worked in management for an assisted living home until baby number two came along. When her family started getting bigger, her long commute made it difficult to juggle work and home. Along came baby number three, and she said at about the six-month mark, she felt the need to do something just for herself.
Lisa decided to go into nursing because she could work part-time or per diem. She started off slow, taking one class at a time for two years at night. In 2010, she became a full-time student in the RN program at Great Bay Community College, with an anticipated graduation date of 2012.
Her classes are when the two oldest kids are at school, “They hardly know I am gone!” she said. And her youngest is in preschool three times a week.
Lisa’s family is nearby and offers plenty of help, as does her husband who has adjusted his work schedule to help get the kids on the school bus. As for advice for moms looking to make the move from home to a career, Lisa said, “I would encourage moms to look into work that have a degree of flexibility and make sure your family is on board, too. As you have less time to devote to the household, everyone needs to be ready to pitch in. It's important not to be too hard on yourself, too. Your kids will not remember the dust on the furniture but will be influenced by the excellent example set by a balanced and fulfilled mother.”
Bridgette Springer is a freelance writer juggling motherhood in Stratham. She is a contributor to regional newspapers, magazines, and marketing projects. Bridgette can be reached at email@example.com.
Last updated by Morgen Thiboult Apr 27, 2011.