I just reposted a blog entry I wrote a little over a year ago with some concerns and questions about being a stay-at-home parent and whether or not to go back to work. My son is now starting 2nd grade and is becoming more self sufficient, leaving me some free time to start closing my resume gap.
Fortunately, I have two routes I can take – Education (I hold a B.S. in Biology and Education) or Marketing. Of course I can make more money in marketing over education, but looking forward, education is more flexible as far as school breaks and holidays – after all, someone still has to be home when my son is home during these times.
So, to start off slow, I got on the substitute list at my son’s school. No, it’s not glamorous. No, it’s far from bringing home the bacon. And no, it’s not steady work, but it begins rebuilding work history.
It’s funny how, after leaving the teaching profession for a career shift to marketing, I vowed never to go back. But, here I am…on the sub list.
I guess my point is, you do what you have to do in order to continue your commitment to raising a child with one parent at home, while looking forward to the future and realizing when he is out of high school, you are not going to be retirement age, and an 18-year resume gap could mean career suicide. No one will want to hire a 50-something professional that hasn’t worked in 18 years – even when you try to get a junior position. Businesses want young, fresh out of school graduates to fill those positions.
This is my realization and conundrum. My wife and I strongly agree that it is best for our son to have someone at home; to help with homework, to give support at sporting events (when he is old enough to join a team), and to be there for him when he needs us. BUT going back to work full time will take that flexibility away. Going back even part-time doesn’t fill the holiday and summer gap. So back to teaching (subbing) I go. It’s an odd feeling going back to work, but working the same hours my son is in school will have no effect on him. I am fortunate to have this option.
I’d love to hear from readers about your back-to-work stories and how you balance your commitment to staying at home yet keeping up your resume for when the nest is empty.