I left my career to be a stay at home mom when my daughter was three. My husband and I worked hard to get into a financial position to make that a reality. Between the cost of daycare and the hefty taxes on the second income, we were surprised at how quickly we adapted to the loss of income. Being an at-home mom also allowed us to homeschool for the first year of kindergarten, which we all relished.
Once my daughter was in full-day school, it took me about 2 weeks until I felt the urge to work again. The dilemma was that none of us wanted to get back to a lifestyle of paying for after school care, emergency meals out due to lack of planning, and fights about who would stay home with a sick kid.
I knew there was no way I could fit into a schedule at a national company with shifts. I was available from 8:45 until 2:00, not during Christmas break, or summer. Sounds like just what you want to hear as an employer, right? The upside is that I had a sales background and am a responsible person that likes to work. My solution – a local fancy bakery! In my cover sheet I laid out the whole situation, and offered that if they needed to slot in a college student to cover when I couldn’t work, I would be happy to give them my hours when they were home for winter break or summer. It worked!
I really enjoyed the work, the customers and the 50% off discount! The bakers were a crazy fun bunch. The money I earned helped us in our last push to pay off the mortgage. While we were getting our financial house in shape at home, the bakery was headed in the other direction. Too much debt, creditors calling… you were afraid to answer the phone! The bakery trimmed back to one location and that seemed to help. I worked there for 1 year, but no regrets… and I still usually get a discount when I get to the other location!
What I learned from the experience is that even though you may not have the most flexible schedule to offer, an amazing work ethic and people skills go a long way for employers, especially in part-time jobs. It’s better to be honest up front about your scheduling limitations. I will bring you up to date on my current employment soon.
Have you returned to work after being a SAHM (or Dad!)? What did you do to re-enter the workforce?