Getting back to a career after having kids is never easy. You may find that you’ve lost contact with old colleagues, or that your old boss is reluctant to consider taking you back after such a long break. That’s before you even consider that having children can be so life-changing that you may find your old career doesn’t suit anymore. That was a path you followed in a different life, but everything has changed now. And, to top it all, the hours and requirements of your former position may not even be practical now you have a family.
So, that leaves you facing one of the most significant career changes in your life at a time when you’re just past thinking about dirty diapers. It can be a confusing time and one which is made worse by the fact that mom guilt is often rife no matter how much you need the money. You may be haunted by ideas of missing milestone moments, or simply not being there when your child is sent home from school.
But, we have a potential solution to that problem in the form of child-focused careers. Many moms find it beneficial to consider child related options when they return to the world of work. While a career choice like this can’t altogether do away with feelings of guilt in the early days, they can certainly help you to feel justified for returning to work in the following ways.
The hours on offer are perfect
There’s no point in pretending that the hours on offer aren’t the most appealing things about careers like these. The risk of having to work outside of school time is one of the primary sources for mom guilt. No one likes to think of a child minder picking their kids up from school or spending those all-important evenings in their place. You may worry about what the other moms think or, more importantly, how that could impact your kids. But, that needn’t be a consideration with many of the child-focused careers on offer.
Obviously, this isn’t going to be the case with every child-centric career. Social workers, for instance, need to work well above and beyond those school-day hours. But, opting to work in a school or even in a nursery could see you fitting work around family life with ease. In a school, especially, you would finish at the same time as your kids, as well as being able to guarantee all school holidays off with them. It’s impossible to imagine a deal like this in any other career of your choosing, so that’s something well worth considering if time away from your kids is a real worry to you.
You already have a lot of the knowledge you need
It’s always beneficial to seek careers in things we’re good at and, thanks to your experience as a parent, kids are probably something you know a fair bit about. That’s yet another reason why this could be a good career bet for you. Obviously, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to know everything you need. If you want to be a teaching assistant, for instance, you would still require formal training. Equally, social work and other such professions may need you to complete something like this psychology degree online or even an official social work course. But, you’ll undeniably have the building bricks on which you can start building careers like these.
By turning to your experiences at home, you’ll be able to develop relationships with the kids your work with and even gain their confidence. Plus, your experiences in dealing with everything from tantrums to meltdowns will ensure that you don’t feel totally over your head when a child in your care gets upset. In fact, just being able to put ‘mom’ on your application for jobs like these may help you stand up against any other applicants. And, even though this career will be a whole new world to you, you may find that you’re able to fit right in in a much faster time than you might in a field which is entirely new to you. That means less time away from the family for things like lengthy or intensive training courses. And, that should lead to less mom guilt in general given that you can be around much more.
A chance to pick up knowledge you can use at home
Careers which center around other people’s children can also provide you with invaluable knowledge which you can use at home. And that, in turn, can also go a long way towards alleviating the worst of your mom guilt. After all, you could argue that you’re doing it all for the family. Imagine, for instance, that you have to work with much older children during your day job. You may need to learn to adjust to the habits of teens, or even learn how young adults find their places in the world. This is knowledge you’ll be glad to have when your children reach those difficult ages as you’ll be much better equipped to cope with the storm.
Or perhaps you work with kids the same age as your family and learn new techniques for teaching or even just calming them down. You’ll then be in the best position to both help your children with their homework and bring them back from the brink of a tantrum. These are incredibly useful pieces of knowledge to have when it comes to keeping harmony in a family home. And, they’re skills which you might have had to learn the hard way if it weren’t for making such a sound career choice early on.
A possibility of working around your kids
When your kids are young, even just spending the school day away from them can seem like too much. They grow so fast during those early years, after all, that there’s every chance that you’ll miss the most important moments if you aren’t careful. And, that’s a reality which no parent wants to face. Which is why it’s also worth noting that child-based career options can often open up opportunities to work around your kids so that you can be there for those special moments.
Of course, you don’t want to be the overpowering parent who gets a job in their child’s actual classroom. Many schools even have policies in place to make sure that isn’t possible. But, it’s also fair to say that many schools and nurseries do seek employment from their parents first. As such, you could find that you can get a position in another classroom, or even in the lunch hall. These would allow you to see your kids throughout the day without overpowering them too much. Even better, it then means you’ll be in the building ready if they become distressed or unwell at any point throughout the day. You’ll also be able to catch glimpses of them as they move between classrooms or go out at break. That insight can go a long way towards easing any worries you might have about how they’re getting along.
Bear in mind that you should consider the natures of your child or children before taking a position like this. A child who relies on you a lot of the time, for instance, may find it overwhelming to have you so near, which could lead to disruption in the classroom. Equally, an independent child might resent having you around. But, if you think your kids would be able to cope, this can be a fantastic way towards a career which actually means seeing more of kids and getting rid of mom guilt altogether.
An opportunity to spread the love
Lastly, consider that child-based careers are an opportunity to spread the love, and that’s something which even mom guilt can’t stand up against. As soon as you become a parent, it’s natural to feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility and love for your kids. That same level of passion and care could take you far in any career, and it’s something which you should find easy enough to transfer to any work you embark on with other children.
That’s because you’ll be able to consider your own kids in their positions every step of the way. If you enter the social work field, you’re guaranteed to do best by kids in your care because you’ll be able to imagine the care you would like your child to receive. Even nursery or school work could see you showing that extra bit of care thanks to this parental sympathy. That could then see you making the lives of those kids that bit better, and putting mom guilt to bed for good as you do so.
Obviously, the right career varies for every mom. Some can’t wait to get back to the work they were doing before having children. But, if you’re struggling to find your way in this new landscape, don’t cast out child-based careers as a viable option.