Becoming a mom—no matter if it’s your first time or you’ve been through it before—is a very big deal, and naturally accompanied by a lot of changes (both expected and perhaps less-unexpected!). If one of the changes you’re experiencing is a shift in your priorities, needs, or interests related to your work life, you’re far from alone. So today we’re talking through a few of the most common job-related struggles and helping you ask the right questions, to make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
- “I don’t want to go back to work.”
Whether you’re on maternity leave or not, and whether you loved your previous job or not, you may find yourself with little to no interest in returning to the daily grind. You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of juggling a job and baby, you may feel that you can’t bear to be away from your little one so often, or you may simply feel that being a full-time mom is your calling. (P.S. These are all 100% valid ways to feel!) Whatever the case: ask yourself these questions—and talk about them with your partner—before you quit a current job:
- What’s the financial impact if I don’t return to work?
- Would I be giving up health insurance, and what would we do about this?
- Does my company offer any new-mom support that might make a return to work easier?
- Is it worth talking to my boss to see if there are any alternatives (part-time, work-from-home, a different role, etc.) that are more appealing given my new family situation?
Many workplaces have changed for the better in recent years, when it comes to supporting working moms—but programs and amenities like nursing rooms still vary widely. Find out what your company, or a company you’re interested in, offers.
- “Unfortunately, I have to go back to work to make ends meet.”
A lot of new moms don’t have much choice: they have to go back to work because their family’s financial situation demands it. If you’re in this boat, but unhappy with your current job or company, think through the following as you explore your options:
- As above, are there any new-mom programs or supports that my company offers? And could I inquire about job sharing, working from home, etc.?
- If I looked for/took a different job, what are the financial and lifestyle impacts (for better or worse) of that alternative?
- What can I do, personally, to make the daily routine and my current job situation better—whether it’s a matter of finding some “me time,” asking family and friends for help, learning a new skill at work, or something else?
- “I’d like to find a new job, but that seems even harder now with Covid.”
Maybe you’ve already parted ways with your last employer, or you’re looking to re-enter the workforce after time away. But, as with many things during this ongoing Covid era, job searching can feel harder than ever. That said, some of the recent trends related to work-from-home and remote positions are likely to stick around, and that’s potentially good news for you. Think about the following:
- Does remote work appeal to me and match my skill sets? If so, should I set up some online job searches (on sites like LinkedIn and Indeed) in that vein?
- Is there something I’ve always wanted to do for a career but never knew how? Is this the right time to explore those entrepreneurial ideas or consider another type of pivot? (Need some inspiration? We love this Parents.com article on 10 Moms Who Used Motherhood to Reinvent Their Careers.)
- What resources are out there, and what people do I know, who can help me in this new phase of my working life? Could I set up some quick, informal chats with people who have jobs that seem interesting to me or who work at a company I’m interested in?
Whether you fall into one of the above camps, or you’re happy with your current company and career, you may also be worried about striking the right balance between work and home, now that you have a new baby in the mix.
Each mom, each kid, each family, and each career is unique—but we’d encourage you to give yourself some grace at this time of transition, and try not to feel guilty about not being able to be two places—mentally and/or physically—at once. There’s no shame in your decision to work full-time, part-time, out-of-the-house, at-home, or as a full-time homemaker—no matter what anyone tells you on social media or otherwise!
Finally, one thing that can be a real godsend as you make this transition back into your career is a child-care arrangement that is perfect for your given situation. Check out our “Back-to-Childcare” blog for some great resources and things to consider.
One thing to remember, whichever camp you are in above. We believe in you and "Mom You Got This" (check out the link for a fun onesie)
If you liked this topic you may be interested in: