Deciding whether to work or stay home with your kids once you become a mom isn’t a challenge for everybody. Some women, out of necessity or passion for their career, know for sure they will work. While other women are happy to put in their two week’s notice as soon as possible.
I don’t fall under either category. It was rather difficult for me to decide. I had just started feeling like I’d found my career niche in event planning for a non-profit. So of course I did the “simple” thing and tried to do both. But when I tried to work from home, I just wasn’t able to give what I felt was enough attention to my little. Ultimately, the choice to stay at home was the best one for our family.
Overall, I consider myself lucky that I do get to stay home with my boys. I’m glad to not have to deal with the heartache of leaving them in someone else’s care every day. (Some days it wouldn’t be too heartbreaking, though, let me tell you.)
But at the same time, I wonder what it would look like to go back to work again. It’s so fulfilling to push yourself past your limits, reach your goals, and also be able to contribute to your family financially.
I also wonder what it will look like to apply to jobs again. Some people see being a stay-at-home mom as “taking time off” of work, or not working at all. On this note, I beg to differ. The skills I am acquiring in this season of my life are most definitely resume-worthy.
- Hostage negotiation. Particularly when one party has a stubborn refusal to relinquish a certain item, while another is just a few degrees shy of an all-out tantrum. Keeping World War III from erupting is just negotiation at its finest.
- Business deals. Most negotiating involves some give-and-take, since obviously both parties want to leave feeling victorious. One such example is, “You can have some fruit snacks if you finish all your vegetables.”
- Scheduling. Especially when it involves three or more separate eating and sleeping schedules, and adding in housework, play or educational outings, and social time with other moms so one does not go insane.
- Current events. To be able to recall such fascinating facts as the name of every engine on the Island of Sodor, as well as the song lyrics and melodies to all the popular toddler shows.
- Memorization. See above.
- Assimilation. Sometimes, to really connect with a client or another business, one must assimilate themselves into a new culture and language. Such as, understanding the workings of said engines on the Island of Sodor, and being able to tie them in to everyday life and experiences. I.E. “Thomas was not listening to Sir Topham Hatt’s directions, and he caused confusion and delay. Don’t you want to be a really useful engine?”
- Communication. It’s surprising how little one communicates through words, and how much more through vocal tone and body language. For example, “Stop bouncing on your brother,” can result in either a) more aggressive bouncing, or b) immediate retreat.
- Customer service. The customer is (almost) always right. It’s important to remember that as you prepare a third option at lunchtime after the first two are rejected. (But sometimes you need to put your foot down; see “communication”.)
- Budgeting. As in, which unnecessary items can I afford to put in my basket at Target, without taking out any of the necessary items, and still only using the $20 bill I brought in?
If you’re a stay-at-home mom, feel free to add any of the above to your resume. And don’t forget about all your experience: as a chauffeur, entertainer, chef, nurse, housekeeper, teacher, sports coach, etc. etc.
This is meant to be (kind of) a joke, but it is not meant to be down on working moms at all. You do ALL of these things, in addition to your day job! I have nothing but respect for you.
What skills can you add to this list?