Whether you’re a woman who worked in the corporate world prior to having a child, one who simply had a reasonably good job that you genuinely enjoyed, or one who has never worked, one question is likely to come to mind sometime after you have a child:  to work or not to work?

These days, mum returning to work after baby is a necessity, in light of the rising cost of living and the skyrocketing cost of housing – regardless of whether you are paying off a mortgage or renting.  Dual incomes are all the norm, resulting in a generation of kids not knowing what it was like when the majority of families involved mum staying at home to raise kids, while dad toddled off to work.

With an increasing number of women enjoying a career life pre-children that afforded them the money, independence, mental stimulation and satisfaction, any wonder women seriously consider a return to work not only for financial reasons, but wellbeing ones as well.

The idea of enjoying parenting, as well as a satisfying life at work is fabulous to many women.

As great as the prospect of returning to work may be, mums face real obstacles!

And perhaps you’re all too aware of them yourself?  It may be with relation to your partner and their working hours.  Maybe it’s with relation to a difficulty finding childcare?

More often than not, the obstacles facing mums seeking a return to work can be overcome by mum herself.  That’s because often, the obstacles are created by the mind itself.

The facts relating to the employment sphere are a lot more conducive to helping women return to work after children.  More and more employers today recognise that women with children are likely to return to employment.  Therefore, they are aware of the added responsibilities employees with kids are likely to have.  There are the days when children are ill and need a parent at home and there are times when a mum may need to leave work early because of say a parent-teacher interview.

All of these things come part and parcel with employing mothers, and with mums representing a fair chunk of the working population, it comes as no surprise that employers are becoming more accommodating of mums and their need to tend to children when it is called for.

In preparing for your return to the workforce, here are a few tips

First and foremost, let go of any guilt you may have surrounding your return to work:  A happy woman means a happy mum, and that results in happy children.  If you’re a woman who is happiest when she has a career life – regardless of whether it’s a casual, part time or full time one – pursue that and enjoy parenting and career life together!   With careful planning, you really can enjoy the best of both worlds and your children won’t miss out!

Choose to pursue work that you have a real love and passion for:  You know the old saying that says something along the lines of, ‘if you love your work, it hardly feels like work at all’.  It’s absolutely true.  Work you love doing will contribute to helping you enjoy greater levels of wellbeing – and that equates to you being a happy parent as well.

Understand that more and more employers extend consideration to parents:  Children get sick and things crop up that require your attention as a parent, and in this day and age, and increasing number of employers will accept and accommodation for this.

Understand that as a parent, you have skills that employers will LOVE:  Think about all those times when you’ve had no choice but the master the art of multi-tasking and organisation!  These are invaluable skills you as a parent bring to the workplace.

Becoming a mum doesn’t have to mean giving up your career for good or never achieving your career goals and aspirations.  With positivity, determination and the desire to make opportunity happen, you’ll surprise yourself at just how much you really can achieve for yourself as a mum and a working woman!

Further Resources

Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Pregnancy and Employment Transitions survey

Child Care Subsidy

Child Care Safety Net

Nanny Pilot Program

Supporting Working Parents


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