Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Transitions

For six weeks in the months of October and November I took two writing classes at our local community college. They were continuing ed classes, not designed for the young college student, but rather designed for the aspiring writer in the real world. The instructor was the same for both and she was nothing short of fantastic.

I'm eager to sign up for her spring writing class.

I have my eye on the future these days. My youngest is rapidly approaching age 5 and has been eager to board the school bus with his brothers for a couple of years now. One day, when he was 3, he donned his backpack, stepped outside and promptly stood at the bottom of the driveway. He was sure he'd figured out how to get the bus to stop for him. Never mind that it was mid-day and he wasn't old enough. He wanted to go and there he was, at the end of the driveway with a backpack. Wasn't that the secret code? Come September, I'll probably have trouble holding him back long enough to snap the all-important first-day-of-school photo.

We're ready to move on to the next phase. Photo from Morguefile.

The thing is, I know how he feels. While I've loved being a stay-at-home mom, I've been eager to get back out into the working world for the last several years.

I hate not contributing to the family income. I truly do. My husband has never had an issue with it. The way he looks at it, we'd have to pay most or more in childcare than any income I made if I worked outside of the home. On top of that, we'd be running ourselves ragged trying to figure out how to manage the children around two work schedules.

Writing at home has been my sanity saver for the past several years. It's helped me contribute financially and also kept my mind active beyond the world of kid stuff, house cleaning and meal prep.

I'm so ready to do something outside of the home, though. I realize that with two children who will still need after-school care and an older child who's very active in after-school activities, thus needing rides home from school outside of the normal bus run, I still won't have a lot of flexibility. If I could pick my dream job, it'd be part time, with the option to expand to full time in a few years.

Anyway, that's why I've been taking writing classes. I have a B.A. in Communications, but I've been out of the official work force for many years. I'm nervous about dusting off my resume. It's going to look a little thin. Maybe the writing classes will fill it out a little, in addition to improving my skills.

So, who's been there and done that? Have you taken a length of time off from work outside the home? How was your return to the workforce? How do you balance all of life's demands: kids, work, home, etc.? What was your best strategy in getting employers to view you as a good candidate for jobs?

8 comments:

  1. I was home for 7 years before I went into the work force. I left college and raised my kids so my resume was beyond thin. I listed the temp positions that I had done (as favors to other people) the direct sales and of course my skills as a household manager. I was offered a job on my first interview. It was well less than I was worth, but I wasn't going to be picky. I was willing to show my worth and then negotiate, 2 months later I was given a raise, 8 months later a better position with a better firm and a huge raise. 6 months after that another big raise and here I am climbing. Because of your degree I would suggest you do some freelance writing to fill up your resume. If you local paper has a website find out if they have local bloggers and offer to blog for them (gratis if need be).

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  2. Thank you, Tree! That's very inspiring. Good advice, too. :)

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  3. Tree Huggin Momma, you are indeed inspiring. Hard work is so important and employers notice. You are a perfect example of this.

    Barb, you are so wise to plan ahead and it's great you took writing courses.

    No woman should be embarrassed that she took time out to raise children--as if anyone needs to explain. I also respect homeschooling mothers and fathers because public education can be so hard on children--I see it first hand as a retired teacher who also substitutes now. The value of good parenting is far above any career.

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    1. Carol - Thank you! That means a lot!

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  4. The answers from Tree Huggin Momma seem very well-thought out. Can you let me know what else you get? You are my future! My husband keeps hinting around about paying for high school in a few years (our public school options aren't very impressive, graudation rates are less than 50%). I keep suggesting he get a third job.

    I don't think he finds me very funny.

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    1. I think you're funny! lol

      Ugh - paying for high school. I'm so thankful we're in a good school district. I'm already worried about college, which is only 5 years away for my oldest.

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Thanks!