Have you been thinking about getting back into the workforce after kids? Ready to chase your dreams but wondering how to go about relaunching, or feeling a little overwhelmed by the thought? What’s really holding you back? A parent of six tells how she relaunched her career.
This is the story of how I’ve managed to secure two jobs as a parent of six young children. I finally bit the bullet and I’ve never felt happier!
I guess there are only so many times you can say to yourself, “I’ll do it next week,” or “when the children get older,” or “when they’re all in school”.
I got to a point where I said to myself, “No! Stop! Why am I always putting myself last? Why am I making myself busy with things I don’t need to do? I want to chase my dreams and goals now! We really could use the extra income and I want to work, so I’m going to do it.” And ever since then it’s been: go, go, go!
I have six children. My husband and I now both work full-time and, on top of that, I’m actively chasing a career in media. I work forty hours a week, and sometimes it feels like I’m juggling so many balls in the air.
Despite all this, can you guess what I‘ve never, ever felt since returning to work? Regret. I was done with waiting for my time to come, so I bit the bullet and now I’m doing it. I’m working and parenting, and winning at both! I do not regret believing in myself. And I do not regret chasing my dream.
Here are a few things that helped me take the leap back into the workforce.
- Asking for help — Sometimes that means asking grandparents to help with pick-ups or drop-offs. We asked my husband’s employer if he could work different hours. We ask friends to help with the kids’ after-school activities. And it’s all been okay – so far. All our supporters have been happy with the new arrangements!
- Prioritizing — We prioritize tasks daily and weekly with room for change. Sometimes routine tasks aren’t so important to get done and get pushed aside instead. For example, we have a regular cleaning schedule, but sometimes we push bathroom cleanliness right to its limit of acceptability, usually to spend more quality family time together or to meet work deadlines. And that’s okay because in our house family time and work always come first.
- Staying motivated — It began with a realization that making it happen was all on me – no one else was forcing me to wait to chase my dreams. I knew I had to work hard, but I also knew I could do it. The same goes for you: You’ve got this if you want it!
- Writing it down — When considering returning to work, I wrote down a plan of how a new job would fit into my life. The plan included everything that would be expected of me and my husband if I took the plunge and began pursuing a new career. This included probable job schedules, home schedules, a realistic budget including childcare costs and how much I anticipated earning, added costs for driving into work, etc.
There was so much involved in getting my new job and making it work. But with passion, determination, and some simple planning, I made it happen.
If you’re thinking about taking the leap into work after kids, start by telling the people around you – your support network – what you’re planning and how they can help. Sometimes, simply sounding your intentions out in the open is enough to get the ball rolling. Stop waiting for the perfect time to return to work or to start a new career because there might not ever be that perfect time you imagine. But, if you want it to be, the time can be now! Make it happen!
Written by Krechelle Carter. Parent to six kids; freelance writer for publications such as Kidspot and Woman’s Day; blogger; and creator of the Eight at Home community. A strong believer in following your dreams and balancing it all…most of the time! Find Krechelle at eightathome.com.au, on Instagram and Facebook.