Being a career-driven person all of my life, I never thought I was going to be a Stay-At-Home Mom (SAHM). I worked too hard to become who I was in my career to “give that up.” Or so I thought.
Due to various life circumstances, I ended up choosing to become a SAHM after all. Looking back, I am so grateful for the opportunity to do so; however, I also realized that after becoming a SAHM I was continuously searching for my own identity. I lost myself, the career person, and simply became “Mom.”
As time moved on, I would continue to think about entering back into the working world, but either a relocation with my husband’s employer would come around or I would truly talk myself out of it. I would think, “it has been X amount of years since I worked and so many things have changed!” Or, “It’s been so long since I worked, would I still be current with my career?” I did some odd jobs during this time and even dabbled in network marketing, which was a great filler, but all along I felt I was still missing something.
Then as my children were entering Middle School, I decided to truly try my hand back in the working world. I was cautious and unsure, to say the least. Only because I was not sure how well it would be perceived to have this long gap in my resume. However, to my surprise, it was not frowned upon and people understood and respected my honesty. One thing that did help was showing that I was still very involved in the community during my SAHM timeframe. I volunteered in my children’s schools as well as in our neighborhood community. My career as a CPA allowed me to put my license on hold without losing it completely. I was simply “Registered Not Practicing” and once I went back into the workforce, all I needed to do was get caught up on CPE and submit for relicensing.
Another area that I was concerned about was actually somewhat selfish on my part. I wanted to still be able to be at home or have a flexible schedule to be with my kids if needed. Not living near family can create a bit of a hiccup as I didn’t have the type of help I could rely on when the kids were sick or something came up. I needed to find a company where I could have some flexibility when life throws me curveballs, which happens often.
That’s when I stumbled upon my current employer—a virtual CPA firm that is based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. They allowed for me to transition from a SAHM to a Work-At-Home Mom (WAHM) with ease. I am able to work from home while not fully disrupting my home life. One of the key elements of being a WAHM is having a dedicated home office that I can block off and dedicate to work. My job allows me to work somewhat around my kids’ schedules or work a little later one day so we can head to the waterpark the next.
Transitioning from SAHM to WAHM has proven not to be as difficult as I had imagined. I firmly believe that in today’s world, the time taken off by a woman (or man) to care for his/her family is much more common than it used to be. The key is to be open and honest with your potential employer. Also, you have to realize there is no right or wrong way to go about raising a family. We should not feel guilty whichever route we choose when it comes to managing the “work-life balance” we all strive to achieve. At the end of the day, you need to be okay with your decision. I do not regret taking that time off to be with my children and I am so grateful to be able to get back into the working world with ease.
Have you transitioned from a SAHM to a WAHM? Would love to hear your story!