We’ve been talking about homeschooling while working here on The Homeschool Post this month, and for me it’s a timely topic. You see, I’m only going to have one student next year, and that student is in high school and can work quite independently. That means that I am finally reaching a place where I actually have the time and flexibility in my schedule to look at returning to the workplace.
I have been very blessed in that my husband’s work has been steady and has provided an income that has allowed me to be a full time homeschool mom. The flip side of that is something that isn’t often talked about in homeschool mom circles, as far as I can tell. When mom has been out of the working world loop for the number of years it takes to raise the children from birth through graduation, it can be quite a challenge to go back to work. And the level of challenge can vary, depending on the type of career. In no way do I want to discourage homeschool moms from being home full-time with their children for as long as possible. And wouldn’t it be great if we could all be our own boss and work from home? I think it’s fantastic when there’s family or home-based business that mom (and kids!) can be involved in; maybe even ideal, but that hasn’t worked for us and it doesn’t work for everyone. The reality is that at some point you may want or need that income, so how can you keep some options open?
Obviously, I can’t advise on specific career paths, but here are a few suggestions. Some from moms who have done them and are glad they did, and some that we wish we’d done.
- Stay connected in some way to a career you were in before kids. That could be maintaining your contacts in that field, subscribing to an industry journal, doing the occasional freelance job in the same field, or keeping a license or certification up to date even if you’re not actively working.
- Work part-time or seasonally, even if it’s just a few hours, so that you have a little extra income and job references for your resume.
- Work from home or operate your own cottage or family business, if your situation allows.
- Be open to volunteer opportunities that develop or use your workplace skill set.
- Don’t forget your own further education. You may be able to take some online classes, a continuing education class at the community college, or other similar things that will help you stay abreast of changes in your profession or train you for a new career.
- Make your marriage high priority – the highest after your relationship with the Lord. After all, you’ll be with your spouse after your kids have graduated and moved out on their own.
- Take time for yourself – quiet time, a daily break, an evening out with a friend, a visit to the park or museum or shopping district that you find interesting.
- Be involved in activities for your own interest and personal enjoyment. Take the painting class, join a club, go to the gym or pool, volunteer with a charity, or whatever it is that sparks your passion. Sometimes your volunteer experience and involvement in charity or community work can help you build your resume and references too.
Do you have suggestions for homeschool moms that are looking to go back to the workforce?