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Reentering The Workforce After Having Children

The internal war women wage with themselves

by Diane Lang  |  12524 views  |  4 comments  |        Rate this now! 

In a recent survey of working moms, almost all agreed that guilt was the strongest emotion they felt their first week back at work - the guilt of leaving their kids, the guilt of having less family time and the guilt of missing special events. If you are feeling guilty, ask yourself if the guilt is real or if you feel bad because your family is feeling hurt. Keep the lines of communication open. Have a discussion with your family and let them tell you how they are feeling. Let your family know why you made the decision to go back to work and how they can be involved in your new schedule.
It is natural for you and your family to have mixed emotions about going back to work. The one thing all working moms agree on: It gets better with time. You will learn to balance schedules, find a routine and ask for help. Just give yourself time. You may decide working outside the home isn't right for you right now, after all, but you need time to make the adjustment before you can make that decision

You also need to be kind to yourself during your first weeks back at work. Women are so used to taking care of others that we tend to feel selfish when we nurture ourselves. So, making a decision to go back to work- doing something for yourself- can make you feel uneasy at first. If you are feeling like that, ask yourself these questions: Does having a job make you a better mom? Better person? Do you enjoy your work? Are you feeling a sense of accomplishment? If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you are probably doing the right thing. Take confidence in that.
Going back to work is a huge life transition. You are making a lifestyle change that affects not only you, but your family as well. It is easy to focus on everyone else and forget about yourself. However, it is important to take care of your physical, emotional and spiritual well being. Always consider how you are feeling and always take time for you.

About the Author

Diane Lang has an M.A. in Counseling. She currently works as a therapist at Universal Institute in Livingston, NJ where she provides therapy to Trauma

Read more by Diane Lang

4 comments so far...

  • The most important thing is to make sure you consider YOUR wants and needs. What works for you and your family. Make sure not to sacrifice your values otherwise you will never be happy.
    There are so many options for moms right now, it's best to take your time to choose the right decision that works for you!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane Lang on 3rd October 2007

  • I think your point about the money really hit home. We tried to figure out what I would be bringing in after gas, day care, clothes, etc. It seemed like I could make a little less at night, avoid daycare costs and spend my days with my daughter. So while I am attempting to start my own business part-time, and I also working a part-time job to bring in some money. No matter what you do you always wonder.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Christine on 3rd October 2007

  • Diane, Thank you for writing this article. I went back to work one year ago after being a SAHM for seven years and IT was HUGE adjustment on my two children and husband. Suddenly, everyone was expected to do more! I really enjoyed reading your article and hope there are more to come!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Syndi on 16th September 2007

  • Diane, just want so say thank you for writing such a thoughtful article. I was talking to a friend yesterday who is conflicted about going back to work - she was looking for advice and I am emailing her this.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 14th September 2007