When my husband and I started talking about having children I made it clear to him that it was very important to me to be a stay at home mom. I know that decision isn’t right for everyone but it was right for us and we made it work. Staying at home to raise our twins was far from a dream – although it was a dream come true. It was riddled with self doubt, tears, and bitterness. It was also filled to the brim with snuggles, firsts, belly laughs and love. You all know the story. Mom stays at home to care for baby. Baby sucks the life out of mom while simultaneously being her life blood. Parenting is the hardest job in the world – so why wouldn’t we put it on our resume?
I had no plans to look into going back to work until our twins were in Kindergarden. However, slowly, paid opportunities for writing, teaching (about cloth diapers), and nursing have made their way into my line of sight. My children love preschool so much that I have begun to feel comfortable with the thought of working outside of the home 1-2 days a week. So when a part time Dr.’s office nursing position came to my attention I mentioned it to my husband and he responded “Awesome! That would be great!” While I’m sure his main focus was on the increased income, I started to day dream about being a valued employee and putting my nursing skills to good use.
Then I updated my resume. That 4 year gap between my last paid job and now didn’t sit well with me so I knew it wasn’t going to look great to a potential employer. If you find yourself in a similar position, I ask you to take a look at what you have been doing. What skills have you used or mastered while working uncompensated – because let there be no doubt that you have been working. You just don’t have a pay stub to prove it.
Put together all of the volunteer time and projects you have worked on. Have you been a board member of your local moms club? Have you written a newsletter for a club? Have you been a scout leader? Have you organized church functions? I look around at my fellow stay at home moms and these are the extra duties they take on while parenting full time – with no sick days or vacations.
Fill your resume up with your volunteer work and the skills this work required. And don’t forget to add SAHM (or SAHD) as your most recent job position. Check out the snapshot from my updated resume for some of the skills I believe are key to parenting. Did I miss anything? What are the most important skills you have gained from being a SAHM or SAHD?