The Guardian reports on the challenges facing women who've been on an extended career break. Has anyone gone back after a lengthy break, and what helped/would have helped? Please share your experiences so this aspect of work and parenting can be reflected in the Home Front debate. Thanks
Interesting article and thread. I'd be interested in reading some of these contributions and I'd be interested to hear from SAHDs who have done this too. I'm a SAHD and I'm beginning to look at returning to work - I had a "serious career" before taking a break a few years back and interestingly enough now, I find some employers look at me very curiously when they learn that I took time out for the kids. It is something that is "expected/acceptable" for Mums, but the reactions I've been getting suggest that for SAHDs you are regarded as something of a weirdo.
Last year I was even the "victim" of "who'll look after the kids prejudice" which a potential employer admitted to me in an interview - he also admitted he would never have said so to a woman, but expected me to be "ok" wih the idea.
I could have.... but what's the point,if someone has such primordial views - you wouldn't want to work with them, would you?
It is an interesting topic. One of the main reasons I carried on working (although part-time) after my daughter was born, rather than taking a break, was because I was worried about what it would be like getting back into work.
One thing that's going to cause a problem is the changes to funding of adult education, which I think will mean you don't get funded to do a qualification at a level you already have. this will really hit SAHMs and SAHDs who want to re-train.
Another thing that would make a difference would be for more jobs to be available part-time. If you go back after maternity leave you can request flexible working, but if you are starting a new job you have to work for six months before you can make a request. Puts a lot of people off.
On the flexible working point - not only are you supposed to wait six months before asking but the employer then has a certain time-period in which to look at and agree/not agree the request so the actual time working "unflexibly" is actually longer than 6 months.
It would help some if requests could be put in before the 6 months are up so that the flexible working could start as soon as the 6 months arrives.
I am just in the process of going back to work after 4 years. I was in Legal Recruitment in Manchester, long hours hefty commute. I was approached by an old contact of mine to set up in business with him and we should be all systems go in mid-October. I will be working Mon-Thursday 9-3pm, predominantly from home. For me, becoming selfemployed meant flexibility and lack of "wasted" hours commuting coupled with the fact that I can do school drop off/pick ups. That said I do seem to be juggling things badly at the moment (before my childcare starts) and just organised some advertising mid-nappy change, thank goodness it was all via telephone
The beauty of working from home is that no one can tell if you are changing nappies while you work. I also find that this is the downside - because I can hang out a load of washing/run the hoover round/take a supermarket delivery during the working day I often end up doing it.
And because it is often easier for me to take a day off if my daughter is sick it is harder to insist that DH takes a turn now and again.