I'm going to be contributing to a workshop next year on returning to work after a career break (I'm a life coach working with mothers). My bit will be the emotional issues - lack of confidence, time management, etc. I'd love to know what issues other mums would like to see covered in a workshop on this issue (not the practical stuff like CVs, but the emotional side).
I think it is important to cover what is/ is not acceptable to expect of the company in adjusting to your new juggling role! for example how do you cope at work when your child is sick (mean emotionally as well as practical) and coping with non- parents who do not understand the emotions of havinga child. Thsi si an area I really struggled with.
how about something on how to negotiate changing roles with your DH/DP. If they've been used to someone full time at home doing most of the childcare and housework that can cause a lot of tensions when the SAHP starts paid work. So it could cover things like discussing with DH/DP about childcare pick ups and housework and who looks after sick children.
One of the most difficult things about working full-time is losing touch with all the small details of your child's life - what did they eat for lunch, who did they play with, the fact that there is now a tank of tadpoles in the classroom or that one of their schoolfriends has new glasses. It's small stuff but children inhabit small worlds and it's the details that create intimacy between you and your child. Something practical about how to retain a hold on that small stuff or, if you can't, emotional tips on letting it go would be helpful.
Agree with Issy. Tips on what to expect if working full/part time and cannot do the school run, what it means to not be able to arrange afterschool playdates or form friendships at the schoolgate. I think it makes the mothering experience less real.
How about how to deal with employers and agencies that make you feel like nothing, and unemployable, because you've dared to stop work to bring up a family.
How to convince yourself you're going back to work purely to keep a roof over your kid's heads and they won't hate you for leaving them in a nursery all day in years to come.
How to convince friends and family you're not an ogre for doing it.
Making sure you know your rights as an employee with kids before you even think of going back to work.
Thank you all so much for these suggestions - really helpful. Sounds like you've been having a rough time, Charlene.
Anyone else got any thoughts on this? What do you struggle with, and what advice would you give to others dealing with the same issues? Patricia x
Agree with all the things that charlene has said. How to cope with crowbarring your way back into the workforce. And once in, why are well qualified women having to accept a low skilled job just because no one at the right level will employ them now that they've become a parent and what we can do about this.