Getting Back Into the Workforce is More Difficult Than Staying In

My husband has a good job, so I technically don’t have to work in order to put food on our table and keep a roof over our heads. This may make me a bad mom, but I don’t think so. I think the thing that makes me a bad mom is I love Hostess Cupcakes. Aren’t you supposed to grow out of that?

Incidentally, I have a good job, so technically my husband doesn’t have to work in order to put food on our table and keep a roof over our heads. Surprisingly, no one thinks his job makes him a bad dad. However, he doesn’t like Hostess Cupcakes, so maybe that’s the difference. He does like salted licorice, which is disgusting, in my never to be humble opinion.

To read all about working, click here: Why I Work (When I Don’t Have To)

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9 thoughts on “Getting Back Into the Workforce is More Difficult Than Staying In

  1. You have laid out all the reasons why I work. Early in our marriage, my husband and I agreed that when one of us made more than X, the other could quit. We passed that point long ago and I am still working. There were many years when I was the lead earner and he could have quit. Those that have left and come back to work at a comparable level have worked really hard to keep skills and their profile up in the interim years. You never know what the future holds. I have seen someone try to return to work after 20 years and realize computers have change the work and the volume of work she used to be really good at. I wish the world wasn’t that way, but it is and you should ignore that fact.

  2. The sad reality is that those bright and capable women with 20 years’ child-rearing under their belts are — in fact — “qualified,” in terms of true ability, for much more than entry-level, minimum-wage, jobs. When the various tasks involved in parenting are evaluated, on a market basis, parents’ actual skills are found to be higher-level, warranting much greater pay. Unfortunately, our society undervalues care-giving, which is a perceptual problem against which long-term stay-at-home parents seeking to reenter the paid workforce must struggle.

    1. Perhaps the parenting should be phrased differently on one’s resume?
      instead of “got kids ready for school”, it could read “responsible for organizing multiple individuals into task oriented teams”, “made dinner for 4 kids” becomes “Successfully negotiated widely varying requirements into a cohesive presentation to a diverse team”?
      More than one child, should be able to work in “team building” with ease, no?
      “stay at home” becomes “worked for or”?

      If the parenting tasks are directly related to job requirements, I’d agree, but if they don’t (getting 4 kids ready for school doesn’t really translate to climbing poles to replace electric transformers), then they should be an “interesting footnote” to a person’s abilities.

      1. The problem is with this kind of phrasing is that all parents do this stuff, so it’s not considered a “bonus.”

        Now, if you ran the PTA and managed a $25,000 budget with that and supervised 14 other parents in so doing, that’s important. Keeping your kids from whacking each other upside the head means you’re a wizard, but it won’t help you get a job.

    2. Society does undervalue caregiving, but the reality of skills depends on the job. Managing an office, sure (herding children is great preparation for herding coworkers!) More technical jobs may be harder to pick back up. Most of the reason to be mommytracked for a while is just to stay in the profession. Your focus is split when caring for a family. There are compensatory skills, but they aren’t as visible.

  3. I work because I can and things happen. Even when I had jobs I hated I stuck it out and found a new one. People get sick, you can end up single for all kinds of reason you can’t anticipate, spouse can get laid off, child can want to go to graduate school, I might want a nicer car. Mostly because you always have to be prepared to take care of yourself and the best way to do that is to actually do it.

  4. Yep. I can tell you that getting back into the workforce after time away is not easy. I was laid off from my job in 2005, right before I met my husband. I went back to work six years later when he decided to run for state-level public office. (This is not something you want to happen, btw.)

    I had to take more than a 50% pay cut – and this was for a job that required an MBA and a foreign language and international experience. I have since gotten a new job for more money, but I still make less than I did in 2000.

  5. If you decide for one of you to become a stay at home spouse to look after the kids – factor in Life Insurance into the budget. It’s not fun to think about, but better than being left without a job and no breadwinner … .

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