Putting Career on Hold Temporarily or Permanently?

Updated on April 27, 2009
E.J. asks from Mokena, IL
7 answers

Looking for opinions/insights from all of you mamas that have put your careers on hold either for a couple years or completely to raise your kids. I am wondering if you have any regrets? Any issues (income, healthcare, family issues, etc) come up that would make you choose differently now? How was it different when your children were is school full-time or Highschool? Did you return to work, why, and how was it different? Or how did you recreate your self?

The reason I ask is that I am confused if I should close my part-time business. One reason is the past two years I have had to limit the hours I worked to due family illness and expanding the family, and this resulted in very little exta income. The other reason is that after spending 7 years of schooling and being the "it" person, I just don't find it as fulfilling as I did before children. But I do feel guilty investing all that time and money and all the others that "invested" in my training.

For now my husband's job is secure. We live frugally off of one income (no cable TV for the past 8 years, dinners out once a month, every Sat night coupon clipping, buying on clearance, etc). To be honest, I love being home, but I am scared I will regret losing this part of myself and having my skills depreciate....anyone else feel this way or survived it?

Also please note this question is not to debate working mom VS. SAHM. I think we have to be each others advocates cauze if we don't it takes the focus off the real issue of respecting women's value in the work place and home (both are priceless and monetarily immeasurable).

I appreciate all insights. Thank you all for taking the time to respond.

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answers from Chicago on

IT really depends on what makes you happy. There are things out there that can work while you are at home if you still want to bring in an income. I know many moms that work in the lunchroom while their kids are at school and then volunteer in class. But if you are concerned about losing skills and not the income part of it you have to find what works for you. I am an "At home" mom that also works but somehow I have found a way to always have them with me. I am no longer in my career Ibuilt however I am much happier and I know my kids are benefitting too!

Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I haven't worked full time for 12 years. My last job was at a great company, but it wasn't very family-friendly. It got to the point where my husband and I were fighting about who was going to stay home with the sick child(ren).

I don't have any regrets, but it was hard the first year. When I was growing up, all the kids were playing outside and the moms were standing around talking. I was sent over to a neighbor's house if my mom wanted to run to the store or school or whatever. Now all the kids are being driven around and people just don't seem so friendly. So I had to seek out other moms.

In 12 years I have never had a kid in school all day. I had one in kindergarten for about 6 months and then I had my youngest. I want to start working soon (need to), but really have no plans to return to what I did before. Everything was an emergency and there were no set hours, I always had to stay later at the last minute. That was another reason I quit.

I haven't figured out what I will do, but am thinking about just being a temp for now until I have a game plan.

In the end you have to do what's right for your family and not think about other people. Someone will give you the "I'm disappointed" talk and you have to blow it off. They aren't at your house with your family.



answers from Chicago on

Hey there Mommy!!! I think you know in your heart what you want to do...what all of us moms want to do...have it all. I like you went back and forth many years ago. My kids are now 15 and 8 and because of my business with Partylite that I started almost 10 years ago I am able to have it all. I do consider myself a stay home mom...3 times a week I escape for a few hours!!! The great thing is that a candle party is not only fun, but the income is incredible. 6 years ago I replaced my nursing income and retired. I honestly feel so blessed. I take my kids to school every day, pick them up every day...my work schedule is around my family rather then my family around my work schedule. Smartest thing I ever did...best part this business was free to start, so there is nothing to lose to see if it is for you. For more info...check out my website at www.partylite.biz/michelechristidis



answers from Chicago on

I am going to give you the best advice I ever got when my son was born. The mom had older children than I did and had quit her career when her children were born. She told me "go back to work now, You will want to be home more later when they are older."

I am so glad I did. I worked while my son was a baby and when he was 4 I quit, opened my own business that is growing and strong now but gives me the flexibility to choose my own hours. She was so right! My son is now 9 and he needs me just as much now (if not more) at home when he is.

Just the running him around to afterschool activities and homework. He is so busy and I feel lucky to be able to let him be involved in whatever he wants.

I am not suggesting that you pick either option. ONly you know what you want. But, it is important to know that even though the children get older and more independent it does not give you the freedom to be away from home more. I Hope this makes sense. My friend explained it so much better than I am!



answers from Chicago on

Look at things long term. What do you want to do when your kids are in school and you're not being super full-time mommy all the time? Do you want to return to the same line of work? Do you want to pursue other ventures? I think a lot of your decision rests on what you want to do later down the line.

As a teacher with over 10 years of experience, I cannot leave my profession. No one would hire me because I'd be too expensive (if they'd give me my years of experience) nor would they be interested because I had been out of the profession for so many years. So, the decision is sort of made for me...which is okay because I have no intention of ever being a full-time SAHM.

What type of skills are needed for your job? How might they change and evolve over the next several years? How will you be able to keep up with them/supplement them while being a SAHM? These are all questions to be considered. And while I'm on the subject of skillset, yes as a SAHM you can 'fudge' your resume and use creative vocabulary to describe what you've done at home (organizing, creative projects, multitasking) but people who do the hiring who have NOT lived a life as a SAHM don't get it and likely don't care. Certainly don't get me wrong; being a SAHM is very tough and demanding work but not everyone sees it that way (and they should have to be one for a month to understand the tough task at hand!).

If I were you I'd really examine the long-term possibility of what you want to do and decide if a 5-10 year absence from that field would be a detriment, or if you'd be able to return from a 5-10 year absence. Only you know what is best for your family, so make a decision that works well for them!



answers from Chicago on

We are having a presentation about our business at Hyatt Regency Woodfield, 1800 E Golf Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173 on Saturday October 23, 2010 at 10:00am. It is a free event. Just come and hear about it. No selling. No pressure. I promise, you will not regret it. Call me at ###-###-#### if you are attending. Thanks.



answers from Chicago on

I was also struggling with chosing between my career & being at home with my little one. I chose to stay home based on these reasons:
1). There was no one that could give my daughter the kind of care that I give her.
2). I got tired very quickly of always having a sick, miserable child due to being in a day care setting. (We could not afford a nanny).
3). I made less then a part-time income being at work 40+ hours a week.
4). Our life was chaotic most of the time, and I missed alot of work staying home with a sick child.

Those are SOME of my reasons. I also was worried about losing my income. Like you, we have had to make sacrifices and have gladly done that. I also network with people in my previous field to "keep up to date" on changes in the industry (Insurance field). I am renewing my state license by taking courses online.

No one can tell you what to do, you have to do what you really feel is right. Do what your gut tells you & once you make the decision to be home, keep yourself up to date in the field you were in, or maybe take courses online that you can obtain a degree in a new field for when you decide to re-enter the work force.

Good luck in your decision!

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