Returning to work after a long period out can feel daunting and overwhelming. At some point for many women, we start thinking about what comes next after raising our kids but feel stuck in the uncertainty, insecurity and self-doubt.
‘What do I want to do?’
‘How can I juggle everything?’
‘Why do I even want to do this?’
‘Am I mad for wanting more?’
‘Where is my roadmap to help me figure out how to get back into work?'
These are just a few of the many random questions that ran through my head on a continuous loop a few years ago when I decided to dip my toe back into the waters of the paid work world.
We were incredibly fortunate to afford for me to stay at home with our children. We weren’t wealthy by any stretch but there was no financial pressure for me to race back to work to pay the bills when the three of them were little.
There was one small catch I didn’t factor into my plan.
The more I was leaning into motherhood, the more I was leaning out of my career. This meant the longer I stayed at home with the kids, the harder it would be for me when I was ready to return.
As the kids grew up and needed me less, I started to allow myself to dream of a magical role that would be purposeful.
But once I allowed myself to dream again, my mental health took a huge dive because I couldn’t see a way for me to ever rejoin the workforce in a meaningful way.
Not only did it need to work for my family, but it needed to work for me as well. It needed to give me a new sense of purpose to reignite a part of myself that I thought I had left behind.
I was more than ready; I needed to be seen as ‘me’ again. I needed to be more than someone’s mother, wife, daughter, sister. To be less invisible.
I had always assumed that returning to work would come easily when I was ready but after being the primary carer for our three kids for more than a decade, I didn't even know where to start.
That's why it was so important for me to find support. Someone or something to help me ease back into it after 14 years away.
Programs like Back to Work Roadmap for Mothers can really work wonders for women re-entering their career. Their sole purpose is to support women and mothers who want to make the jump but the whole thing feels so far beyond their reach.