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9 tips every mom trying to get back in the workforce needs to know (from a woman who knows)
Heading back into the workforce after maternity leave or years on the mommy track as a stay-at-home mom is scary and exciting. These nine tips help make the transition easier for both mom and child. - photo by Sage Singleton
Heading back into the workforce after maternity leave or years as a stay-at-home mom is scary and exciting. Leaving your new baby for the first time in the care of another is overwhelming, but sometimes necessary for your family.

Here are nine tips moms need to know before reentering the workforce:

1. Update professional rsum

Going back to work with a hole in your rsum is intimidating. While the time you spent in mom mode should be noted, Jen Lawrence cautions against referring to that timeframe with any cutesy labels like Family CEO or Domestic Engineer.

Dont waste rsum space attempting to market motherhood skills. Employers are often doing the same thing in their own home, and they wont be impressed. If its been a long time since youve been in the job field, your professional skills may need updating. Renew any expired certification or training.

2. Use networking contacts

Though employers will request your rsum or scan your LinkedIn page when vetting your skills, theyre likely to hear about you through networking contacts.

If you need to start from square one again, dont be discouraged. Professional networking events and job fairs are great places to start. Also, take advice from former interns who landed full-time jobs to help you network.

3. Hire help

Whether you need a house cleaner, meal preparer, nanny or all the above, mothers shouldnt feel ashamed to ask for help.

If your job keeps you longer than your children are in school or your children are still young, a nanny will be a critical family partner. To hire a great nanny, follow these tips:

Ask for recommendations

Poll friends, neighbors and even your pediatrician. Even if they dont have someone available, they can help get the word out.

Use a nanny job site

Many excellent fee-based nanny job listing sites can help you find nannies that meet your qualifications.

Rely on a face-to-face interview

Personally meet your nanny before hiring them and prepare a list of interview questions. Bring your children with you to gauge how they interact with their potential nanny.

Plan lots of time

It will take you weeks to find and interview the perfect care provider. Start the process at least a month or two before you start your job.

4. Communicate with your kids

Let your children know from the start that you are entering the workforce. Explain who will be taking care of them when you're gone, and listen to any fears they may have.

After you start working, check in with the kids during your breaks. Prepare to answer any emergency phone calls or texts from your nanny throughout the workday as well.

5. Talk to management

After youve landed the job, talk to your boss and HR about your needs as a working parent. Discussion points should include workload, responsibilities and mothering necessities (like a private space to pump if youre breastfeeding).

Set up an internal meeting with your boss a few weeks after starting to let them know how you're doing. Give your boss confidence that youre dedicated to your job.

6. Maintain organization

It will be harder to run your household when your time is stretched between work and home. Use schedules, as babies and children truly thrive off consistency. Keep the same routine for mealtime and naps to help your kids adjust.

7. Make a practice run

Make sure your nanny has everything they need keep your kids safe and happy. A few days before you start work, schedule a practice run where you leave your kids at home with the nanny for a few hours. Here are a few things you'll need to prepare:

Daily schedule

Plan your childrens daily schedule and either text it to the nanny or write it down.


Decide how much money to leave the nanny if they need to run errands for you or make an emergency grocery store trip.

Stocked car

Make sure the car has enough gas and install the correct car seats based on your kids age, weight and height.

8. Create a backup plan

Choose trustworthy family members, friends and neighbors you can call at a moments notice to help in an emergency. Discuss with your employers last-minute options to work from home on days your nanny or children are sick.

9. Minimize stress

Balancing work and home life is stressful for parents. Incorporate some critical me time into your schedule. Your own mental health is just as important as anything else.

For more inspiration before you start working again, check out this advice from parents who have been there. While its difficult to leave your kids, dont let mom guilt take over. The transition to work gets easier every day.
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