So. I’ve been thinking about going back to work, after five – FIVE! – years of being a stay at home mom. At times I feel SO ready to get back out there. Other times, I fear going back to work, I dread leaving my kids, and I worry that I no longer have what it takes.
This week I’ve helping out with hiring new staff at the girls’ school. I spent much of the week reading cover letters, reviewing CVs, and critiquing application essays. And today, I dressed up in business casual, went to the school office, and spent the morning interviewing candidates.
And you know what? I’M EXHAUSTED. Seriously exhausted. I am not used to focusing on a single objective for an entire morning. Furthermore, I’m totally unaccustomed to using my brain in that way, for that long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t have to use my brain to parent two young children each day – the parenting lobe of my brain is fully functional and razor sharp. My working lobe, on the other hand, has atrophied beyond recognition, I fear.
As a result, self-doubt starts to creep in, making me wonder if I have what it takes to rejoin the workforce. On the other hand, staying home with my kids has developed a whole different set of skills. As a stay-at-home mom, I’ve enhanced my people skills (there is no “tough customer” like a two year old throwing a tantrum). My creative problem solving skills are ON POINT. My ability to multi-task is, quite frankly, unparalleled. And finally, being a stay-at-home mom has honed my time management skills to near-perfection. Such skills are are invaluable in most any work environment, and I feel like when I do return to the workforce, I can do so with my head held high.
All this to say, I’m still thinking of going back to work – but sometimes it feels just a bit daunting. For you working mamas, how did you handle the tradition from full-time parenting to rejoining the workforce? What worked for you?