The job of being a stay-at-home mom is complex. It is full of tasks, utterly exhausting, and full of beautiful moments. There are many things you do in a day, but little places for accolades. If you are like I was, you ask yourself how to be a successful stay-at-home mom.
The short answer:
Stay true to yourself.
Keep growing as an individual.
Block out unhelpful expectations.
And, know your worth.
The longer answer- know that this is a season and it may be months or it may be years. However, the skills you learn as a Stay-at-Home mom, along with the memories you make, can be a really beautiful time. If you are struggling to validate your choice or circumstance, there are benefits of stay-at-home mom statistics that can remind you that this, indeed, important work.
How does a “Motherhood Pause” Impact Your Resume?
For years, there has been a struggle around how to account for a pause on your resume related to staying at home with your children. While this is also true for men, women see the impact of this disproportionately. Many studies show there is a bias remaining about a mother’s need for flexibility and her commitment to work. (I will save my capitalism lecture for another time, but know that at Postpartum Together we fully believe in more supportive workplaces.)
Some women try to fill the gap with stay-at-home mom-friendly jobs like becoming a virtual assistant or other freelance work. You may be interested in work if you need additional income for your family, long for the independence, or want to keep your skillset sharp with the intention to return to the workplace one day. However, let it be clear that being a stay-at-home mom is demanding and hard work in and of itself and there should not be pressure to “do more.”
Skills that Come with being a SAHM
When trying to decide how to put stay-at-home mom on the resume, women are faced with how to word their skills and experience correctly. Fortunately, there are some leading organizations and companies prioritizing moms in the workplace.
Hey Mama Co is an organization that helps moms to find community, mentorship, events, and grow their business skills. Earlier this year, they called for a #motherhoodontheresume movement to acknowledge the skills developed during a SAHM pause.
LinkedIn, the leading social network for professionals, recently added “Stay-at-home parent” as an option for listing your work experience.
The Mom Project is an organization that brings together moms and employers. They help moms develop their resumes, connect with employers that are family-friendly, and advocate for workplace policy.
Mom, You Have Skills
There are a number of skills you may develop and grow as a stay-at-home mom. It is important that you recognize them and find pride in your growth. A workplace would be tremendously lucky to have you and the ways you have learned to adapt and develop in life. Here are 5 of my favorite skills that we see in moms who have spent time taking care of their child(ren).
From the early days of how to see the world in 2-3 hour increments to juggling playdates and practices and appointments, being home with kids requires a ton of time management. You are likely able to complete in 5-6 hours what used to take you a full 8-hour workday. You also are able to better communicate that management from the purpose to the practice.
If you spend time with at 2-3 year old, you can add this to your master skillset. Toddler years are great for this. But even early on, there is negotiation in figuring out roles and responsibilities with your partner. Negotiating time spent with friends and family. Negotiation in how to have your needs met with advocacy. And then, of course, negotiation with a toddler who has strong feelings with no real basis or understanding about why.
When taking care of the home and family, there are an endless amount of tasks. You have to figure out what are glass balls and what are plastic balls. Moms learn to juggle them and which to keep in the air. You plan around the highest priorities and are able to discern. This is an incredible skill that is an asset for any work role and project.
Life at home with kids is basically one ongoing crisis. You learn how to keep your cool when tensions are high. You can quickly think on your feet to address a problem. Simultaneously, moms are able to bring joy and peace when others are stressed and scared. When returning to the workplace, moms are often the leaders of entering a stressful situation and helping everyone find their place and resolve it.
You know how to think outside of the box. You see how situations and people are unique and can take a unique approach. Moms can make mundane tasks fun and know how to get a group invested in a project.
Be Proud Of Yourself
When you are feeling down on yourself about not getting enough done. If you are comparing yourself to other moms on the internet. When you wonder if everything you worked for is on pause or destroyed during this pause in your career, be proud of yourself. Know that you are giving and growing. Remember that what you are learning and the skills you are growing are a huge asset not just at home, but in a future workplace too.
Stay-at-Home Mom Group
Are you considering becoming a stay-at-home mom, on maternity leave and considering leaving the workplace, or a new(ish) SAHM?
Join us for our next Transition to stay-at-home mom group. We will discuss logistics, identity, friendships, relationships, the mental load, and so much more.