New Year, New You :: From SAHM to Working Mom

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My father passed away a week after I learned I would be a mother for the first time. I returned from bereavement to new responsibilities at work, including the dubious honor of learning my coworker’s over half a decade’s worth of experience within less than two months, so that I could turn around and train his replacement.

For three months, I was coming home late almost every evening and simultaneously working within two different parts of my department, even with the new employee. After talking it over with my husband, I decided to put in my notice and prepare for a new life as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM).

About a month after I quit my full-time job, I did find a part-time work-from-home job scoring standardized tests, where I wouldn’t have to go into an office, talk on the phone, or do Zoom meetings. It was (and still is) the perfect job for a mom who has children playing at her feet or snacking at the same table as her laptop.

Fast forward six years and my son is now in kindergarten, my daughter is almost old enough to start pre-k, and I am ready to expand more outside of the role of mother and contribute more financially to my household. 

Transitioning from a SAHM to Full Time Working Mom

Getting Started

Before you start sweating about having a major employment gap on your resume, you may have been preparing yourself for reentering the job market without even knowing it. Parts of your daily and weekly routines can be added to your resume as transferable skills. If you’ve done volunteer work at your child’s school or other community organizations, you’ve cultivated working relationships that can serve as recommendations on job applications. If it all still feels overwhelming, my husband and I both have found Richland Library to be a great career development aid.

Richland Library’s Business, Careers, and Research Center has career coaches that can get you from start to finish on your job hunt. I’ve attended a few of their workshops over the years, including one for creating a career vision board. Their workshops at the beginning of the new year typically focus on finding new careers so keep your calendar open throughout January and February. 

Consider Transitioning to Being a Work-At-Home Mom

My original plan was to return to full-time work when my son started preschool. I had even started a budding career as a freelance writer for Human Resource Tech firms, both as a ghostwriter and with a byline to help brush up on my industry knowledge and stay current. Right before my son turned two, we learned I was expecting his baby sister, and two years later, my mother came to live under my care. Working from home ultimately became my end goal.

There’s an amount of flexibility that working from home affords, which varies depending on the job. Working full-time for a company with benefits may mirror office work with the exception of being present for home repairs, deliveries, tutoring sessions, sick little ones, etc. Some jobs offer flexible scheduling and leave you to yourself as long as the work gets done. Freelancing or working for yourself is probably the most flexible work-from-home option but can potentially be the least stable.

Here are some of the resources I used to find Work-From-Home jobs and freelance opportunities:

  • RatRaceRebellion.com: Whenever someone asks me how I got into remote work, I always sing the praises of RatRaceRebellion.com. It posts work-from-jobs, gigs, and ways to make extra money daily which they vet for scams before posting them for its subscribers. It’s free to search.
  • Upwork: Upwork is a freelance job search site. When I started freelance writing, I used a lot of the resources they offered to help me market my skills to clients for which I landed steady work and reliable clients. It is free to use, but they do take a percentage of your commissions. I say it’s rather beginner friendly, and they offer perks as you grow professionally on their site.
  • Real Ways To Earn and Money Making Mommy both post online jobs, but I find their informational articles to be more helpful on how and where to search for work.

With the new year comes the opportunity for change. Going from being a stay-at-home mom to working can be both daunting and exciting. Whether you choose to work out of the home or from home, you got what it takes.

Are you making the transition from SAHM to working mom? Share your experience in the comments below!

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Shacoya is a devoted wife, mother of an Âûsome son (‘16) and vivacious daughter (‘19), and caretaker of her loving mother. Columbia became her home after surviving sunburn and mosquito bites to meet and fall in love with her husband while they were working at the Riverbanks Zoo gift shop. Her love of writing began when she won the Young Author’s Award in the fourth grade and culminated in her writing a 50,000+ word novel in 30 days for the annual National Novel Writing Month challenge, NaNoWriMo, in 2019. Along with writing, Shacoya also enjoys the art of fake 'n bakin’ (making premade ingredients taste like homemade), developing the skill of actually using the pins on her Pinterest boards, fangirling Richland Library, window shopping on Etsy, and learning about ways to be a better human being.

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