Have you been thinking about getting back into the workforce after kids? What’s stopping you from chasing your dreams now? Are you wondering how to go about re-entering the workforce or feeling a little overwhelmed by the thought? What is really holding you back? This is the story of how I have managed to get a full-time job and a part-time job with six children. I finally bit the bullet and I’ve never felt happier!
I guess there are only so many times you can say to yourself, ‘I’ll do it next week’, or ‘…when the children get older’, or ‘…when they are all in school’.
I got to this point where I was like, ‘No! Stop!’ Why am I always putting myself last? Why am I making myself busy with things I don’t need to do? I want to chase my dreams and goals now! We really could use the extra income and I want to work, so I’m going to do it. And ever since then it’s been: go, go, go!
I have six children. My husband and I now both work full-time and, on top of that, I’m actively chasing a career in media. I work easily forty hours a week, and sometimes it feels like I am juggling so many balls in the air.
Despite all this, can you guess what I have never, ever felt since returning to work? Regret. I was done waiting for my time to come so I bit the bullet and now I’m doing it. I’m working and being a mum, and kicking arse at both! I never regret believing in myself. And I never regret chasing my dream.
A few things that helped me take the leap back into the workforce:
- Asking for help — Sometimes that has meant asking grandparents to help with pickups or drop-offs. We asked my husband’s work if he could work different hours. We ask friends to help with afterschool activities. And it’s all been OK—so far, all our supporters have been super happy with the new arrangements!
- Prioritising — We prioritise tasks daily and weekly with room for change. Sometimes routine tasks aren’t so important and get pushed aside. For example, we have a regular cleaning schedule, but sometimes we push bathroom cleanliness right to its limit of acceptability, usually to spend more quality family time together or to meet work deadlines. And that’s OK because, in our house, family time and work always come first.
- Staying motivated — It began with a realisation that making it happen was all on me—no one else was forcing me to wait to start chasing my dreams. I knew I had to work hard but I also knew I could do it. Same goes for you: You’ve got this if you want it!
- Writing it down — When considering returning to work, I wrote down a plan of how a new job would fit into my life. The plan included everything that would be expected of me and my husband if I took the plunge and began chasing a new career. This included probable job schedules, home schedules, a realistic budget including childcare costs and how much I anticipated earning, added costs for driving into work, etc.
There was so much involved in getting my new job and making it work. But with passion, determination and some simple planning, I made it happen.
If you’re thinking about taking the leap into work after kids, start by telling the people around you—your support network—what you are planning and how they can help. Sometimes, simply sounding your intentions out in the open is enough to get the ball rolling. Stop waiting for the ‘perfect’ time to return to work or to start a new career because there might not ever be that ‘perfect’ time you imagine. But, if you want it to be, the time can be now! Make it happen!
Written by Krechelle Carter. Mum of six children, six and under; freelance writer for publications such as Kidspot and Woman’s Day; blogger; and creator of the Eight at Home community. A strong believer in following your dreams and balancing it all…most of the time! Find her at eightathome.com.au, on Instagram and Facebook.