Relieving the Guilt of Going Back to Work

Making the decision to opt back into the workforce for the first time in years isn’t an easy one, and chances are you spent a long time thinking about the pros and cons of returning to the grind after years of taking care of your family. This adjustment can be a difficult one, and Working Mother magazine explained that often, former stay-at-home parents will find themselves grappling with both guilt and apprehension. The guilt comes from feeling as though they won’t be spending as much time with their families as they used to, and the apprehension is a result of spending years away from the office and facing the prospect of entering the modern rat race.  

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to reenter the workforce, you should talk to your family about this decision and what it’ll mean for them. Explain the benefits of returning to work – your family will have less financial pressures, you may be able to take more trips and vacations together, you’ll get a chance to use your talents and follow your passions – and how these will be good for everyone. Then, you should tell your family of any plans you’ve made for how they can adjust to this change. For example, if you’re always the one who picks your children up from school, tell them what they can expect now, whether they’ll be taking the bus or if you’ve made arrangements for someone else to pick them up.  

Of course, it’s most important that your family understands that going back to work is something that’s important to you. Whether it’s because your family needs more money or because you have a desire to get your career started again, you should be open with your family about it.  

Handling job apprehension 
Once you’ve talked about your decision with your family and you’re beginning to feel any guilt about your choice fade, it’s time to get rid of those jitters associated with going back to work. One thing you may be worried about is adjusting to any new technologies that are getting used in your field. This is why you want to be sure to do your research and find out if there are any courses you can take during the weekends to help you gain a firm understanding of any new innovations in your field.  

You may also be concerned about explaining your employment gap to potential employers. Baby Center published a response from a reader who was offering advice on how to approach this issue.  

“I had a few people ask about the gap during interviews and I simply explained that I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with my child during his formative years and now that he is in older and entering school, I am excited to re-enter the workforce. I never had anyone question it or have it impact badly on me to my knowledge,” the author of the blog post explained to Baby Center.  

While some people who have returned to the workforce after being stay-at-home parents recommended to Baby Center readers that they put their time at home on their resume, others say to leave it out. It’s important for you to remember that while potential employers have every right to ask about any employment gaps in your resume, they cannot question you about whether you have children. Whether you reveal that information or keep it to yourself is entirely your choice.  


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