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The Resume Gap Facing Stay-At-Home Moms

When I quit my job at 29, I knew I was forfeiting some prime ladder-climbing years to stay home with my new baby. Only occasionally during that time did I seek employment. It was usually when both kids were screaming and crying while the cat hacked up a hairball on a mountain of clean laundry that I hovered over my computer, frantically searching for any form of escape. Other than the aforementioned entirely true and not-at-all enhanced incident, I was perfectly content with being a stay-at-home mom and listing myself as a “homemaker” on various credit and rewards card applications.

However, with my daughter’s kindergarten year looming in the near future, I recently began wondering if this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. True, I put in the long hours during the baby and toddler years with visions of ladies’ lunches, tennis, and mid-day Bunco keeping me going. But if I stay on this path much longer, I might miss out on a career entirely. And isn’t a career why I busted my butt in high school and college?

I already have a five-year gap in my resume. Employers may question what exactly I did during that time; however, after some analysis, I have concluded, if anything, those five years were spent doing some serious resume building as I really beefed up my qualifications in the following areas.

How I’m Filling the Resume Gap

Management

I managed an unruly and sometimes rebellious team each day. My management style alternated between offering incentives such as candy, sticker charts, and pennies to a more militant approach, which included time-outs, one-on-one evaluations, and the stank-eye. I consider it a success – my team survived from morning to night.

Leadership

It has been said true leaders empower others to help themselves. You should have seen the team I started with. They could barely communicate, much less stay focused on the task at hand. I basically had to wipe their butts for them. They now feed, dress, and bathe themselves with minimal assistance.

Bilingualism

During my tenure as a stay-at-home mom, I also learned another language. This language substitutes the phonetic English “L” with a “W,” and the English “K” with a “T.” I am so versed in this language that when I hear a native speaker exclaim, “I wuv titties!” I know he is actually referring to the cats.

Multitasking

My current position regularly requires me to multitask. In the span of one hour, I can start dinner, administer a bath, reply to a day’s worth of text messages, empty the dryer, fan out the burn smell from the kitchen, mop up the bathtub overflow with clean towels from the dryer, and post about it on Facebook along with captioned photos.

Ability to remain calm under pressure

After staying home with kids for five years, nothing fazes me anymore. Amidst a land of spilled Legos and Bristle blocks, I can watch one child roller skate naked across my freshly polished wood floors while the other screams something about chocolate syrup exploding in the kitchen. I can handle anything now with a delusional smile upon my face.

Commitment to the job

If you want commitment, then I am your girl. My workday starts at 6:30 a.m. and doesn’t end until well past 8:30 or 9 p.m. I rarely take breaks and work through lunch {and breakfast and dinner}.

Resume Gap

All joking aside, I do think I would be a better employee now than before I had kids. What overwhelmed me before probably would not be as big a deal now. I would definitely be a better teacher than I was then. My kids taught me how to see the world through a child’s eyes, which would provide invaluable insight when it comes to teaching. I also gained a parent’s perspective on education and now know how it feels to love someone with all your heart and only want the best for him or her, in the classroom or on the playground.

Even if I got a job outside of teaching, I feel better equipped to handle stress on the job and office drama. I do not, however, know if I am emotionally equipped enough to balance working outside the home and raising my kids, which is why I remain stuck in employment limbo.  Most of our educational lives are focused on obtaining good jobs in the workforce. But I was only part of the workforce for seven years and find myself wondering, what was the point of all that training if I don’t get back in?

Did you go back to work after having kids? If not, do you think you will?

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2 Responses to The Resume Gap Facing Stay-At-Home Moms

  1. Karen March 31, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Love your blog! Enjoyed the humor, but I’m wondering how/if you have been able to re-work your resume to reflect these acquired skills? I’m quite concerned about how to do that for myself…as well as provide a compelling “backstory” in person. Any tips?

  2. me2weaver August 18, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    I find it very hard to write a resume that someone would actually look at. I feel trapped with nothing and nowhere to go. My kids are grown and in college but I can’t seem to find a job that will support me. Only jobs I find are fast food and retail. I can’t pay for a divorce or live on my own. I would not recommend any women to give their husband total control of their life. The kids grow up and move on and you’re stuck holding the bag filled with nothing.

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