There are plenty of examples of statistics that show the effect of having kids on your career, and most of them are pretty depressing. Even a short time off work can set you back years, and being a stay at home mom is apparently the kiss of death to most women’s careers.
Having children is, of course, the most rewarding and exceptional experience for parents, but having kids doesn’t mean you have to abandon your career. If you’ve worked hard, have an abiding interest in your work, and a talent for the field you’re in, it stands to reason you’re not going to want to give all that up. If you find your fulfillment in being a homemaker, that’s great; but if you feel there’s something missing from your life even though you love being with your little ones, then that’s not good for your health and well-being.
Have the Best of Both Worlds
The answer that many women opt for is to try and care for their kids at the same time as pursuing a career – the concept of “having it all.” If you have a supportive partner, a sympathetic boss, plenty of energy, and are highly organized, you can make this work well, satisfying your need to be a good mom with the personal reward of maintaining a career you love.
If you aren’t terribly well-organized, work for an organization that doesn’t do much to support you, and don’t get a lot of help, it can be exhausting and frustrating trying to juggle career and family. If you have health problems or a child who needs special care, then you’re going to find it almost impossible to manage unless, of course, your job is so well-paid you can afford plenty of support services.
The good news is that the internet is making it easier for women to continue their careers through online training and remote working opportunities.
Online training courses can be invaluable for moms who are taking time off to be with their kids by making it possible to study for further or higher qualifications from your home. The range of courses you can take is extensive, with many being provided by some of the most prestigious teaching institutions in the world. From free or low-cost courses that allow you to consolidate your existing skills and keep yourself up to date to degree courses, there’s an option to suit most needs.
One great way to maintain the momentum of your career and not lose ground during the years you’re off when your kids are small would be to undergo an online degree that advances your skills and knowledge, preparing you for a return to work when the kids start school. Say you have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a career that’s typical of the kinds of profession moms work hard for and love to be involved with. While you’re taking a career break, you could complete an online Masters Degree in nursing, and add a specialty such as family nurse practitioner (FNP). If you’re interested in moving into nursing management, you could take an MBA with your online MSN, which is a popular choice for moms who want to work office hours rather than shifts while their kids are young.
Work From Home
As well as the opportunities to train and gain qualifications online, there is also an increasing number of remote roles you can do from home. If you want to maintain your career path, look for opportunities in your field – you’ll be surprised at how many jobs are available for people working remotely. Nurses and other health care professionals, for example, can work remotely by joining up with an online health service, where patients ring in or use video conferencing to talk to a provider. Or there are plenty of roles being an advisor or contributor to health and nursing websites and publications.
A third option is to work for yourself, either as a freelance or by setting up your own business. It might sound odd to be thinking about starting a business when you have small children, but many women have found it works well as they can pursue a career or business interest around their children. If you have a great idea, or you have a talent people would pay for, it’s at least worth exploring the possibility to see if it’s a genuinely viable idea.
To be a good parent, you need to be happy with yourself and have personal fulfillment. Finding the best way to achieve that fulfillment is the key to leading a rewarding life and being the best mom you can be.