By the time I left my job in the corporate world, I had worked my way up to a leadership position at one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. Seven years in, I gave birth to my first child and within weeks of returning from maternity leave, I was traveling several days at a time and sending breast milk back to Chicago for my son.
After we had our second child, my husband and I began to discuss the possibility of me staying home with the kids. After 10 years with the company, I left my corporate job to be a full-time mom. My former employer was very understanding and left the door open if and when I wanted to return, but soon I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I had been a longtime member of a local nonprofit that works with Chicago families to provide resources for navigating parenting in the city. Exactly one year after leaving the corporate world, a part-time appointment within the nonprofit was offered to me. Two years later, I’m the Executive Director and feel more fulfilled by my career than ever before.
If you’re a career woman who is considering transitioning to a role as a stay-at-home mom, I recommend asking yourself the following questions:
What rung of the ladder are you on, and how high do you want to get?
How flexible can you and your family be in terms of spending and saving habits? Would better habits make the decision to stay or go easier?
What’s your timeline for staying home? Do you want to return to your previous line of work at a certain point?
If you want to stay at home until your kids are in school, have you considered part-time work arrangements to keep your skill-set sharp while also getting extra time at home?
If you, like me, have a flexible position that allows you to be home for your kids while also working, set some ground rules:
Set boundaries and stick to them. Determine your schedule and try not to take calls outside of your set work hours.
Accept the fact that others’ grass may always seem greener. Tend to your own and you’ll soon remember why you chose this path instead of that one.
- Remember that nothing is permanent or forever. Your kids will grow fast and the place where you may be stuck now will soon be in the rear-view mirror.