I’m certain I have not heard ALL of the stereotypes and assumptions that are made about stay at home moms, but I certainly have heard my fair share. Does any of this sound familiar?
- SAHMs have it soooo easy all day.
- They sit on the couch watching soaps and eating ice cream.
- These women are at home because they are unskilled and not able to get jobs.
- SAHMS are anti-feminist because they are choosing not to work.
- They don’t have career goals or ambitions.
- Yoga pants and messy hair are standard attire (ok, this one may have actually been true in my case.)
The list goes on and on and I’m certain you can add to it. The point I am trying to make is that there is not ‘typical’ stay at home mom.
Some of us do prefer to stay home and focus on activities there. Others (similar to me) have a full schedule of gyms, parks, play dates, meetings, and volunteers. Other still are somewhere between or some mix of these options.
Despite assumptions people (including you) have about stay at home moms, you DO have marketable skills to promote yourself during a job search.
What about the time management skills you had to master in order to schedule appointments around nap and ‘crabby’ times?
And the fact that when you made that appointment, you were soothing an irritable child and serving snack to another.
Did you volunteer for a school or community committee?
And what about the professional magazines or journals you read in order to feel as though you were staying connected to your previous work life?
Most importantly, those stress management skills that you have perfected on your toddlers – nothing can phase you!
Does this mean you should list multi-tasking and time management on your resume? YES!
Does this mean you should say you learned this by changing diapers and talking on the phone at the same time? NO!
Even as a stay at home mom, there were still ways that you kept in touch with your career life, and even sharpened some of your skills. Your new resume will focus on these skills as opposed to your actual job timeline.
When it was time to return to work, I couldn’t write my resume in the typical style of following chronological order and listing work and volunteer experience separate.
Rather, I focused on relevant experiences and include both work and volunteer in that category. I was honest on my resume and listed the relevant positions as volunteer – this does not require lying.
This changes the reaction from ‘what did she do for 10 years’ to ‘it’s impressive that she organized this fundraiser.’ This will also serve to remind the HR staff that you did not sit at home eating ice cream and watching soaps (even if you did.)
Having the experience of being a stay at home mom makes you an even more desirable employee and it’s up to you to show your new workplace just how terrific you are.