AD | Collaborative post
When your kids start school deciding whether to go back to work is a difficult choice to make. Deciding to quit working when your children were born was hard enough, and now you’ve got to weigh up your options all over again. It might feel like your kids don’t need you quite so much, and you’d like some new challenges in your life, but is it the right decision? There are some very important questions you need to be asking yourself.
Is an Extra Income Really Necessary?
Your family income took a bit of a knock when you gave up work to be a stay-at-home parent. It would have been hard, but you rose to the challenge and worked through it. Now your children have reached school age there are going to be additional expenses to consider. For example, after-school activities and hobbies. Look closely at your finances and include any extra expenses. Your financial situation may dictate the decision you make.
Is Going Back to Work Going to Cost Anything?
An extra income heading for the family bank account has to be a good thing, but you have to remember that going to work is going to require some additional expenditure. You have to factor in work clothes and fuel to get to work. Are you going to need new qualifications? If you are, you may have to pay for your study, which is definitely something to think about.
Are Childcare Arrangements Going to be Needed?
If you’re planning to go back to work full time you’re going to need to look into the options for childcare, because you might not be home in time to pick them up from school. Options for after school care include a childminder, after-school club, friends or family members. As well as care after school you also need to have a plan for when they’re sick or there are school holidays. 6 weeks in the summer holidays is a long period of time so you really need to have a plan.
Does it Have to be a Full-Time Job?
Are you certain it’s a full-time career you want, or would you be happy working part-time to begin with? There are plenty of part-time jobs that are perfect for mums who need to finish in time to pick their kids up from school. Working from home and making money online are two more options.
Are You Looking for a Career Change?
Are you planning to return to your former career, or would you like to do something different? If you’d like to stay in the same area, there may be career paths that would work for you. You may want to consider a career that considers your hobbies, such as baking, or fitness. In which case you can find courses based on location, and get the right qualifications so you can make your hobby a full time career. For those based in Scotland, one option it to look into fitness courses Edinburgh and find a way to turn your passion into your day job.
Is a Flexible Work Arrangement Available?
A typical 9 to 5 job doesn’t give you the option of finishing at 3pm so you can pick your kids up from school. An increasing number of employers, however, are allowing a more flexible approach when it comes to working hours and this might work for you. Alternatives include scheduling your own hours or compressing your schedule and making your working hours more manageable. Look for jobs that offer a flexible work arrangement and don’t be afraid to ask if something can be worked out if it’s not part of the job description.
Are There Any Benefits to Staying at Home?
Have you considered that there might be some benefits to staying at home? Research shows that kids benefit when their mum stays at home. Your role as a stay-at-home mum is just as important as it was when they were at home all day.
Do You Really Want To?
One question to ask yourself is whether you really want to go back to work or you’re just bored and want something to do? Any doubts about the answer to this question and you really need to take some time answering all the other questions before you rush into making a decision. There are plenty of things you can do if providing an extra income is not an issue. Consider volunteering in your local area or helping out at the local school. Go back to school and learn something you’ve been longing to learn for years. Why not find yourself a new hobby? You never know, it could turn into a very lucrative money-making venture.
Your decision is not something to be made lightly and it’s most definitely not a decision to be made alone. There’s no right or wrong answer because it very much depends on personal circumstances.