Top 10 Things to Expect When Returning to the Workforce

Considering a return to work after being home?

Will 2017 be the year you go back?  Are you secretly (or not so secretly) flipping out?

In January 2015 my husband and I started just “talking” about a few scenarios that included me going back to work in some form or fashion. To say that I was scared to make a change was an understatement. Looking back, I was terrified.

While staying at home afforded me the opportunity to be present for each and every moment of my beautiful ginger babies’ lives, it did not afford our family the opportunity to make other types of memories and effectively plan for our future. I also had to be honest with myself and admit that there was a part of me that was missing. My career was such a huge part of my identity pre-children and to let it go completely seemed like a waste, so when the right opportunity came around, we decided to go for it.

Fast forward two years later and I find myself working between 20-30 hours a week at a marketing firm in Plano. And while of course I have my “moments,” going back to work has been a great decision for our family.

So in the interest of love and sharing, mommas, here it is – Letterman style:

The top 10 things you should expect if you return to work after staying at home…

10. You will need a technology refresher. If you have been out of working world for 3+ years, technology has changed. When I returned in 2015, it took me at least a week to figure out Outlook – despite the fact that I had 10+ years experience with the program before.

9. You will be married to your calendar. Embrace your smartphone calendar and consider whatever apps or technology you need to keep things straight and help you stay connected. My apple watch is my go-to accessory.  I will never miss a call from the school and I can view my calendar on my wrist!

8. You will spend more money on day-to-day expenses. Despite the additional funds coming in, still consider a budget. Working outside the home does come with it’s own costs. Lunches, tolls, random shopping errands, mindless amazon purchases, picking up dinner twice a week will, ahem, add up.

7. You will buy new clothes. Unless you’re fortunate to have a uniform or scrubs, momma – you’re going to need some new clothes. Styles change and if you work with a bunch of 20-somethings, you may already have “mom” tattooed to your forehead.  A  little effort in the wardrobe department will make you feel less like an outcast.

6. Social media may make you feel left out. If you were a mommy social butterfly before going back to work, you may feel weird looking at pictures of your friends working out and at play dates on social media. Take it from me, do yourself a favor and stay off social for a few weeks while you get adjusted to your new reality. And when you jump back in, settle on the fact that yes, your lifestyle has changed and try to find ways to stay connected. 

5. Your family doesn’t expect anything to change. They may be super supportive, however in my experience, old habits die hard. I planned, purchased, prepared and cleaned up after all meals when I stayed home full time. Once I went back to work, my DH still expected hot meals every night of the week. Not. Happening.  

4. You may need to check your ego at the door. Depending on how long you have been out of the workforce, or what type of job you accepted, your boss may be 5 years your junior and you could be sitting with people the same age of your first intern. The reality is that while you’ve been building a family, these guys have been building their career.  So take a deep breath and remember your sweet little ones were worth it.

3. You will pay through the nose for childcare.  It’s your kids, so childcare should be a big priority. Costs for a full time, or even a full day, part time school can be costly. The difference between a 9-2 preschool and a full time school can be staggering so definitely do your homework and find the right option for your family. The good news? Once your child is old enough to go to public school, after school programs are much more affordable and available.

2. You will have more time to do kid-free things. Unless your work is super duper demanding, you will have, dare I say it? FREE TIME. It’s called a lunch hour and sometimes, it’s my favorite hour of the day. I can run errands, get my hair cut, or catch up with a friend. We can have big girl conversations. It’s awesome. 

1. You may love it. And that is a A-OK momma! Finding your joy and getting back in the saddle may be just what the doctor ordered.

Would love to hear your “back to work” stories!  Please comment here! 

Jessica lives in McKinney with her husband of 14 ½ years, Dan and their two little ginger babies, Caroline (5) and Abigail (3). A native of Collin County, Jessica grew up in the small town of Farmersville and went to college at the University of Texas at Dallas. After spending 10 years in the advertising industry, she decided to stay at home with her then 1 year old and learn the ropes of crockpots and coupons. After a few years and one more baby, she decided to re-enter the workforce and balance a career in shopper marketing and a career in carpool. Since becoming a parent, her fave past-times include solo trips to Target and Whole Foods, Saturday morning breakfast with her family and finding time to connect to her small town roots. Jessica enjoys blogging about the adventures of raising two strong-willed girls at <a href "http://theluckettlife.blogspot.com/" The Luckett Life .