Balancing raising children with managing household finances requires making good decisions. If you’ve recently had a child and are now thinking of re-entering the workforce, we’ll give you some things to consider and share our list of the 10 best jobs for moms returning to work. We’ll also discuss questions and feelings that go along with making that decision. It’s unquestionably one of the tougher things facing women today, but it’s something you must come to terms with and we’re here to provide you with some helpful information.
Deciding When to Return to Work
Research shows that many mothers return to work long before their child turns 5. Much of the reasoning was determined to be higher levels of anxiety for unemployed moms compared to those who work. They worried about money, tended to feel more alone, and thought that the workplace had no place for them. This is a contributing factor to more women returning to work sooner after they’ve given birth.
The decision is a personal one, but one that demands thought. Whether you’ve been on the sidelines for a few years, or you’re a new mom looking to get back to work quickly, there are jobs available for just about any situation. We’ll get to our best jobs for moms returning to work shortly, but first, let’s cover a possible emotional hurdle.
Dealing with Guilt
First, realize that you are not the first woman confronted with this decision. As we’ve already stated, a good majority of mothers earn a paycheck and they all had to deal with the feelings of guilt associated with leaving their children in someone else’s care. There are a couple of things you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable with your decision to return to work.
Seek the Best Childcare
Finding qualified, trustworthy, and affordable care for your child(ren) should be priority one. Turn to friends, family, churches and other trusted sources for referrals for daycares or private caregivers. If it’s a daycare, be sure to check with the proper licensing agencies to learn about the history of the center(s) you’re considering. The National Association for Family Child Care is a good source for information about private care. Do your research, visit the center or person more than once, and choose the one you and your child are most comfortable with.
Decide How Much You’ll Work
An important decision will be how many hours per week you will work. There’s a big difference between a 15-hour per week part-time job and a stress-inducing full-time career. It’s usually best to take it slow, even if you plan to work full-time. Start with an hourly part-time job if your finances allow and then work your way up to a full career if that’s your desire.
Working From Home
Every mom’s dream is to work from home while they care for their child(ren) and these are some of the best jobs for moms returning to work. If you do have the opportunity to work from home, it may feel like your tough decisions are already made. You’ll work and watch the kid(s), no problem. However, work-from-home jobs often require a dedicated space where your concentration will not be disrupted. Having a young child or two running around probably won’t qualify. So childcare will still likely be an issue though there will certainly be advantages to being in the same building with your child(ren).
Getting Prepared for Working Mother Life
Once you’ve decided to re-enter the workforce and begin looking for the best jobs for moms returning to work, make sure you’re prepared for a successful employment search. Whether you’re re-entering the professional world where resumes and pedigrees are required or are just looking for a part-time job at the local grocery store, you’ll want to be successful in finding a job you like.
Landing a Job
Here are some tips for getting one of the best jobs for moms returning to work:
- Do some soul-searching and some research
- Know what you want to do and then learn as much as you can about it ahead of time
- Send resumes and/or applications to multiple employers
- Don’t be afraid to contact family and friends about possible employment
- Update your resume and hone your interview skills
- Be persistent, follow up on all interviews and applications
- Know before accepting a position how you will find balance in your new role as a working mother so you and your family are happy
Advantages of Being a Working Mother
Other than the obvious increase in your household income, there are other, less obvious, benefits to returning to work:
- Opportunities to socialize with other adults
- Create your own identity aside from being Mom
- Learn and develop some new skills
- Appreciate time with your family even more
Our 10 Best Jobs for Moms Returning to Work
It’s time to look at some specific opportunities we feel are tailor-made for mothers who are looking to rejoin the workforce. Obviously your prior education and experience will affect your opportunities. We chose to focus mostly on jobs available to women of any ability and education level.
- Library Assistant
- Sales Clerk
- Personal Care Aide
- Call Handler or Telemarketer
- Part-Time Office Assistant
- Work from Home as a Freelancer
- Join an Apprenticeship
- Hospitality Worker
- Childcare Worker
This position helps to shelve, organize, and issue books and other materials from local libraries. It’s a varied position that often has responsibilities such as helping to organize kid’s clubs, story times, and other events for children and adults. The responsibilities of this job provide a bit of physical exercise and interacting with library patrons creates a great social outlet. If you love to read, this is one of the best jobs for moms returning to work.
This is usually a part-time position with the average pay of between $12 and $20 per hour, depending on the size of the library and your duties.
This is a job that allows you to socialize in a relatively stress-free environment. You don’t need an impressive resume or a lot of experience to get this job and it often provides benefits ranging from health insurance and profit-sharing to store discounts.
This position usually pays anywhere from minimum wage up to $18 per hour, depending on the employer and job responsibilities.
Personal Care Aide
In this fast-growing job, you’ll visit clients in their homes and spend some time helping with their personal care and household upkeep. Since your clients will require support at all hours, schedule flexibility will probably be required, which can be good or bad. You’ll be working for an individual, so you can communicate your needs and negotiate your salary up front. Also, some states require a license to perform this job, so check with your state’s appropriate agency for details.
These positions have an average pay range of $11 to $15 per hour.
Call Handler or Telemarketer
This is an entry-level position that is usually fairly easy to find. Patience and good negotiation skills are needed to thrive in this position—traits many moms possess. One great thing about this position is there are work-from-home and even freelance opportunities available.
The pay for these positions varies within a range of $11 to $19 per hour and can be commission-based.
Part-Time Office Assistant
Office jobs can be a great choice for moms because they often allow you to work during school hours. Most offices employ part-time office assistants because it gives them more staffing flexibility. Prior office experience, such as data entry and filing, is often required. Though that’s not always the case, the more skills you have in these areas the more likely it is that you’ll get a job.
Depending on job responsibilities and experience, this job pays between $14 and $24 per hour.
Many women turn up their nose at the thought of this job, but it’s actually one of the most plentiful and common part-time jobs available. Businesses need cleaners at all hours so schedule flexibility is built-in. It’s a physical job allowing you to be active and tends to be a little less social than some of our other best jobs for moms returning to work, which might suit some people better than others. There are opportunities for private work or with a cleaning company.
The pay scale for this job is in the range of $11 to $17 per hour.
Work from Home as a Freelancer
Most work-from-home jobs for moms are freelance opportunities rather than employee work. There can be less job security, but it is a more sustainable type of employment for moms because it fits into your lifestyle. Writing, proofreading, transcription work, and tutoring are all freelance opportunities among the best jobs for moms returning to work.
Because of the nature of freelancing, the pay ranges significantly depending on the type of work you do. A beginning freelance writer might make minimum wage while someone with specialized training might make $25 per hour or more.
Join an Apprenticeship
This can be great for mothers with sizeable gaps in their resume. If you’re looking to find a full-time career that pays well, an apprenticeship could be a good place to start. The Women’s Bureau has a portal called Women Build, Protect and Move America. It enables women to explore a career in transportation, construction or protective services. These are employment areas where women are under-represented, so there are many apprenticeships available all over the country.
Most apprenticeships are full-time as opposed to part-time opportunities, and the starting pay is quite low. It’s something to consider for those looking for a long-term career.
The long-term earning potential can be quite high, but the apprenticeship itself usually will start below $15 per hour.
This is a popular option for working mothers because of the schedule flexibility it offers. Whether waiting tables, tending bar, or working at the front desk of a hotel, this tends to be a very social job with plenty of interaction with patrons and travelers. There are many positions available, from entry-level to trained professionals.
This is another field where pay varies greatly depending on where and what kind of work you do. A waitress at a small restaurant might make $12 to $14 per hour whereas a bartender at an upscale club might make over $20 per hour.
As a mother, this is the one job where you won’t have to worry about not having experience. It’s also likely that you’ll be comfortable with and good at this job. It’s a great option for those feeling less confident about returning to work. There is always a need for daycare workers, nannies, and teaching assistants so the opportunities will be there.
This job is at the lower end compared to most of the jobs on our best jobs for moms returning to work list. It pays between $12 and $16 per hour.
We know it’s a big decision in a woman’s life. Whether to return to work and where to look when you decide to get a job can be stressful. Just remember that you are not alone. Most of today’s mothers work and they all went through similar emotions. We’ve tried to provide you the information you need to make informed decisions and, with our list of best jobs for moms returning to work, we’ve given you some specific employment opportunities to consider. Armed with this information, we’re confident you’ll choose the employment path that’s right for you and your family.