I have often seen that some Mums return to work after the children go to secondary school, (in England, this is when they are about 10 or 11 years old). This is when the kids are more independent and can take buses home and things so she doesnt worry as much. However, if she has had 2 or 3 kids, it means that she is starting work maybe 12, 15 or 20 years later!
The years have flown by! Imagine how different the work place must be from 15 years ago! It would be a huge career gap! A lot of the time she doesn't have the current computer skills, everything has changes so much, she doesn't feel like she is employable.
So it’s really important to feel that you do have some skills because you have learned some major life skills which are transferable to the work world and are worth a great deal! I just want to point out that parenthood brings a lot of skills; you've learnt a lot over the years believe me! For example:
When you are trying to get all the kids and the husband out of the door on time! You have to round them all up and get them out. It’s like herding cats! They just go in different directions, and then they have lost a shoe and oh my gosh! And now they have to have a drink. It’s impossible!
So your organisation skills and the leadership skills to actually even leave the house sometimes is just monumental! So don't think you haven't learnt anything in this time, because you have!
Planning and Time keeping
We have learnt Time Keeping, as well, its something we have learnt because you have to start planning quite far ahead if you want to get somewhere on time. (I haven't mastered it yet but I'll get there! I used to be late before I had kids, now Im REALLY Late!) You have to think “if I want to be there at that time, then the kids have to eat at this time” and it just all knocks on, its a domino effect. If one thing doesn't go right it all starts getting late!
One big one would be the negotiation skills that we have learnt over the years! They just negotiate all day and at the moment all night! Its currently 10 O’clock at night and I think my son is still up (he is 7), so he will be negotiating pretty hard in a minute again I expect! So if we ever want to get our way as well, we have to learn to negotiate back. Yes I a perfect world they should just do as they are told, but I sort of encourage it a bit, I think it’s a good skill for them to have when they grow up and it sharpens my axe too!
How hard do we often have to sell an idea to our kids? When they want to do one thing and you need them to do another? When you have to bring in every ounce of persuasion, thinking from their point of view and getting them to do something you want with out them realising, this is sales!! The subtle art of getting your idea to become their idea on a daily basis has earned you a high paying skill!
So I think another big thing I think we have as a skill is patience! A lot of it! Or not sometimes, but we do try! Its something we need to keep in mind! Taking that step back and a deep breath is useful for all walks in life!
Finance and Budgeting
Another thing is also budgeting! We run the household while the husband is at work. We know what we have to spend a month and its often up to us to keep it within or below that number! We've got to do the shopping and plan the meals and keep everything in lin! So a lot of the time budgeting comes into that. We are the main decision makers of the household at times, so its a big responsibility. So getting all of these qualities in one person takes a lot! It really does take a lot to be a Mum sometimes!
Social Skills and People Management
The other thing is the social skills we have when the children start at a new school, a lot of people don't think about the Mums having to make new friends as well! Then they change from nursery to school and you have to make friends with the new mums all over again!
Also there are the social skills of getting the kids to get along with each other! They do very well most of the time, but you get the silly arguments like "she's looking out of my window" and things, just getting them to get along, the mediation skills is quite important! Teaching them to get along with children in their class is a major learning curve for all concerned at times too I think!
Don’t Sit Still…Re-Skill!
If you are a Mum who has been out of work for a while, a big positive step would be to take some online courses or courses at your local college. Do some training, take a course on Digital Skills course like this one here.
You can learn all sorts on the internet. Anything! Get back up to speed before you return to work so that you're not left behind. You might even know more than some of the people at work if you get a good course!
Its a great way to build your confidence up as well. There are a lot of things you can learn out there that can get you a stronger footing in life, so its something to bear in mind!
Do you even need a job?
You could start your own Business! If y busy household, I bet you can run a business with the skills you have! You just might need a Mentor or the education to show you the best way to go about it, but it is extremely rewarding and you dont have to answer to anyone!
You've done a lot, you've been through a lot! You've got a lot of skills, believe me!