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Returning to work once your children start school is a daunting task for many parents.

If you’ve taken a break from work to raise your kids, chances are you’ve spent the last 5 or more years changing nappies, arranging playdates, singing nursery rhymes and navigating your way through the wild world of toddlerhood. And now that your job as a stay-at-home parent is done and your little ones are starting a new chapter, you’re faced with another possible life change – returning to work.

Is heading back to employment the right thing for you and your family?

The time when your children begin school is an excellent opportunity to reassess your goals and decide if returning to work is the next step for you. There are many benefits to becoming a working parent – today we investigate why going back to work may be good for both you and your family.


Extra income

If you’re a stay at home parent, chances are you’ve been surviving on one income for a while. Having the kids start school is a good opportunity to re-evaluate your finances and establish if working and earning some extra money is the right thing for your family.

Once you’ve established if you want to work, look for jobs that provide some flexibility. This may include part-time work, compressed hours to allow for school drop-offs and pick-ups, job-sharing, or working from home. Even when working casually or part-time, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can save your income and use your extra cash without dipping in to the family budget.

Is heading back to employment the right thing for you and your family?

The time when your children begin school is an excellent opportunity to reassess your goals and decide if returning to work is the next step for you. There are many benefits to becoming a working parent – today we investigate why going back to work may be good for both you and your family.


Utilise your at-home skills in the office

You’ve just spent the last few years at home honing your skills in negotiation, time management, communication and multi-tasking, and now it’s time to put those new skills into effect in a work context.

“Often when we see mums starting work after some time off, they’re keen to put their at-home skills to use,” shared PeoplePlus ParentsNext Associate Director Vincent Sorgiovanni.

“Working mums are diligent with their time management and they get work done really efficiently because they’re used to being on-the-clock at home,” Vincent said.

Additionally, mums who are returning to the workforce are encouraged to utilise skills from previous work and education – even if you haven’t used them for a while, they’re still valuable.


Give your children a role model

Kids with working mums see them working hard both at home and in the office. They see the effort put into your life by working to provide a great family life for them.

A recent study by Harvard Business School shared research across several countries including Australia that showed daughters with working mums were “more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time.” Additionally, sons with working mums were more likely to help around the house and spend more time looking after other children.

Even if they are young, kids can pick up on these cues and begin to contribute to family tasks but doing small jobs such as setting the table for dinner, packing away their toys, putting the bins out and washing the dishes.

Being a mum is a tough but rewarding job, and sending your children off into the world when they start school is a game-changer. By showing how hard you work, you’re encouraging your child to put effort in to aspects of their lives that they otherwise might not – and this is something that will pay off for both mums and kids in the long-run.

If the time is right for you to return to work, take the transition slowly and be prepared to iron out some hiccups. And remember – being a parent is the best job you can get!


Further Information

Did you know PeoplePlus is a provider of the ParentsNext program for mums and dads with children under the age of six? ParentsNext helps you plan and prepare for the next step in your work and family life.

For eligibility and more information, call us on 1300 987 096 or email to parentsnext@peopleplusaustralia.com.au and a member of our team will be in touch.

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