Is Being a SAHM a Career Killer?

As a mother, we all worry about something…truthfully, a lot of things. Whether it is if our children are sleeping enough or whether they are eating enough vegetables, there is always something to worry about. Being a parent, we can also sometimes lose a part of ourselves. So much time and energy goes into raising kids that there is little or none leftover.

Since deciding to become a SAHM, there is something else I sometimes (ok, frequently) worry about. Am I sabotaging my career to be a full-time caregiver to our kids? Hmmm….I wish I knew the answer to this one.

In my past life, I was a TV news producer and a pretty darn good one at that, if I must say so myself. At some point, I do plan on returning to the working world. Doing what? I really couldn’t tell you. At that point, will prospective employers look at me and wonder what the heck I did for the past “x” amount of years or will they respect the decision? Hmmm…I wonder.  I fear that many may think I just quit and took the “easy way out”. Anyone who knows anything about being a SAHM knows that is certainly not the case. Nevertheless, I still try to do as much freelance work as possible so I can keep my head in the game and avoid any huge holes in my resume.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I have to spend as much time as I do with my girls. I know there are a lot of women out there who would kill for it. I also know a lot of women who wouldn’t and that’s okay. Different strokes for different folks! But I can tell you that I love when my girls learn something that I exclusively taught them. I love the fact that I can take them to certain activities that I wouldn’t be able to do if I was working. I love that we can sleep in during the summer if we choose. The list goes on and on, but I think you get my point. There are many benefits to being a SAHM.

There are also a lot of skills us mommas use daily that can be extremely beneficial in any working environment. From incredible multi-tasker to problem solver to activity planner…we do it all. I think we are better qualified for certain jobs than some people in them right now. The problem is not all employers see it that way. Many still see us as simple homemakers who spend all day changing diapers, doing laundry, and cooking.

Do you think being a SAHM is a career killer? Were you a SAHM who went back to work? I’m curious to find out!


22 Comments Is Being a SAHM a Career Killer?

  1. Lauren

    I can totally relate! I wish I had the guts to just quit and get back into the biz later… or get back into something else… but I just can’t do it! Maybe one day… 😉

  2. Whitney

    I think keeping your foot in the door is very important if you desire to go back — or even want to do something else. I think so many women before us paved the way by sacrificing one over the other, but now, it’s so common for women to both be a (mostly) stay at home mom and continue to work on their career in some way….even if it’s saying you ran a successful blog!

  3. Dominique Goh

    I too can relate to you being in an out of work each time I took time off when my kids were born. Am currently at home taking care of all 3 since the 3rd was born as found it more feasible that way. I’m leaving it all to GOD and am making the most of the time home with the kids. Don’t worry too much.

  4. Katie

    As I was reading this I was thinking to myself I’m probably better qualified for a variety of jobs because of my experience as a SAHM and then you mentioned that 🙂 I worry about the same thing, and then my kids wake up and I don’t any more time to worry 🙂

  5. Jhanis

    Well, I wouldn’t mind it if being a SAHM kills my career because that’s all I ever want to be! 🙂 Unfortunately, life has different plans for me and my family. I am a working mom but I pray for that day to arrive, 🙂

  6. Tessa Lynn Shull

    Yes! Thank you for writing this because I’ve been struggling with this question since my husband and I decided to have kids and I decided to put my career on hold as well. I’m a writer and met my husband right as I was ready to graduate and started gaining traction with my writing. We got married, decided we wanted two kids and to have them within two years of one another. I want to stay home until our youngest is one, and because of that decision, I often wonder how harsh that resume gap will be on my career. I picture every potential employer looking at my resume and thinking, “Hmmm… three year gap? Ha, yeah right. Dismissed!” Obviously, my children come before just about anything, but as an individual before having children, my career was my passion. So, it’s slightly heartbreaking to wonder how much of toll this might have on it.

  7. Megan Elford

    It is such a hard place to be because these days business moves at such a fast pace! But at the same time, kids grow quickly too, and their childhood can’t be done over. I applaud your decision to stay home while staying current in your field — what a great way to accomplish both things!

  8. Bronwyn Joy

    Yeah, this one plagues me. I try to keep the resume current with part time work but I fear it’s not enough and I’m slowly going backwards.

    And then just this week I had to risk the job I do have by declining to be on-call after hours (I already get woken at least once a night and the kids end up in our bed!)

    It’s enough to make me look into a complete reinvention in a few years’ time – but as what? And will they take me on or will I be “too old” to start from scratch in people’s eyes?

  9. Melissande

    I’m not really sure. I didn’t have a “career” so to speak when we started having kids. I have four now and hope to have more children. For me, this is my vocation. I’ve heard a lot of different things regarding this topic though. I know for many it is difficult to get back in, but I can’t speak from experience.

  10. Herchel Scruggs

    Hi Kristina, I have the same worries. I left a career just last December to stay home with my kids. I don’t know that I will return to that career but I do know that while being home with my kids and writing “to keep my mind occupied” I have found a new passion. If you don’t go back to television, I am sure you will find something that you will excel at!

  11. Lisa

    It’s even difficult to get back into the game after having parental leave off let alone a longer period as a SAHM.

    I found even though I left on a high note, each time I returned from parental leave I had to prove myself all over again.

    I’m on extended parental leave now and actually resigned. I’m just in the process of gearing myself up mentally to re-enter the workforce.

    My big issue now is deciding whether to step into a ‘career job’ or a ‘job job’ and which would fulfil mine and my family’s needs.

    To a certain extent my blog and other things I’ve been doing while on leave have in fact bolstered my confidence enormously. Not only in terms of realising how marketable and really useful my skills are in ways I hadn’t known before but also because if I take a 9-5 I won’t go insane because I’ll have a secondary interest to keep me busy (besides the fam).

    I think without these other projects I’ve been doing I wouldn’t be able to take on a ‘job job’ – I’d need a ‘career job’.

  12. Kate

    Ugh, this is something I am worrying about right now! I am currently switching careers since the country I am living in not only do I not have the credentials to do my “career” job, but I also cannot work with students without this long complicated medical exam that honestly I am too lazy to go get on top of getting new credentials haha So, I am switching but the last three years I have been at home, luckily I have done some independent work so I have references and something to “fill those years” but it really makes me nervous sending out my CV. I am hoping though the spot where I am going to put something along the lines of Familial Executive or Personal something Assistant & listed my qualifications will pique someone’s interest enough at least for pure creativity lol that they will want to at least interview me for the type of job I am going after 😉

  13. Raman

    I can completely relate to this piece! I too have left a career that I thought that I was pretty darn good at and am worried about what will happen to that career once my daughter is grown and I want to return to work.

  14. Leslie Kendall Dye

    Oh my goodness, i relate to this! I remember being 8 months pregnant and whale-esque in my proportions and a casting director for a big TV show FINALLY CALLED me in for an audition. And I cried bitter tears. As an actor, you definitely have to put your career on virtual pause if you are a SAHM. There just isn’t any way you can go to a set for 14 hours and nurse unless you are a big movie star on a big budget set with loads of help. I am glad I have made the choice I have made, these years mean everything to me and I think will always make a huge difference in my feelings about motherhood, for the better, because this time is etched in my mind and I was lucky to have SO MUCH TIME to enjoy the little tiny kid years. And I do wonder, what will happen when i call my agent? Will they pretend they don’t know who I am after four years? 🙂 Being a woman and having a child is fraught with these complications. Fortunately, dads are at least starting to take on more of the work, so maybe we are working toward a time when these compromises don’t have to be so black and white!

  15. Adele

    I wish I had an answer to your question. I personally decided to stay out of my career (I just graduated a year ago with my bachelors in Bible, and Christian Education) I debated about being a substitute just to keep my foot in the door but I decided not to. I am a full time SAHM, and I love it! One day when all of my kiddos are in school I will go back and teach! I think it depends on what job you are wanting if being a SAHM will hurt you. I bet you will never regret the time you had with your babies even if it does set you back.


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