Returning to Work Mom: Why Have you Been Unemployed for so Long

child, girl, young

Being a mother is a beautiful period of life. You take care of a small human and prepare the person for adult life. It’s an especially hard mission for single women. 

Remember: you don’t have to blame yourself for stress, fatigue, and lack of other life spheres, as well as worry about employment gaps. No matter what people say, It’s not your fault. Still, facing financial issues, young parents should find a way to restore stability for them and their baby. 

You still may turn up to a $2500 personal loan or ask someone for help. But finding a new job would be a perfect solution, that brings stability and calmness. See how to combine your social status with employment and avoid stress. 

Don’t Worry – You’re Not Alone 

The problem is widespread in the US – it’s difficult for women to return to their normal lifestyle after maternity leave. 

Official numbers show the unemployment rate for different classes of the population. It appears that single mothers and fathers are less likely to be employed. 

Unemployment Rate for Different Classes of Parents

Married mothers 6.1% 
Mothers with other marital statuses 10.4% 
Married fathers 4.8%
Fathers with other marital statuses 10.6%

Why? There are several reasons:

  • Employers realize all difficulties of single parents. They are usually less productive, can or afford full-time jobs, and ask for time-off more often. Again, it’s not a fault of a parent, just the realities we live in. 
  • Mothers and fathers of small babies cannot afford even a part-time job. Being single, you bear the whole responsibility for a child and spend most of your time with him/her. 

The situation got even worse during the pandemic when all schools and kindergartens were closed. Staying home with their children, some mothers had to leave their jobs or became much less productive. 

What Jobs Will Suite 

If there is no opportunity to hire a babysitter, or it’s too early for kindergarten, think of tasks you can do at home. In case you can ask close people for help, find a part-time job – this way, you’ll be able to spend most of your time with a child, and do for a living at the same time. 

Online Professions

Remote work gives us excellent opportunities – more and more companies are switching to an online format and looking for remote employees. Maybe, your skills are already enough:

  • Tutor

Online tutors were super popular during the lockdown to help teenagers cope with a new format of learning. Revise your skills and think if they suit you. Along with school subjects, you may offer other programs: foreign languages, introduction to a new profession, even hobbies like guitar and Photoshop can be useful.

  • See whether your profession can be switched to an online format

Managers, economists, almost all people who work with papers or communication switched to remote format. Look for companies with such options, explain your situation and opportunities – some employers agree to hire two part-time workers instead of one full-time.

  • Operational tasks

You don’t need special skills to keep records, process purchases at online shops, and do other paperwork. Most commonly, companies would offer you a training period to teach everything you need to know. 

In such cases, you don’t need previous skills. Just be a hard-working person with learning skills. 

  • Learn a new one

In 2020 PWC, Talent Mobility claimed

 The number of remote employees will increase by 50% in 2021 (probably even more as the data has not yet been updated post-Covid-19)

Moreover, now we have official data from Upwork that 36.2 million Americans (22% of the workforce) will be working remotely by 2025.

There are plenty of online jobs you haven’t even heard about. They are easy to learn and practice from home. You can even regulate the workload and difficulty of the tasks.

Some other online jobs to try:

  • social media marketer
  • copywriter
  • web designer
  • content manager
  • project manager
  • Sales manager
  • Survey taker
  • Tech support operator

Part-Time Jobs

If you prefer offline employment but cannot afford the full working day, discover these options:

  • Barista

Coffee shops usually hire several servants and baristas. You’ll be able to switch the working shifts with colleagues and regulate your schedule. Usually, your workload will contain 5-6 hours several days a week. 

  • Cashier

Same idea – grocery shops or supermarkets hire even students and moms on maternity leave. You Can choose comfortable hours and work without stress for your child and your usual lifestyle.  

  • Call center operator

Such workers simply cannot work a full day – it would be too hard for vocal cords. 

How to Prepare Yourself for Employment 

Finding a workplace is only a part of the issue – working with a small child is extremely hard and even dangerous for your mental health. Rebecca Henderson, Forbes contributor, shares her experience:  

While our customers have told us that their employees have been highly productive working from home, working mothers don’t seem to share that sentiment. A recent survey found that 3 in 5 working moms said they are less productive working from home during COVID-19

To avoid additional stresses, prepare in advance: 

  • Update your CV. Mention an employment gap and your demands for a new job. 
  • Think about who will take care of your child. Set the boundaries and decide how much time you can spend away from your child. Decide whether you’ll find a babysitter or ask the people for help. 
  • Learn new skills. The world is changing faster than you imagine. Learn the updates in your professions – new professional skills, services and programs, trends in self-development. 
  • Discover the market. See which workers are in demand today. Maybe, you can develop present skills or learn new ones to suit the situation. 

What Else to Try

There’s no chance for you to leave your child and restore your career? There are several options to try:

  • Ask your friends and relatives for help. They can look after the baby while you’re away
  • Rely on state support. Programs for unemployed single mothers include monthly benefits and support in further employment. 

In critical situations, try loans for single mothers – they have softer conditions than other types. 

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