You’ve spent the most recent part of your life doing the most amazing, difficult, rewarding job of your entire life. That sounds pretty impressive right? So why are you trying to hide it?
Why when it comes to making the move back to a career are you glossing over this, or worse, trying to cover up the gap in your (paid) employment? Being a parent is not unusual, you’re not unique in this experience, yet when it comes to applying for a job, we tend to pretend we haven’t done it, like it’s a dirty, secret part of our lives that has no place for the career woman.
This is crazy to me. Being a parent equips you with a huge amount of skills that are only going to serve you well in the work place. Not only do you have all the skills and experience you had before you went on maternity leave, but you have a whole host of new abilities that you can add to your list. Becoming a Mum has helped you, not hindered you. Yes, it’s probably changed you, you’re probably not the same person you were before having kids but is that a bad thing? I certainly don’t believe so.
I think it’s total madness that when it comes to our careers we feel the need to apologise for being a Mum. Instead of looking at everything we’ve achieved; balancing family and career, going through monumental changes in our lives and embracing those changes, taking on a totally new way of life with no experience or training, taking multi-tasking to a new level and succeeding at all this, we brush it aside and don’t mention it for fear that it will go against us in the work place.
That time you spent focused on raising a family is a HUGE ACHIEVEMENT and one that should be embraced. Think about everything you’ve learnt during this time and use it. You had a career before kids, you’ve lost none of that but you’ve gained plenty. Be proud of being a Mum and focus on how it’s shaped you into the strong, capable, knowledgeable person you’ve become. That will get you further than trying to account for career breaks and focusing on what you’ve missed while you’ve been away.