But first I want to tell you a story. My aunt was a journalist for a well-known news outlet in New York until she had a baby and decided to stay at home. Then a couple years later, she had another baby boy. Then a couple years later, a third baby boy.
When all three were in school, she decided that she wanted to go back to work on a part-time basis. Even though she had been a journalist in NY, she hadn’t done anything ‘resume-able’ for years. She ended up working at Starbucks because she said that she had been cleaning up messes for years and didn’t feel suited for anything much bigger right out of the gate. That last comment always made me sad. (Just so you know–I am NOT knocking working at Starbucks. I love the place.) But it made me sad that with a degree and professional experience, she felt like she had been “out of the game” too long to be competitive for a bigger position.
Even though I absolutely want to be a stay at home mom, I definitely need something that furthers my professional goals each year. So a couple years ago, it made sense to me to start writing. I applied to write for the online magazine, Blissfully Domestic. Each month, I submitted one little article about any health topic of my choosing. Did I make a lot of money doing this? Ha! I did not, but that wasn’t my primary motivation in doing this. My hope was to begin planting seeds that would grow while I had young children in the house.
This way, I would have evidence that I did something besides clean up after messes. My blog is part of it, too. It’s evidence that I did something that was separate from my family life.
When I applied for the freelancing positions in October, it was AWESOME to be able to show off writing samples. They people could see examples of my work and instantly get a sense of my personality and abilities.
Now I know writing isn’t everyone’s passion, but I am sure there is something that you can do to continue to plant seeds for yourself. If you volunteer in your church, received a fitness certification, helped with the Junior League–these are things that you should keep track of for the future. You just never know when you might need to show it off.
What kinds of things have you been up to even while you were parenting? I’d love to hear your stories and ideas…
© 2011, Amy. All rights reserved.