If you are a stay-at-home mom who is struggling to figure out what the next step in your life should be, you are not alone. One survey found that 22% of stay-at-home moms say they would like to work in a full-time career (Pew Research Center, 2013).
While being a stay-at-home mom can sometimes feel like an obstacle to pursuing the next stage in your life, it does not have to be. It is certainly possible to pursue a career as a counsellor, wellness counsellor, or as a life coach—to name just a few options. With the right attitude, you can overcome the challenges that many stay-at-home mothers face and even apply the skills you have to your new career.
Working-Mom Guilt Should Not Prevent You from Pursuing a Career
One issue that many stay-at-home moms who return to work contend with is working-mom guilt, which is feeling that a career will have an adverse effect on your children. This guilt stems from societal norms. For example, one survey found that 51% of the public say that children are better off when the mother stays home, compared with just 8% who said children are better off when the father stays home (Wang et al., 2013).
While these attitudes can be frustrating, they are not grounded in fact. According to one study, for example, daughters of working mothers are 1.21 times more likely to be employed when they are older, 1.29 times more likely to take on supervisory positions, and more likely to have higher annual earnings (McGinn et al., 2019). So, if you’re worried about what effect taking the next step in your life will have on your child, you can rest assured that you will be setting an excellent example for them.
Stay-at-Home Moms Have Transferrable Skills to Become a Counsellor, Life Coach, and More
Another concern many stay-at-home moms have about returning to the workforce is that their time away from work will be seen as a mark against them. However, it’s important to look at being a stay-at-home mother as a career. Indeed, one study concluded that if stay-at-home moms were actually compensated for the work they did, they would earn over $162,000 per year (Salary.com, 2018).
When you look at being a mother as a career, you begin to see how many transferrable skills you have. For example, if you want to become a wellness counsellor you already have a head start. After all, being a mother requires you to have the ability to promote wellness and growth, and encourage children through physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges.
Alternatively, if you want to become a counsellor your career could include facilitating life skills workshops and providing individual success coaching. You likely already do versions of these very tasks with your children, such as by mentoring them with their schoolwork or providing motivation for them to learn new skills, like riding a bike. While your clients, of course, will have very different needs than your children, your ability to be both supportive and encouraging can help you thrive in your new career.
Are you interested in counselling and life coach school?
Contact Rhodes Wellness College to learn more about our programs.
McGinn, K. L., Ruiz Castro, M., & Lingo, E. L. (2019). Learning from Mum: Cross-National Evidence Linking Maternal Employment and Adult Children’s Outcomes. Work, Employment and Society, 33(3), 374–400. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017018760167
Pew Research Center. (March 14, 2013). Modern Parenthood. Retrieved from: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/03/14/modern-parenthood-roles-of-moms-and-dads-converge-as-they-balance-work-and-family/
Salary.com. (May 9, 2018). Moms: We know we’re worth it. But how much is “it” really worth? Retrieved from: https://www.salary.com/articles/stay-at-home-mom/
Wang, W., Parker, K., & Taylor, P. (May 29, 2013). Breadwinner Moms. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/05/Breadwinner_moms_final.pdf