August 09, 2011

So I Had a Baby, Can I Get a Job Too?

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Domestic Goddess

Domestic Diva

Mommy on Duty

Or the boring title Stay-At-Home-Mom

Whatever you choose to describe the incredible work we do, either of those titles listed on a resume or cover letter is a sure fire way to get your application tossed into the wastebasket (or recycle bin).  So what do you do when you are a Domestic Diva seeking to re-enter the work place? 

Like many first-time parents, it was important for my partner and I to have one of us remain at home and provide full time care for our daughter during her first year of life.  The reason I was solicited to serve as the Domestic Goddess was due to my stunning post-natal figure and the fact I made a series of poor employment choices and at that time had a totally crap job.  

Things were going splendid for us and I began to re-think that whole Women’s Liberation thing, and then one day I glanced at our bank account and determined it was time to go back to work – STAT!  After all, we reside in the heart of one the of the Nation’s most expensive cities and Domestic Diva’s are only for the brilliantly rich (not moderately poor).   

Time to find a job!  No sweat, I have an MBA and years of work experience, this should be a piece of cake.  I’ll just go back to work… during the worst economy or country has known in over a generation. 


Now what to do about that year gap on my resume?  Should I just state that I have been home with my beautiful baby? NO! NO! and NO!

Here is why I learned never tell a potential employer you were home with a baby:

1) It literally translates to: You care more about your personal choices than you would our company.  

2) You will take time off from work to tend to a sick child, losing site of your bottom line.

3) If you are able to land an interview, employers may inquire about your child care and how it may affect your availability

So what should you do?

1) Volunteer:  If you are able to volunteer one evening or weekend, this could aid in explaining your work hiatus, while retaining your skills

2) Virtual Assistant:  This is the best fit for a domestic goddess, allows you to retain work experience at your own pace and keeps your resume current with employment

3) Add Mom on duty to your resume:  If you have been an at home parent for several years, consider adding those skills to your resume, i.e.: managing home budget, planning events, etc.

I hope this help all those Mommies on Duties facing the daunting task of finding employment during this economic crisis, when many employers are not considering reviewing the skills of the unemployed.

Guest blogger, Chanda is a 30-something former community organizer, turned free-lancer and part-time blogger ( I am a true east-coaster, meaning; I have lived in six states between North Carolina and Maine. Currently, I reside in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with my partner and amazing daughter.


  1. A young womanAugust 13, 2011

    This post really distresses me. A woman has a child, then nurtures that child--as she is biologically designed to do-- during a stage integral to the development of a healthy human being, and then has to lie about it?!

    This screams inequality and fear! Fear of truly owning femininity and lack of understanding that a woman can be effective at the work place, as a woman!

    More than anything what speaks to me here is the fear-- because you made the choice to take on one of the most important roles in society, the nurturing of a new member of society, you wouldn't be taken seriously. This is very, very distressing.

    As I see it, equality is the right to be whoever you are without fearing that you will be treated any different because of it. If women are scared of admitting that they have and care for children, then our society has much bigger issues than the economy.

    Lastly, a response to this statement: "1) It literally translates to: You care more about your personal choices than you would our company." A person should care more about his/her personal choices than the company. If you do not care about yourself, who will? And I think it is more than possible to serve a company dutifully and successfully while staying true to yourself. In fact, there is an argument to say that a person aware of her/his needs and boundaries will then give to the company with much more integrity and intention.

  2. A Young Woman,

    Thank you so much for your comment! I can hear your outrage and disheartened feelings, for sure! I agree, it IS outrageous that this remains the case, but non-the less, often true.

    I would love to offer you words of comfort, that not all places are like this - and that would be partly true. But in reality, a majority of large and competitive business are not family centered. I say family centered because not only do they not take into consideration of what a woman needs after the biological birth of a child, or an adoption when more women are still staying home as primary care-givers, but for fathers or partners to have a more flexible and accesible role in child care.

    Let's keep this conversation going... it is a great one! Thanks for posting.

  3. A Young WomanAugust 14, 2011

    Thank you for responding,

    You're right. Most big business and Corporate America are not "family centered" and I have no idea how that is going to change. It is safe to say that Corporate America is changing and will continue to do so (though it is unclear in what ways), because as we've just seen through the crash--they're not impervious. So, it is not an effort on which to give up hope.

    There is one thing for certain: as long as women are confused or ashamed of the time they took to raise their children, there will be no movement towards "family centeredness" and full equality for women. I believe it is the responsibility of every mother to stand firm in her value as a caregiver. By lying to a company about being the caregiver, a woman devalues what she has just done, herself, and her child.

    Of course, this is much easier said than done. It is my personal belief that women are more confused than ever because we are told we have equal rights in the work place and it appears as such. But what we really have is the same rights as if we were men, instead of rights that reflect and support what a woman is. If it was true equality, our rights would reflect a respect for who we are.

  4. Dear young woman, please don’t misunderstand me – I am proud to be a woman and mother of a beautiful daughter! I shared these tips as a mother in the process of re-entering the workforce, who has been asked by potential employers, “who will care for your daughter?” “Are you getting enough sleep at night to remain functional?” All of which are illegal and ALL have been asked by other women interviewing me for a particular position. So, one may preserve my tips as anti-mother, but as a woman seeking to provide a financial future for my child, I view them as a necessity for employment. I certainly hope that others do not experience the same level of discrimination that I have endured, but since posting this blog, I received comments similar to my experience from other mothers. I wish you the best - in unity, CC


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