Career Advice

Stay at Home Mom to Working Mom Transition: Everything You Need to Know 

We often hear lots of stories about working moms transitioning to stay-at-home moms. But what about stay-at-home moms going back to work? What does the stay at home mom to working mom transition look like?

I’m here to tell you everything you need to know when you return to work after being a stay-at-home parent. I’ll show you reasons why mothers may want to return to the workforce, how to prepare for the transition, how to craft your resume, and how to format the perfect stay-at-home mom resume

5 Reasons Why Stay-At-Home Moms Go Back to Work

Maybe you’re at a point in your life where you’re not yet sure if you want to reenter the workforce. You’re debating whether to stay a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) or be a working mother. To help you decide, here are 5 main reasons a stay at home mom goes back to work:

  • Professional growth. In another survey by FlexJobs, 45% of moms said that they prefer to be working moms because they love their jobs and are seeking professional growth or intellectually stimulating experiences. All moms are different. Not everyone is satisfied or fulfilled with staying at home all day and doing mundane tasks like bringing the kids to school, changing nappies, cooking, cleaning, etc. If this is you, it might be better to go back into the workforce. 
  • Children are less dependent. 40% of mothers staying home make their return to work when their children are less dependent. This is usually common for the older generation, around 40+ years old. Still, young moms with kids all settled in at school may also transition back to a full-time position at work. If your children are less dependent and you find you have little to do, maybe it’s time to consider looking for a job. 
  • Start a business. Going back to work doesn’t always mean becoming an employee again. 19% of stay-at-home parents say that they want to start a business. It can be something as small as selling crafts on Etsy to something big like starting a full-blown company. If you have a desire and skill to start your own business, this is a great reason to go back to work (though not in the traditional sense of “work”).
  • Loss of partner. 9% of full-time moms are usually forced to go back to work when they lose their partners, whether through separation, divorce, or death. If you’re going through the same situation, you may need to earn your own income to take care of the family’s needs. 

How to Prepare When Returning to the Workforce as a Stay-At-Home Parent

So you carefully sat down and decided that it’s best to start working again. Well, before you can begin your job search, you need to prepare for the stay at home mom to working mom transition. Here is how to prepare if you’re going back to work after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years or less/more:

  1. Have a clear goal
  2. Prepare your family for the changes
  3. Refresh your skills
  4. Start networking
  5. Update your professional social media profiles
  6. Become comfortable with technology
  7. Explore companies for working mothers
  8. Prepare for a different workplace
  9. Craft the perfect resume

1. Have a clear goal

Even after you’ve sat and talked about the decision with your partner (and both of you agreed it’s best to work again), it’s still good to have a personal conversation with yourself. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is my career goal? 
  • What type of job will work best for my situation? 
  • Where do I see myself in a few years?
  • What are my skills and passions?
  • What will I have to give up?
  • What will my responsibilities look like when I start work?
  • How can I maintain a work-life balance?  

If you’re able to set a clear goal, it will be much easier to determine the type of job that will suit your lifestyle. For example, if you want to be close to home, you can avoid the job openings that are, say, an hour away. This will make your job search more direct and efficient. 

2. Prepare your family for the changes

When you transition back to work, it’s not only you that goes through changes. No, it involves your whole family. The kids might not be able to easily access you when you’re busy at the job. You might not be able to drop and pick them up from school. You might not have the energy to plan family outings and picnics. 

As early as now, you can start preparing for these changes. The most important thing is to talk about it openly to your partner and children. Let them know about the changes once you start work. From there, you can slowly transition everyone to a new schedule. 

Maybe have the kids take the school bus instead of being dropped/picked up. You can let them and your partner start to help with household chores. If your child is still young, you can already hire childcare or get them used to daycare. If you do this, the anxiety about going back to work after being a stay-at-home mom won’t be so great. 

3. Refresh your skills

Yes, being a stay-at-home mom gains a lot of transferable skills and soft skills that are useful in the workplace. You can boast time management, communication, teamwork, leadership, and budgeting skills. However, it’s wise to refresh your technical skills, too. 

One reason why people away from the workforce for a long time have a hard time landing a job is because hiring managers think they are out of the loop. But if you can prove that you refreshed your skills, through refresher courses or certificates, then you’ll be able to grab attention. If you’re starting a new career, then gain the skills necessary to excel in that field. 

Let’s say, for example, that you want to become a graphic designer. If you want to refresh your skills, it’s a good idea to set aside a few months to relearn the different software for graphic design and whatnot. You may even need to take some coursework (online will do). 

4. Start networking

Quick fact: Around 30% to 50% of new hires come from referrals. Not only that, but 31% of job seekers find job listings through their networks. Since that’s the case, it’s super crucial to network and build connections

To do this, you can reconnect with your old employer or coworkers. You can also join industry events and meet new people. You can find job openings and do informational interviews. If you’re busy with household chores, you can even go online and start networking through social media platforms like LinkedIn. 

Read More: 15 Tips on How To Network With Senior Executives Without Anxiety

5. Update your professional social media profiles

When you plan to return to the workplace, it shouldn’t just be you reaching out to companies for work. No, you want recruiters to reach out to YOU. And the best way to do that is to update your professional social media profiles. 

If you don’t have LinkedIn, create one. Spruce up your profile picture, bio, and posts. If you’re looking for work in the creative sector, update or create your portfolio. Another great way to be “seen” is to join Facebook groups related to your field. You can learn more about the industry and engage in conversations there. 

6. Become comfortable with technology

Did you know that 92% of jobs today require some sort of digital skill? That’s almost ALL the jobs in the world! If you want to stay in the loop, it’s best to become comfortable with technology. More specifically, the technology that is most likely needed for your industry. 

This preparation is especially crucial for the older generation. You need to prove to potential employers that, despite your age, you have the know-how about technology and the necessary digital skills required for the specific job opening. 

7. Explore companies for working mothers

Most working mothers have special needs. Whoever said, “Find a company that works with you, not against you.” was right, especially for those who take care of children. If you’re looking for a company that is sympathetic to your needs, here are 5 types of companies you can consider:

  • Company for women. Sadly, there are a lot of companies that discriminate against women in the workplace. Even more so if that woman is also a mom. You will waste your time trying to get a job there. This is why, instead, look for a company that promotes gender diversity.
  • Company for work-life balance. Balancing a professional career and motherhood is not going to be easy. If you want to ease the stay at home mom to working mom transition, a company that allows positive work-life balance is a great option. 
  • Company for remote work. What if you want to work but don’t want to leave the house? Then you can find a company that allows you to work from home. This will give you the best of both worlds. 
  • Company for part-time jobs. If you need to stay flexible in your work schedule, it’s a good idea to find a company that accepts part-time jobs. This way, you can give half your time to your family and the other half to work. Of course, you can also decide to do freelance work. 

8. Prepare for a different workplace

As a full-time mom, your work is your children. Wherever they are, that is your workplace. It will be different when you get a job. Your work will be wherever your office is. This can be a significant change that will make you question, “How to cope with going back to work after being a stay-at-home mom?” 

One great way to cope is to prepare for it as early as now. Find ways to adapt to the pace of office work. You can do that by regularly checking your email, putting your phone away, and starting to do some office etiquette. Once you’re a bit used to that, it won’t be so hard to make the transition. 

9. Craft the perfect resume

When transitioning from a stay-at-home mom to a working mom, you’ll have an employment gap that you need to deal with. How do you stand out in a competitive job market with that? Well, you can craft the perfect stay-at-home mom resume…

Read More: Stay at Home Mom to Working Mom Transition: Everything You Need to Know 

Resume Tips for Stay-At-Home Moms

To land your dream job, you must take time to create a resume that will stand out despite the employment gap. Here are some tips that you can follow:

  • Use a functional resume. A functional resume is great for stay-at-home parents because it focuses on skills rather than work experience. For this, you simply list down your skills before moving on to work experience or education. 
  • Make it look professional. One of the first things that recruiters notice is the format. If you want to grab their attention, you should use a professional format. That means picking a common font style and size, having plenty of white space, adding 1-inch margins on the sides, and bolding important headers.  
  • Address the employment gap. Under your work experience, you can simply make your job title ‘stay-at-home mom or dad’. If you want, you can get creative and write down ‘family manager’, ‘caregiver’, and ‘household CEO,’ to name a few job titles. Under the title, list down in bullet points your responsibilities and achievements during your time at home. It’s also good to highlight any volunteer work or freelance work that you did. 
  • Boast your experience and knowledge. Let’s say you’re going back to the industry that you worked for before becoming a parent. If so, you no doubt have some history, experience, and knowledge about the job. Include that in your resume. 
  • Include your education. If you went back to school or took a refresher course, now is the time to mention that. You can also include any associate degree or master’s degree that you acquired while in college. 
  • Add any additional relevant information. If you have a certain award or skill that the job description mentions, you should definitely include that in your resume. Suppose you won an award or received an honor that will benefit the job offer. Or maybe you can speak several languages. Whatever the case, adding additional information that’s relevant will boost your chances of landing a job. 

Stay-At-Home Mom Resume Template 

Here is a stay-at-home mom resume template that you can follow.

[First Name] [Last Name]

[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City], [State]

[Relevant links]

[2 to 3 sentences about your relevant skills, previous work experience, education, and career goals.]


  • Add your achievements with said skill


  • Add your achievements with said skill

[Job Title] [Month/Year – Present]

  • Add your responsibilities and accomplishments
  • Add your responsibilities and accomplishments
  • Add your responsibilities and accomplishments

[Job Title] [Month/Year – Month/Year]

  • Add your responsibilities and accomplishments

[Diploma or Degree], [Name of Institution], [Date, if Applicable]

[Additional Information]

Read More: How to Write a Stay at Home Mom Cover Letter (With Samples)

Final Words

If you follow all my preparation and resume tips, you’ll be more than ready for the stay at home mom to working mom transition. It won’t be a sudden change that will blow the air out of your lungs. Instead, it will be a slow transition that will make it easier for you and the family. Best of luck!

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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