Returning To Work After Children Post 50 Part 1

Returning to work after taking time off to raise your children.  post 50.

Part One.

I was in my late 30’s, immersed in my career and deeply passionate about my work.  The thought of starting a family of my own wasn’t something that I had ever given serious consideration to.  Of course, I knew about women with families that worked and of those who chose to stay home and I was always convinced that I could, if necessary, and if faced with having to make the decision, have my career and my family too.  However, I wasn’t married, I worked until the early hours of the morning, travelled frequently and only rarely went out on dates.  I had spent the past sixteen years trying to prove myself in what was a male dominated business.  I was the quintessential career woman. 

                                   
 
The year I turned 40 I had begun regularly dating a man and although it wasn’t planned, we discovered to our mutual joy that we were about to start a family of our own and after the fastest nine months ever, we welcomed into our lives a beautiful baby girl.  One year, two weeks later, we celebrated the birth of our second child, another baby girl.    
 
I was 41 years old when I made the decision to quit my job as a Director of a small but growing company to be a full time mother to my two children.  I knew that there was no way for me to continue in my current role and be home to raise my children as well, and I also knew that staying home to raise my girls was exactly what I wanted to do.  I had thought long and hard about my decision and I knew that having waited so long to become a mother, I just could not accept having to leave my children in someone else’s care whilst I returned to work.  I was in the fortunate position to have the support of my partner who felt as I did, that our children would benefit more from having one of their parents at home to raise them. 
 
Fast forward eleven years.  My children are finishing primary school and I had devoted every moment of those eleven years to being there for them.  From every school play, assembly, after school activity, music performance, parent consultation, fever, heartbreak, days off from school, doctor and dentist appointments, school trips, PTA meetings, sleepless nights and play dates.  Now the real challenge was about to begin as I realised that I hadn’t completely thought things through. 
 
I had made the decision to remove myself from the workforce for an extended period of time and I had utilised my 16 years of training and all of the skill sets I possessed to running my household.  From balancing budgets, to organising my family’s diverse schedule, I inspired, I gave direction, I led with positive encouragement and sometimes with strong words and I resolved a whole host of conflicts, all of which were intensely important at the time.  Now here I was.  Ready and willing to ‘go back to work’ or rather get back to paid work outside of the home and I suddenly find myself faced with a daunting and frightening reality; I had not been employed for eleven years and I was over the age of 50.  Lacking in confidence, up to date skills, knowledge, experience and ideas.  I felt unemployable.  

Published by Julie Jones