After Being a SAHM :: When to Return to Work or School


Most everyone has short-term and long-term plans for life, career, and family. I had every intention of going back to work this fall when my youngest started Kindergarten. The pandemic has made me question many things and when to go back to work is one of them. There is no shortage of jobs at the moment but do I deserve another year off? Not all plans work out the way you planned originally, so it’s time to adjust.

Let’s face it, the pandemic was hard. We all had to be strong for our children. I especially feel that SAHM moms before and those that became one during the pandemic deserve a vacation. We were expected to just go with the flow and we had no breaks at all. Many of us never left the house even when our spouse still went to work. We would simply have them grab items we needed on their way home. We increased how many meals we cooked at home, dirty dishes that had to be washed, loads of laundry, and cleaning. Am I the only one who had some work done on the interior and still contemplating more? Let me offer you some advice.

Instead of saying “I don’t know how you do it” please offer a SAHM some help. Compassion goes a long way.

I am tired. We are tired. We are planning a vacation so we can all get away and unplug. I am planning a mom vacation though as well where I can enjoy peace, quiet, and meditation. We all need to focus on self-care during this time which many of us have neglected for years. We can only care for those that depend on us once we have cared for ourselves.

My boys have become accustomed to having me available to them 24/7/365 so I plan to take another school year off before going back to work. They are used to being car riders and having mommy immediately pick them up if they aren’t feeling well. Next summer, though they will have to get accustomed to going to camp instead of being home all summer. My boys are my number one priority and my career can wait another year.

After I received my bachelor’s, I thought I had done all I needed to education-wise to succeed in my field. I mean I got that expensive piece of paper right that everyone kept telling me I needed? I never dreamed I would go back for my master’s years later especially as a full-time working mom. I got my acceptance letter the same month I found out we were expecting our second child.

Talk about being an anxious mommy.

I am here to tell you if I can work full time, be pregnant twice, pumping for at least ten months after each birth, and having a toddler(s) then anyone can do it. I am not here to tell you that it was easy because it was not. I vividly remember having a project due one night. My husband had left for his third-shift job at the time, I had put our oldest to bed, and then our dog started having a seizure. I felt torn between being a dog mom and getting my project submitted before the midnight deadline as it was already 11 o’clock. We all face adversities in different forms and moms really have to overcome so many.

We become the catch-all person wearing so many hats: protector, comforter, scholar, nurturer…

I was lucky enough to have an employer at the time who supported my return to school by paying half of my tuition. I am not sure I would have financially been able to swing tuition and books without this assistance. I am proud to say I graduated college and grad school without any debt! I can also say having two children seventeen months apart was tough, but I only took off one semester.

We are always waiting for the right time in our lives for something. 

Many say they aren’t financially stable to have children but I can tell you that you will never be. Make the leap and go back to school. You will not regret this decision. Your education is priceless. I am ever thankful to have a graduate degree on my resume as I contemplate returning to the workforce after being a SAHM for over two years.


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