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Back to work when the kids are bigger, tips for re-entering mothers

It is often a conscious choice:to stop working after giving birth. And not just for a few months of maternity leave, but really stop working. For several years. Enough mothers (to be) would like to take on the first years of motherhood full-time, only to go back to work afterwards. Yet we see that this choice is made less and less. In addition, there are also young mothers who are confronted with the fact that their contract is not renewed during or shortly after the pregnancy. But what about if you want to go back to work when your kids go to school? What do returning mothers face? How do they arrange after-school care for their children when they are no longer at home? Just some questions we asked our readers.

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Stop working? Going back to work will be difficult for returning mothers

Less and less often, the arrival of children is a reason to stop working. Yet there are still mothers who consciously choose to stop working altogether during their pregnancy. But what if you want to go back to work after a few years? Re-entry mothers don't always have it easy these days. What do you encounter when you want to get back to work after a few years of taking care of the children at home? It often gives a mixed feeling. But that's not the only thing that can make it difficult for you. How can you increase your chances on the labor market?

As we stated above, the choice to stop working completely when a child is born is no longer made much. A poll among our readers tells us that most women choose work less when they become mothers. Mostly because stopping completely is not financially feasible. But also because women want to continue to develop. Well done! And as much as you love your baby, that development may become a bit difficult during the diaper change. Dads are also increasingly contributing. According to the CBS, half of all young fathers now have 'a daddy's day'. At least mom is working on that day. How are you doing?

Yet there are still women who, when they become mothers, choose very consciously to stop working. And why not, if you feel the need and can afford it financially? Totally fine of course. We just want to dwell on the following question. How do you re-enter the labor market when you need it again? Going back to work when the kids are a bit older, that sounds simple. Yet returning mothers regularly run into problems.

Mothers re-entering the labor market

As wonderful as it was to be able to be busy with your kids full-time, after a few years it starts to itch again. The kids go to school, and you too would like to be involved in your own development. Recognizable? Then you are also one of the mothers returning to the labor market. Mothers who have been away for a while, but want to get back to work. That is often not as easy as it sounds.

First, there is a gap in your resume to arise. This means that your knowledge about your field may no longer be up to date. You have not gained any work experience in recent years. Also your network probably isn't what it used to be if you've been out for a few years. And finally:how attractive are you in the eyes of an employer to be hired? You haven't gotten any younger as a returner, and maybe you haven't become more flexible now that you have a family. At least; for example, the labor market often views returning mothers. How can you deal with this if you want to go back to work?

Tips for getting back to work

Re-entering sounds simple, but unfortunately you can run into all kinds of things. That doesn't mean it's impossible either. But it is often difficult. Do you want to get back to work, but don't want it to go so smoothly? Then hopefully these tips for returners will help you.

What do you want and what can you do?

The first question you can ask yourself when you want to go back to work is:what do I really want? Do you want to return to your old field? Or are you going for something completely different? The advantage of your own field is of course that you already have work experience in it. On the other hand, this could be the perfect time to take a completely different path. It takes a bit of courage, but who knows, it might lead to your ultimate dream job! Not sure what you want? Then don't just keep applying endlessly. If you are looking for a job, do your research well. If necessary, take a career choice test. Also think carefully about how many hours you actually want to go back to work. Do you want to go for full-time work right away, or are you more looking for a side job? In addition, now that you also have to take care of your family, you may have a greater need to work during school hours. Think carefully about what you want and orientate yourself about the possibilities.


Whether you want to return to your old field or do something completely new:work experience is always an advantage. That is why it is wise to do volunteer work if you want to get back to work. This way you not only gain work experience, you also work on your network. Of course, volunteering is not possible in all sectors. But by choosing something that is somewhat up your alley, you show your future employer that you want to be active, want to develop yourself and are socially committed.


If you really want to go into a different direction than the field where you previously worked, there is another option. Retrain yourself. That sounds tough, and it may not always be easy to go back to study. But if you're motivated, you should succeed, right? Retraining programs often last relatively short. This means that in 3 months you can already have a diploma in your pocket. Often no prior training is required. You can also do an internship:the ideal way to re-enter the labor market. For example, at Fabius Training you can start a reintegration process in which you are able to start working as an administrative employee, telephone operator, project employee or financial employee within a few months. Plenty of choice.

And you just have to think like this… when your baby is sleeping, you can spend that time on yourself! Leave the household alone for a while.

Tip:An excellent tip from a reader. Start with a job that doesn't ask too much of you. This way you can slowly get used to the work rhythm in combination with your family and then further develop your skills if you want.

A refresher course for returners

Do you want to re-enter your own field? Then make sure that your professional knowledge and skills are up to date. There are all kinds of refresher courses for returners. This way you increase your current knowledge. In addition, with a refresher course you show future employers that you are willing to invest in yourself. And so that you take re-entry seriously.

If you also follow an internship after your refresher course, then you are one step closer to your next job! Also take a look at FNV Vrouw for all your rights and obligations, this site is full of information, useful for returning mothers.

Sell yourself

After years of taking care of your family, you are probably not used to it anymore. But if you want to go back to work, you'll have to sell yourself. Market yourself. By this we mean that you show potential new employers who you are and what you can do. Provide a professional resume. A LinkedIn profile can also help. That is, if you use LinkedIn correctly. Visit network meetings where you make it clear that you are looking for a job. Apply for jobs that really appeal to you. Don't ever think that he won't be. Because who knows, you might be invited for an interview. Is it time? Then go through our job application outfit tips again. First, success!

Start your own business

If you find it difficult to work outside the home, or if you are unable to find a job in the short term as a re-entering mother, then you can also think carefully about starting your own company. Think about where your strengths and interests lie and see if you can be of service to others as a self-employed person.

It is hard work, but the great advantage is that you can organize your time yourself. And that can also be very practical with a family.

Believe in yourself

The last but certainly not the least important tip:believe in yourself. Yes, you have been at home, taking care of the kids and now belong to the group of re-entry mothers. But that doesn't mean you're not good at your job anymore! Or in the new dream job that is waiting for you. Many women are a lot less confident when they want to go back to work than just after graduation. Do not! If raising those blasphemes has somehow succeeded, then finding work should also work, right? Reduced self-confidence ensures that things don't work out.

Work on your confidence. An employer will not be quick to hire you if he or she detects doubts or insecurity in you. And besides, it's not necessary for all that negativity that is between your ears. You've done well for years, at home with the kids. And now it's time to start working on yourself again. You should be very proud of yourself!

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