Full-time Work to Full-time Mom and Back to Work Again – My Story

When my first child was born in 1999, I returned to my career as if nothing had changed. I continued to excel in my career for nearly six years, through the birth of our second child, by outsourcing my Mom Job to a nanny during the week. At the time, there were just two choices available to me: to continue working full-time outside the house, or to quit working altogether. I mean, what else was there, right?

Here are a few of the lessons I have learned about returning to work after an extended absence…

“If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.” ~ Anna Quindlen (more…)

You Should Be a Lawyer!

By Cynthia Klein

mother-and-teen“Why do you have to argue about everything I ask you to do? Why can’t you just cooperate nicely for once? You make everything so difficult.”

If your child has turned into a member of the debate team, then you are experiencing their prefrontal cortex, the logical brain, at work. Your “argumentative” child is exercising and practicing their reasoning and judgment skills. So next time your child doesn’t easily comply, try to think to yourself, “The brain is developing right now. How marvelous.”

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Getting A Pro’s Help For Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Now We’re Cooking: How I Got Our Family’s Food Budget
Back on Track and Saved Myself A Lot of Aggravation

Dinners were becoming disasters in my house. After a busy day at work, I’d rush home to throw together a mishmash of entrees in a vain attempt to satisfy everyone’s demands. One daughter insisted on vegetarian food. My husband wanted low-carb fare. My picky 5-year-old wasn’t happy about anything. All too often, I’d throw in the (kitchen) towel and declare that we’d eat out that night.

Everyone was fed, but this wasn’t a good solution. I knew we were overspending on food thanks to the First Step Cash Management program, which showed me what I’d budgeted and what my actual expenses were. And I wanted us to sit down together, at our table, for a home-cooked meal.

I needed help, so I called The Savvy Life’s Melissa Tosetti. Melissa, the author of Living the Savvy Life: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Smart Spending and Rich Living, is a whiz at helping families and businesses plug financial leaks.

We spoke for an hour about my shopping patterns, cooking habits and the quirks and preferences of our family of five. Then, she helped me create a shopping and cooking plan similar to the one she details in her book. The strategy that Melissa recommended has what she calls a “keystone habit” at its core: One grocery shopping trip a week, ideally on the same day each week.

I know what to buy on that trip because she helped me select 20 meals everyone likes and that I or my husband can easily prepare. Each week, I list five meals on my calendar (one night is for leftovers and another is at a restaurant), take inventory of my pantry and then create a shopping list for the ingredients I need to prepare those entrees.

My plan dovetails nicely with a $2.99 app called Shopping List. It keeps my list on my smartphone and allows me to update as needed. It also groups like items together, so if I’m buying milk, I can easily pick up yogurt and cheese. I love the check-off feature, which gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes sure I don’t miss an important ingredient.

Grocery shopping post-Melissa takes just an hour a week, and I no longer stress about what’s for dinner. I have a plan, and I have all the ingredients I need. Most importantly, I have peace of mind. Since I’ve implemented Melissa’s ideas, we’re eating better, together, and I haven’t once busted our food budget.

Full-time Work to Full-time Mom and Back to Work Again – My Story

When my first child was born in 1999, I returned to my career as if nothing had changed. I continued to excel in my career for nearly six years, through the birth of our second child, by outsourcing my Mom Job to a nanny during the week. At the time, there were just two choices available to me: to continue working full-time outside the house, or to quit working altogether. I mean, what else was there, right?

Here are a few of the lessons I have learned about returning to work after an extended absence…

“If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.” ~ Anna Quindlen

After the birth of our second child I finally admitted to myself that my life was seriously out of alignment with my personal values and priorities. I decided to take a sabbatical year; which turned into three and included the birth of our third child. Being home every day was an amazing learning experience and transformed my approach to both work and family.

However, when I did decide to return to work, the path I chose was much bumpier than I imagined it would be. After three years out of the workforce my networks were still fairly warm but, my goal of finding a flexible role as a finance planner proved a bigger challenge than I had imagined.

Finding a support system is what helped me the most. I attended a workshop for moms returning to work, put on by Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), that helped me clarify what type of job I was looking for. Taking the class with other moms who were facing issues similar to mine was encouraging, as well as inspiring.

Being a stay-at-home Mom can change you

Before you return to work from the Mom Job, ask yourself these few questions:

  • Has working the Mom Job changed me and, if so, in what ways have I changed?
  • Am I still interested in the same business niche?
  • Is there something more creative I would like to do?
  • Doing the Mom Job feels like being self-employed. Can I work for others again?
  • How will I fit work into my full life?

By far the most common misconception about women leaving the work force to have children is the all-or-nothing choice we’ve all been taught; either work or stay home with the kids. You can’t do both. These days, that is simply not true.

Not only has technology allowed us to become more flexible in the ways we choose to work – remotely, while on the go, and in full collaboration with others – it has also helped to change the mindset of many who believed in that limiting thought pattern. Take advantage of 21st Century technology to create a flexible workspace for yourself, and use this changing mindset to your advantage.

Here are a few great support resources to help smooth the transition back into the workforce:

  • Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) – based in San Francisco, JVS offers career and job-search support throughout the Bay Area
  • Deborah’s Palm – a non-profit women’s support center in Palo Alto
  • Nova Workforce Development – is a nonprofit, federally funded employment and training agency that provides workforce development services in Sunnyvale and online
  • Women’s Initiative for Self Employment – “…provides high-potential, low-income women with the training, funding and ongoing support to start their own businesses.”

Here are a couple of helpful articles on returning to the workforce after an extended absence.

Tamarind Financial Planning is here for you, with individual financial planning strategies and personal investment management techniques to help you make the transition back into the workforce.

Teaching Kids About Money

Did you have trouble learning to handle money as an adult? Did your parents teach you about money when you were a child? What are you teaching your children about money; its value, your relationship to it; as well as how to handle it?

Parents teach their children many things, both good and bad. Behaviors and beliefs are implanted from a very young age, both consciously and unconsciously. Only by understanding your own relationship to money, can you teach your children to respect and use money for their own benefit, and the benefit of others.

A qualified finance planner can help you better understand your relationship to money, which will also help you better teach your children the value of money and how to establish a healthy relationship to money.

Clients often ask me about resources to learn about educating their kids to be responsible with money. Here are a few I think will be valuable to you – and your children:

  • Raising Financially Fit Kids,” by Joline Godfrey, offers suggestions of appropriate skills and lessons for kids organized by developmental stages.
  • The Price of Privilege,” by Madeline Levine, Ph.D., is another impactful book that looks at this subject more broadly – how we “spoil” our kids, the damage we can do, and how to raise self-reliant, resourceful, resilient children.
  • The First National Bank of Dad: The Best Way to Teach Kids About Money,” by David Owen, offers a different perspective on how our kids perceive our lessons on saving and a system that can engage kids in saving and investing as well as giving.
  • The work of Nathan Dungan at www.sharesavespend.com puts the focus on giving, to help kids learn that they can make a difference with their money; builds awareness of the media messages that children receive; and advocates a focus on giving, to counter the powerful spending messages that our kids get every day.
  • Zela Wela Kids is a blog which offers “Financial literacy products for children,” including books, CDs, and other learning materials, as well as other free resources and a blog by Nancy Phillips, offering tools to help parents teach their children about money and responsibility.

Many parents refuse to give their children money or an allowance because they fear their kids will spend on it stupid or forbidden things. The truth is that kids need experience handling money; chances to make mistakes and learn your family’s limits and values about spending and saving, before the stakes are larger and the risks are greater. Children need to learn lessons appropriate to their development.

If you need help teaching your children about the value of money, Tamarind Financial Planning is here for you, with individual financial planning strategies and personal investment management techniques to help you understand your own relationship to money; making it possible for you to share with your children.