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6 ways to keep your career alive as a stay-at-home mom

2. Maintain relationships + attend professional events in your industry.

6 ways to keep your career alive as a stay-at-home mom

Most women who become stay-at-home mothers when their children are young intend to return to their careers someday.


And most stay-at-home moms earn money and contribute to household income, even though they define themselves as SAHMs.

Wondering how to keep your career alive even if you choose to become a stay-at-home mom?

These strategies will help you be a MOMBOSS at home + work:

1. Update your LinkedIn title to ‘consultant,’ ‘freelance’ or another term that works.

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You don’t have to put “stay-at-home mom” on your LinkedIn profile if you don’t want to. Instead, think of creative ways to explain your new status—in a way that maintains your professional image. This leaves the possibility that a recruiter might find your profile and float you a perfect flexible opportunity. Score.

Try this: Focus the verbiage on your skills and the fact that you do your work on your terms: consultant, freelancer, independent contractor, project-based work are all terms that can fit.

2. Maintain relationships + attend industry events.

Women who let their professional networks drop when they have babies often have a hard time jumping back into the mix once the kids start school. Staying on top of industry trends and keeping up your relationships can make it much easier to find work and on-ramp once you’re ready.

Try this: Grab coffee with your former coworkers. Reach out with emails to former contacts and see what’s new from time to time. Attend an industry conference in the field you worked in before having a baby, or show up for an evening talk in your area of expertise. You’ll keep those connections alive—and you just might find out about flexible opportunities you can do on the side.

3. Volunteer.

There are infinite opportunities to keep your skills current. You can find volunteer gigs in your community or ones that you can do remotely. Ask for a title, such as “Head of Community Outreach,” for example, and you’ve got yourself a powerful role you can add to your resume (you don’t have to specify that it was a volunteer role).

Try this: Worked in accounting? Volunteer to review the books for a local community group. Digital marketer? Find a nonprofit that’s looking for a strategist. Teacher? Sign up to participate in teacher education workshops at a local school.

4. Work that side hustle.

You can pick up freelance jobs, part-time work or even project-based work through websites like The Mom Project, which connects highly educated women to companies in need of short-term work.

Try this: You can work at night for a few hours, on the weekends or between nap times.

5. Negotiate to work on your terms.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to working motherhood, or being a stay-at-home mom. Most women who consider themselves to be SAHMs, for example, also earn money on the side.

Try this: You can adjust any volunteer or paid work you do according to the needs of your family at any given time, so don’t feel pressure to commit to something forever. Especially if you have a degree (or multiple degrees) and serious experience, you have more power than you might think when it comes to negotiating with potential employers. So be prepared to ask for what you want, whether that’s one day in the office, project-based work or something else, and we won’t be surprised when you get exactly that.

6. Become an online leader.

Can’t head to the office every day due to the demands of managing a household? We. Get. It.

Try this: Build your brand where future employers or clients are likely to find it: online, whether through social media, YouTube, a podcast or or a blog devoted to your area of expertise.

Over time, you’ll become a trusted resource and expert in that area, leading to collaborations, revenue streams and yes, future job opportunities. So blog, stream, record and post to your heart’s content. You’re just building that brand, mama.

Ask yourself: What skill or interest do you really want to be known for? Focus on a topic that helps you stand out—and will connect you to a community looking for info and inspiration.

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A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Life

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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News