Moms Returning To Work

A new CBS News poll shows more than two in three women see a conflict between working and raising a family.

So on this Monday after Mothers' Day, when working women and men return to work, we thought it appropriate to check with our friends at SmartMoney.com for some advice for Moms who are thinking about rejoining the work force. Senior Editor Stephanie AuWerter offers up five tips to new moms dealing with this dilemma.

First, do some number crunching. There are lots of reasons to go back to work - namely, personal fulfillment, camaraderie, and financial reasons. But on the financial front, you should crunch the numbers first. By the time you pay for child care, work clothes, commuting costs, etc., you might not be improving your finances by as much as you think.

"For a lot of moms there isn't really a choice here, they have to go back to work for financial reasons," AuWerter says. "But even so you do want to run the numbers before hand to see how the budget is going to be affected."

Secondly, look for tax breaks. A big issue for working moms is finding affordable day care. But they may have two potential tax breaks to choose from to help ease the costs.

When you are taking time away from work for motherhood, keep networking. The single most important thing you can do is keep in touch with former co-workers and other contacts. Maintain memberships with professional organizations and attend industry events.

To keep your skills honed, set up a part-time consulting gig. It will keep your skills current and help fill in gaps on your resume.

And finally, educate yourself. Let's face it: having kids changes everything. You may want to go back to work, but not to the same fast-paced job you had before. Think about what you might like to do now and take some time to get the training to make that happen.

"You are never too rusty," encourages AuWerter. "You do want to sort of stay involved, you never want to drop off the map completely, but it's never too late to return to work."

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by Stephanie AuWerter and Jenn Eaker