Moms 'Sequence' Back To Work

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When Anne Marcus was pregnant with her third child she decided to take a leave of absence from her career -- a leave that lasted seven years.

It seemed like the right thing to do -- until her daughter dropped this one on her:

"She said, 'I don't see why I have to do my schoolwork, I'm just going to grow up and stay home like you do,'" Marcus told CBS News Correspondent Mika Brzezinski.

So Anne is "sequencing" back into work life -- joining women at a networking seminar -- women who like her, once had fast track careers.

"My last job was in the trust and private banking area," said Teresa.

"I was a project officer for an international non-profit," said Elliott.

"I was a litigation attorney doing product liability work," said Dana.

On average this group has been out of work for ten years and now they want back in.

"Work is all about skills, and you all do have skills," Eliza announced.

Call them "returning professionals," or "sequencing moms" -- the trend now is to allow for seasons in life, instead of trying to achieve what more and more women are calling an impossible balance of simultaneous family and career.

"I loved it and I hated leaving but I had two small children so it just wasn't going to work," Kim said.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett of the Center for Work-Life Policy says that two-thirds of women who left work to raise children want to re-enter professional life.

"It's not at all easy to get back in," she said. "There is a feeling often in companies that women who have been out have lost their skills, lost their networks, so there clearly is a reluctance to hire."

Her recommendation: Don't stop working.

"If you can take the slow lane, take one of these reduced-hour jobs, even if you're kind of treading water, it's much better than taking the off ramp," Hewlett advised.

Brzezinski spoke with women looking for the on-ramp leading back to work -- but not necessarily the same job.

"It just needs to be interesting and challenging and compensate me enough to cover the babysitter," said Elliott.

Brzezinski asked Dana, "You're going to try to get back into fulltime work?"

She replied, "No. I would love to do something part time."

Their biggest roadblock may not be "getting" a job.

"How many of you have husbands who are ready for you to go back to work as long as it doesn't affect them in any way?" asked Brzezinski.

Many hands were raised, along with a lot of laughter.

But these women are up to the challenge.

"I'm ready to work. I'm really ready to work," said Anne.

But are the companies ready for her?

Tomorrow, we'll look at how some companies are working hard to keep their female employees.