Making the decision to be a stay-at-home-mom is one of the hardest decisions any woman will make.
Mothers who returned to the work force after parental leave might be envious of stay-at-home-mom friends who have decided to raise their kids full time, or some might look at you like you've lost your senses thinking "I could never do it!". It's not everyone's cup of tea to spend days cleaning, cooking, wiping bums, suffering public (and private) breakdowns on top of taking care of all the other house hold chores, only to find themselves contemplating a strange mix of exhaustion and gratitude at the end of a long day.
Stay-at-home-moms, or as I prefer mothers-who-work-at-home, not only sacrifice their sense of self in making the choice to be such an involved parent, they also sacrifice marketable skills employers typically look for in a viable employee.
The average family has two kids. Lets assume a mother decides she'll stay home with both until they reach school age. Most kids start preschool/ kindergarten at the age of five, so best case scenario, assuming twins, a mother will spend a minimum of five years out of the work force. Second best scenario, she will have her children 18 months apart (or less) and be "jobless" for seven years.
1) You were not laid off or fired. In this case, you made the decision to raise your children full time. Take pride in the fact that it was your choice to become unemployed.
2) Be honest, don’t try to hide the gap. Many people have prolonged periods between jobs.
3) Show it off! Demonstrate skills you've acquired in taking on motherhood full time. (expert multi-tasker and master negotiator come to mind).
4)Put a positive spin by explaining how your search has been extended because you've been targeting specific companies or contemplating job offers.
4) Use history- take advantage of related industry lags to emphasize your decision to raise your children full time.
5) Make your resume gap a non-issue by being straight with employers and standing by your decision.
6) De-emphasize resume gaps with a functional resume. Resume gaps stand out in a resume that emphasize time over skills and achievements. Instead of chronological order, list past employers starting with the skill set that you want to draw the most attention to.
You are an exceptional person who has devoted several years to raising a family. Companies are always looking for exceptional people!