Job Hunting After Having a Baby (with a Newborn and a Toddler)

Looking for work is stressful. Job hunting after having a baby, while caring for a newborn + toddler: insane. If you've gotta do it, here's what it's like.

Looking for work while caring for your newborn: not advisable.

Looking for work while caring for your newborn and rambunctious two-year-old: insane. Yet, this is the position I find myself in.

I’ll give you a little background (the abridged version). My family and relocated to our home-state about six months ago, when my husband jumped on a promising job opportunity. We weren’t given much time to make the decision, so I didn’t have time to secure a job before we moved. I was also pregnant at the time, and not certified (in my field) in the state we were moving to.

Back to present day: I am now certified in the state we live, I gave birth to my second child, a baby boy, six weeks ago (after two hours of labor and seven minutes at the hospital- talk about, wow!), and I am actively looking for work.

I’ve scheduled interviews over the phone while preparing bottles and managing my toddler’s “I don’t want that for lunch” tantrums. I’ve taken calls from recruiters while feeding my son and rushing my daughter to the bathroom (she’s decided now is THE time to potty train—isn’t that swell?) I’ve stayed up into the wee hours of the night filling out ridiculously long online applications. I’ve rifled through my closet, in an attempt to locate any professional attire that fits (still have 10-12 pounds to lose to get back to pre-pregnancy size), and I’ve definitely arrived to an interview with spit-up on my suit jacket.

This is the life of a busy mother of two, job hunting after having a baby.

Luckily, I’m being asked to come in for interviews fairly regularly. I’ve been offered one position, but had to turn it down for a variety of reasons. I have an interview for another position this week, and it looks promising, but the commute would be hell. I know I’m going to have some tough decisions ahead.

Financially, my family needs me to return to work as soon as possible (hey, no pressure!). But, a big part of me wants to return to work. Don’t get me wrong- I adore my son, and I love my daughter to pieces. I enjoy spending time with them, caring for them, and taking them to library story time, but I also love my work. I want to get up in the morning and put on a nice pair of pants and a dress shirt. I want to feel productive outside of our home, and I want to be able to talk to my husband about something other than the contents of a diaper, or tantrums, at the end of the day.

I am certain, when the right position comes up, that it’ll be rough at first. I’m going to miss my children immensely, and I get tired just thinking about how tired I know I’ll be when I go back. But, it is what has to be, and I know we’ll find our groove in time.

Have any of you ever been on the job-hunt while caring for one, or multiple young children? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences. I need all the tips/tricks I can get about making it through this process during such a crazy time.

14 thoughts on “Job Hunting After Having a Baby (with a Newborn and a Toddler)

  1. I lost my job in June and have a 19 mo at home. I was lucky that my daycare allowed her to still go three mornings a week. This way she keeps her spot and gives me time to apply for jobs and to interview. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. I work on it mostly at night when she’s in bed, and rely on my husband to help keep me on track. It’s really easy to get distracted by all the other stuff that needs to be done. Also, setting a timer on my phone helps. I set it for 45 minutes at a time so that makes it more manageable when my daughter is napping, then I’ll take a break and do something else.

  2. Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Work from home or just a few hours a week? I joined an amazing company called Pink Zebra just to get the products I love at discount. I never knew it would blossom into what it is today!!! I have an amazing team started up and we really do have an amazing potential for all moms who would like to stay home with their children, and just work (hold events or parties) a few nights a week…. or just a couple a month!! You have NO required quotas. You do what you want! Once people smell what you have.. they will want this in their home!! TRUST ME!!

  3. I changed jobs while on maternity leave with a 2 year old as well. Craziest and best decision I ever made. It was hard feeling so fuzzy during the interview (sleep deprivation / mommy brain) and having to sneak in a pump and dump. I was shocked they wanted to hire me and thrilled when I was told (after getting the offer) that I could delay my start a few weeks (allowing time to finish my leave and get a daycare spot) and that the boss was open to a slightly reduced schedule (32 hours instead of 40). I waited until after the offer to mention anything family related and everyone is so supportive. The hardest part was switching daycares because new job was other side of town. 2 years later the family is thriving! Good luck to you.

  4. I applied for a job months ago while pregnant. Now they are hiring. I went to the first interview 39 weeks pregnant and they asked me back for a second after the baby comes. They say if I’m the right fit they’ll wait for me. I’m really nervous about going to a job interview so soon after baby though….

  5. Hello! I’m in a very similar situation right now. My husband got transfered to his new job, so we had to move when my baby was only 3 weeks old to a new state! It was hectic. I job searched for about 3 weeks and finally got a job offer. I started working 2 days ago. It’s been tough because my husbands schedule is very demanding so I basically have to do everything in the a.m and when I get back from work. Also, starting a new job is always a bit nerve wracking. I want to make sure I’m givng it my best, but it’s hard when i’m this tired. Any tips? How long did it take for you to get back in the zone?

  6. Hi Ladies, I am booked for a c-sec in two days. I plan to go back to work when the baby is 6 weeks old, but I feel so guilty. We need the need, my employer does not pay me for maternity leave, so I can not afford to stay home for long.

    The guilt though, my first born is 3 years old and I stayed home for 8 months, things were different then, I hope they know that I love them.

  7. Staying alone with my 5 month baby require job to manage expenses.. completed and having 2 years experience

  8. Hi! I’m going to deliver my baby next month. Worried , scared and excited as well. I’m hunting job.Actually i am fresher i don’t know my calliber…I don’t know what are my cons and pros. My family needs me financialy and physically as well. I want to support my parents financially. So the help i am seeking here..,that pls someone help me to know my self, to know am good at what and what not?

  9. I’m in this situation now after my old contract expired while pregnant due to structural changes at my former workplace. It is depressing, such a vicious circle. I have nowhere near enough time to give my job search the time it requires. I never intended to be a stay at home mother, and never wanted to be, but I feel totally stuck. Living far away from friends and family means all the childcare is on me with no support and no funds to hire a babysitter. Despite my extensive experience and good references I feel totally trapped.

    1. I know how you feel. I was laid off while 6 months pregnant. Then when baby was 4 month old I found a contract position that couldn’t be extended due to restructure. Now I am looking for job again. It’s crazy. I am tired because my baby girl is home with me but toddler is in school. And I have to work as I am 5he breadwinner. I feel crazy but I gotta keep pushing in my search. Hopefully you have found something. This is a great post!,

  10. Hi there, I am a big follower of your site. I really enjoyed your post. I am a mad keen angler & hunter so your stuff are really appealing to me. Fish & hunt on! Thanks.

  11. Cindy Gould says:

    you all are amazing

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