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The Top 10 Signs Parents Should Return to Work

Being a stay-at-home mom or dad is an important, but difficult and too-often thankless, job. Even parents who love being home with their kids can find themselves needing a change. It’s never easy to leave your child in someone else’s care, but sometimes going back to work make you–and your family–much happier. Here are 10 sure signs that it’s time to re-enter the work force.

Top 10 Signs Parents Should Return to Work

1. You Can’t Afford Not to Work

Sometimes both parents have to work to make ends meet, especially in this economy. If you find yourself in this position, try not to feel guilty; you’re providing for your kids in new, but equally important, ways.

2. You’re Already Working Too Hard for Free

We all want to participate in our kids’ lives, but when you’re logging as many hours volunteering at school or on the soccer fields as you would at an office, maybe it’s time to consider a position that pays.

3. You Feel Left Out

Are you starting to envy, or even resent your partner’s career? The adult interaction? The luxury of vacation and sick time? If so, it’s time to consider re-entering the work force.

4. Opportunity Knocks

Has your old boss gotten back in touch? Have you noticed an ad for your dream job in the paper? Whether signs from the cosmos or just dumb luck, some opportunities are too good to pass up.

5. You’re Going Stir-Crazy

As much as you love being a parent, everyone needs some grown-up time (not to mention an excuse to change out of your yoga pants). If you’re tired of conducting most of your conversations in toddlerspeak, it’s time to consider going back to work.

6. You Need a New Sense of Purpose

Do you feel like your efforts aren’t satisfying because their rewards are less tangible than a paycheck? If you feel like you need to do something else with your life, consider taking on a new job — especially one that fulfills a lifelong dream or passion. You deserve to be happy.

7. Your Child is Becoming More Independent

You may hate it, but kids grow up eventually. When your child reaches a stage where he wants or needs to do more things for himself, especially if he is in school, consider it a license to shift gears.

8. Your Industry is Booming

If the industry you once loved is suddenly booming, it’s only natural to want to take advantage of it. You don’t want to miss the boat.

9. Your Stress is Affecting Your Family

Being a stay-at-home parent is more difficult that many people realize. It’s easy to become stressed out or resentful, especially if you feel like your efforts aren’t acknowledged or appreciated. Stress can strain family relationships. Sometimes going back to work is just what you need to feel right again.

10. You Just Can’t Stop Thinking About a New Career

This seems like a no-brainer, but if you just can’t stop thinking about how much you’d love to have a particular job, it’s time to go get it. You’ll be happier for it, which will make your family happier, too.

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