Ten years ago, the phrase "opting out" became a part of the lexicon, due mostly to a New York Times op-ed piece called "The Opt-Out Revolution," written by Lisa Belkin about the growing trend of women dropping out of high powered careers in order to stay at home with their families.
Flash-forward a decade, and many of these women are finding themselves in a position, often but not limited to personal finance challenges, to want to opt back in to the work force. But how can they update their skills and subsequently their resume after having missed out on arguably the biggest changes in "work" during this fast forward technology driven 10-year period?
While being at home with the kids likely won't replace the skills and knowledge gained by working corporately I would argue that being at home with kids could actually hone the following handy talents:
1) Time management: Moms are pros at executing work schedules which will have kids dressed, fed, and on the soccer field on time.
2) Project management: Having milestones come together to complete a business objective is literally child's play after mastering the art of changing a baby's diaper while disciplining a preschooler and supervising grade school homework.
3) Crisis management: If dealing with the aftermath of baby's first smoked fish meal, a faulty diaper and an ill-timed "Mommy and Me" swimming class don't constitute a "crisis," I don't know what does.
4) Risk management: Making a decision that is guaranteed to be unpopular with at least one of your children while minimizing the inherent risk of a total meltdown is a pure Mom talent.
5) Financial management: When one income is eliminated to stay at home with the kids, the expenses associated with raising said children increase at approximately the same ascending rate. From diapers to school trips, "indoor runners," hockey equipment and other assorted sundries, managing the finances and determining a Return on Investment for your family sharpens Mom's budgeting skills daily.
The best news? The steepest learning curve for many has around social media. The explosion of Mommy Blogs happened around the same time as the opting out began, and this educated, driven, and ambitious demographic is one of the savviest when it comes to using Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Instead of dismissing a Tweet about an explosive bowel movement by "just" a Mommy Blogger, it's really an insight into Containment Strategy from a Communications Expert.
This article was originally run in Kathy's "It's All Relative" column in the Metro News.
Kathy Buckworth's latest book I Am So The Boss Of You: An 8 Step Guide To Giving Your Family The Business is available everywhere from Random House, and has recently been optioned by Warner Brothers Television.