The babies are growing and so is your readiness to get back to the workforce. It’s an exciting but nerve-wracking time, as you start to navigate this next stage in your life and that of your family’s. Give yourself plenty of time, grace and extra TLC as you take these steps.

Just as with all things that are worth doing, it’s not going to be easy. But with all of the options out there for moms going back to work, there’s no need to stress. Here are 10 surprising options for moms returning to the workforce:

1. Go Part-time

Easing your way into working outside the home may be an excellent option as you adjust to the work-home balance. Part-time jobs can range from 10-30 hours a week, giving you flexibility in figuring out what makes the most sense for you and your family.

Part-time positions also tend to have flexible schedules, so if you’re looking for evening or weekend work, you are likely to find a part-time position to meet those needs.

2. Telecommute

Though working from home isn’t for everyone, there’s something to be said for being able to work in your pajamas. Telecommuting is a great way to get back into your career in a relaxed environment.

It doesn’t mean you won’t still need childcare, as a job at home has the same demands as working in an office. However, it does mean commutes and drop-off/pick-ups are smoother with less cost associated in vehicle maintenance and fuel.

3. Volunteer

If you aren’t quite ready to commit to a company or position, try volunteering with them first. This can help you build experience to bridge the gap between the time you left the workforce and now.

Volunteering shows your willingness to act as a team player, a valuable asset many employers are looking for. It’s also a great way to get yourself known, so you’re on the minds of prospective employers when there’s an opening for a paid position.

4. Seasonal

Another way to get your feet wet is by starting out with a seasonal job. These usually require limited time commitments, get you used to having a different schedule and let you figure out your next steps while earning some extra cash.

There are those who go after seasonal jobs simply for the variety or benefits they offer. For example, lovers of ski resorts find that working seasonally at a resort will give them access to the slopes for little to no cost. When that season ends, you may find yourself working at a summer resort, like a golf course or swimming pool. Now that sounds refreshing, doesn’t it?

5. Freelancing

Freelancing gives you a lot of flexibility to set your schedule and take on as many or as few jobs as you want. Freelance jobs are available in a variety of fields, with medical billing and coding being just one option. Others you’ll find include social media marketing, writing, graphic design and more.

Freelancing is a good way to get back to work without a full commitment to a set schedule and a single employer.

6. Consulting

You may have expertise in an area or field that many may not. Whether that expertise is in communications or development, it’s a good time to put those skills to use.

Consulting isn’t quite like freelancing, as many times consultants are brought on a team for the long-term, or they may find themselves working on a couple long-term projects at one time with a couple different companies. Either way, it’s a flexible job, where you can have a say in the hours and pay.

7. Jobs With Onsite Childcare

If you have kids who aren’t quite school-age, but you’re ready to reenter the workforce, be on the lookout for employers who offer onsite childcare.

Onsite childcare can give you peace of mind, knowing that you are within easy reach of your babes. It can help with commute costs and time as well, reducing the number of stops you make on your way to work.

8. Temp Agencies

If you’re really struggling to pick up a job, seek out a temp agency. Temp agencies are connected to employers who are in need of quick help.

Often, temporary jobs will help you rebuild your resume and develop relationships that can help you land that more permanent position.

9. Internships

Maybe you found that during your time away from outside employment — we know you’ve been doing plenty of work at home! — you realized you didn’t want to return to the same position or type of job you had previously.

If that’s you, an internship is a great way to get some experience and — in some cases — get paid, while learning something that will prep you for your new career. Interning isn’t just meant for those fresh out of high school or in college. It’s an opportunity to gain experience regardless of your age or current career path.

10. Network With Past Coworkers

Your past coworkers may be the key to getting you into a future job. As valuable resources and familiar connecting points, your coworkers may be able to get you reintroduced to the workforce through referrals or references. They may be aware of current job openings at past employers as well, so if you’re looking to reenter the place you left, these are the people to speak with.
Going back to work can be both exciting and stressful. Use these tips to find the right career path for you and your loved ones. Before you know it, you’ll all be in the swing of a new schedule and moving right along in this next stage.