Much has been made over the logistics of stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) re-entering the workforce, but the discussion rarely focuses on dads trying to get back to work after staying home to care for their children.
Guy Patton recently wrote a candid essay for Parents about his experience trying to find a job after staying at home to be with his child for five years. Guy had been a broadcaster before his son Finn was born, but he ultimately opted to stay home to spend more time with his son.
Stay-at-Home Dad Guy Patton Penned a Powerful Essay About His Struggles Trying to Return to the Workforce
“Staying at home with my son was transformative for me. It takes patience to be with a child all day, and I found I had more of it than I thought. His excitement at each new discovery was contagious,” Guy wrote about his stay-at-home dad experience.
Once Finn began school, Guy began planning to go back to work, in part because the couple’s finances had taken such a hit during the five years he’d been home.
Before he could begin sending out resumes, though, he needed to figure out how to handle the five-year “baby gap” on his resume. Guy decided to just be honest about his time off and, while it hasn’t led to many interviews, Guy doesn’t regret his approach.
“I embraced my situation. In my cover letters, I detailed how I left full-time work to raise my son, and that I’ve been freelancing and sharpening my skills,” he shared. “But in this age of self-populating application forms on company websites, I wondered just how much of my story made it past the algorithms to an actual human. In five months of applying, I landed only one job interview.”
Guy is continuing his job search and is excited to see what happens next.
“I remain optimistic that I will find a company that can see that the gap in my resume has been filled with wisdom, patience, and empathy, and that the experience of staying home has increased my value as an employee and a person,“ Guy concluded in his touching essay.
A message every stay-at-home parent appreciates hearing, to be sure.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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