Family life

I'm feeling out of place

Should Jennifer go cheeky or straightforward with her online resume? Help a SAHM out

By Jennifer Pinarski
I'm feeling out of place
Shortly before I left my job to raise our children, I joined LinkedIn. Between our daughter's birth, two moves and life in general, I didn’t bother updating my profile until I started getting connection requests a few weeks ago. I logged in to to update my profile and got depressed.

LinkedIn is for grownups. Since I spend most of my day singing songs and crawling on the floor pretending to be a pony, I am decidedly un-grown up and completely out of place on LinkedIn.

Even with years of earning a paycheque under my belt and getting to a place in my career as a marketer and graphic designer that I was proud of, choosing to be a stay-at-home mom has wiped out the last 12 years of my professional life. I added my past employers and my education and my role here at Today’s Parent as a blogger, but when LinkedIn tried to be helpful in asking me to add all of my skills, I only had cloth diapering and breastfeeding to contribute with another 48 skills that I felt compelled to come up with. Lately cloth diapering is even a stretch, leaving me with breastfeeding as the lone skill I’m proud of (at 21 months and counting, someone needs to send me a medal).

I do have friends who are able to spin their stay-at-home momness into a cheeky resume to reflect that they wear the pants in their family (my favourite is from @carayost who lists her position as Head Honcho at M & F & T Benevolent Dictators Inc, the initials being that of the three young girls she and her husband have). Try as I might, I can’t summon the courage to add to LinkedIn that my life is dictated by the whims of toddlers and kindergartners and that my new uniform is an apron and running shoes. While I proudly tell people in real life that I’m a stay-at-home mom, it looks inadequate on LinkedIn. Even my husband refuses to add me as a connection.

What about you — have you kept up with LinkedIn? If so, how have you used it to position yourself for a career after your children go to school or like my friends, found a cheeky way to champion your job as a SAHM?
This article was originally published on Nov 18, 2011

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