We’re so over the working mums vs stay at home mums debate – if that’s what you were expecting to read, you’ll be disappointed.

This article is about how to avoid setting yourself up for a fall and protecting your future.

1. Keep your skills up to date
If you think that taking five years out of the workplace won’t have an impact on you trying to get back into your field at the same level after your little one(s) starts school you’re mistaken.

If you think about how much technology has changed in the past five years and the impact it’s had on the way we live and work and imagine how you’d feel if you’d lived in a cave for five years and came back to life now that’s a good example of how far behind you’d be left if you stop working…not good.

2. Keep in touch with people in your industry
Networking is great when you’re working or in business but it doesn’t stop when you have a baby.

The odd email, LinkedIn or coffee won’t hurt – it will keep you in the loop and you never know when an opportunity may come up because of a preexisting contact.

3. Keep a level head
While no one gets married to divorce, it’s a sad reality for thousands of couples. The same can be said for losing the one and only income in a household. That’s why it’s important that you at least work part time – even if you just about break even when you’ve laid for your transport and childcare costs it’s worth it in other ways.

4. Keep the wage gap smaller
Every year we hear about the ever increasing wage gap between mem and women. Women practically stop getting paid in the tenth month of the year because of the salary gap between their male equivalents.

If you stop working all together, tour salary will be a lot less when you return to work because of the years experience you have lost staying at home. This isn’t a feminist movement – working makes the pay gap less for you.

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