Sometimes, finding work-life balance simply means taking some time off temporarily. But it can be daunting to step away from the workplace when you’re not sure how difficult it will be to return. Thing is, it’s not only regular working folk who feel compelled to ditch their day jobs in favor of spending quality time with their kiddos. Celebrities such as Garth Brooks, Dave Chappelle, and Halle Berry have all left the spotlight in order to raise their children. The good news is that even in the high-pressure, high-stakes Hollywood environment, they’ve been able to make a comeback later on.
In an exclusive interview with UPROXX, actor Rick Moranis spoke about leaving the limelight to become a stay-at-home dad. “The decision in my case to become a stay-at-home-Dad, which people do all the time, I guess wouldn’t have meant as much to people if I had had a very simple kind of make-a-living existence and decided I needed to spend more time at home,” said the Ghostbusters and Honey! I Shrunk the Kids actor. “Nobody would pay attention to it, but because I came from celebrity and fame and what was the peak of a career, that was intriguing to people. To me, it wasn’t that. I didn’t have anything to do with that. It was work, and it was just time to make an adjustment.” Moranis has recently returned to his comedy roots with a new album, “My Mother’s Brisket and Other Love Songs.”
The Fugees singer Lauryn Hill took a long break from recording hit albums to take care of her family, including her six children. “I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns!” Hill is quoted as saying in a Telegraph article. She is currently on tour and has a new album out, “Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone.”
Actress Katherine Heigl has also suffered from working mother woes. “I would come home angry and frustrated that I’d missed everything with my kid that day,” Heigl said in an interview with Good Housekeeping. “I didn’t get to wake her up from her nap, or do bath time or bedtime. I’d have to sneak into her room and kiss her when she was sleeping, hoping not to wake her up.” Heigl, who reportedly quit Grey’s Anatomy so she could spend time with her family, is currently set to star in the CBS drama, Doubt.
With so many A-listers leaving Hollywood to care for their families, it’s easy to see that working parents are all struggling to find their work-life balance. But let’s say that you’re not a star celebrity. You’re simply a working parent who wants to continue on in your career but still be Room Mom for your child, too. It goes without saying that companies need to be more accepting of workers who are looking to on-ramp after taking time off to raise their children, viewing it as something noble, not a black smudge on a job application.
Job seekers who are looking to on-ramp back into their careers should also be strategic about their comeback. For starters, it’s wise to reformat resumes from chronological to functional. That way, any employment gaps won’t be so glaring. If it’s been a while since you last held a paying gig, get creative with your resume. Include any freelance or contract work that you had while you were raising your kids, especially volunteer work (yes, it counts!). And if you’re slowly easing your way back into the workforce, consider updating your skills set by taking some online courses. Not only will it look good on your resume, but it will make you a strong contender for any position that you apply for.
It may give you some comfort to realize that all working parents, regardless of whether a celebrity or not, find themselves dealing with the precarious nature of work-life balance. But finding a flexible job can make all the difference in your ability to make a comeback into the workforce (and be a great parent, too) that is truly Oscar-worthy.
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