How to Leave a Job to Raise Children


Whether you're the parent of a newborn, or your kids are a little older, deciding to leave your job to raise your kids is either one of the easiest decisions you'll ever make, or it’s a decision over which you'll agonize. The situation is different for everyone, but the truth remains that it’s a big decision that requires careful thought and planning. Once you make the decision to resign from your job to take on the full-time task of parenting, you have to let your employer know your intentions.

  • Think about the decision you're making and determine whether or not it is feasible. For example, if you want to stay home to raise your kids, you have to have the financial means to do so. If leaving your job means you won't have the income to provide food and shelter for your children, it's not a responsible decision.

  • Time your resignation to your own advantage, especially if you're not coming back after maternity leave. According to, employers have the right to terminate your employment effective immediately should you make it known that you intend to leave once your maternity leave is over. This could mean that your health insurance will end while you are in the midst of your maternity leave, or that you might not receive your maternity compensation. You should wait until your maternity leave is over before indicating your intention to leave.

  • Write a letter of resignation and give it to your boss. According to Suzanne Lucas, who writes the column, “The Evil HR Lady” for, you should be honest but not too honest in your letter of resignation. What you write in your letter could affect your future employment recommendations should you decide to eventually go back to work. For example, in your letter, you should indicate that although it was a difficult decision to make, you’ve decided that being a full-time parent is the best course of action for you at the present time. You should also include an effective date. You can leave out the part about your boss being a jerk who makes work impossible – if applicable.

  • Offer your availability via phone or the Internet to help your replacement for a few weeks, advises Eileen Doughty from the Family and Home Network, a company designed to help women transition from work to home. This might mean being there to talk to your replacement about the ins and outs of your job, about different clients and contacts, or simply to explain any ongoing projects you have in the works. Maintaining a good relationship with your boss and offering to help ease her mind and your replacement’s mind is going to help you maintain your professional work network for the future.


  • Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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