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How to Tell Your Boss You Are Resigning to Become a Stay-At-Home Mom

BY SUSAN M. HEATHFIELD   Updated on July 21, 2019

Often an employee will need to leave their job to become a stay-at-home parent. In many cases, it is the mother who makes this move, but more frequently you may see stay-at-home fathers. The decision for one parent to leave their career and move into a primarily parenting role is a difficult decision and one many parents will face.

What to do When an Employee Resigns

Most employees resign by telling their manager that they are planning to leave their job. The manager’s first response is to call or email Human Resources to find out what he is responsible for doing next now that he has received the employee's official resignation.

HR is likely to tell you that in all cases of employee resignation, you need to ask the employee to write a resignation letter for their personnel file. Tell the employee that they may use as much or as little detail in the formal resignation letter as they like. They can simply resign and give no reason or they can document why they are quitting their job.

The resignation letter gives you a permanent record of when the employee resigned and why. This is a must-have step in today’s litigious employment climate. You never know when you will need proof of an employee's purposeful resignation but it's smart to cover all of your bases.

Discussing the Resignation With the Employee

Your next step is to discuss the details of the employee’s resignation. Did the employee provide you with two weeks’ notice? Do you generally escort an employee out immediately? Your actions depend on your company’s past practices and policies. You need to make sure that you treat all of the employees who resign under the same circumstances in the same respectful way.

Assuming that this employee was a good, trusted employee, you may decide that they can work out the two weeks’ notice that they gave. This transition period allows for the planning and training of a new employee is smooth. This is the best-case scenario for which employers want to strive.

Resignation to Be a Stay-At-Home Parent

A common occurrence in business is that an employee may need to resign after they have had a child. One of the parents will often decide to leave the career field and assume the duties of being a full-time parent. At times, the move is a temporary one and other times, it becomes a permanent status.

Couples will usually discuss what if financially prudent for the growing family. They will have weighed the cost of daycare or other solutions against the loss of income. In the case of a first child or newborn, the parent may wish to have this time to bond with the child.

Often the move into full-time parenting is a temporary move and the employee might seek to return someday in the future. They should be sure to burns no bridges as they exit their job. This sample letter builds a perfect bridge to the future when the employee's current boss, current HR staff, and current coworkers may or may not still work at her company. The letter is written from the perspective of a stay-at-home mom but can be easily adapted to suit other situations.

Employee Resignation Letter

This is an example of a resignation letter for when you need to leave your job to care for a child. Download the resignation letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.


Employee Resignation Letter (Text Version)
Julie Lindmarr
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345

September 1, 2018

Mr. Paul Ferrari
Stirling Manufacturing
1439 West Plant Rd.
Denver, CO 80123

Dear Paul,

I’m writing this letter to let you know that my last day at Stirling Manufacturing will be March 11. I am sorry to leave such an excellent employer, but I have decided to stay at home with my baby for the first few years of her life.

As you know, I have felt quite conflicted since coming back to work following my FMLA time and my extended unpaid leave of absence. I truly bonded with the baby and appreciate your generous permitting of time off while I thought about all of the options.

Since coming back to work full time three weeks ago, I have had a difficult time balancing my work and life roles. I have also not found childcare that I am completely happy with and this is adding to my stress.

I have appreciated my ten years with Stirling and will certainly consider working with the company again, depending on your needs when I come back into the workforce. I will long remember the kindness and generosity with which you treated me throughout the pregnancy and during my leaves.

I hope that you will remember me and my work with appreciation and a positive spirit. Please stay in touch when I am no longer working here.

Please let me know how I can help you transition my work and my job to another employee. I am also available to help recruit and train my replacement, even beyond the two weeks, if you don’t mind the baby under the desk while we work together.

Again, working here has been great I will miss you and all of my coworkers. Becoming a stay-at-home mom was a difficult decision, but it’s the best one at this time, for my family.

I wish you nothing but the best.


Julie Lindmarr (signature hard copy)

Julie Lindmarr

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