When career women decide to leave the working world behind to raise their children, it's not uncommon for them to feel torn by their decisions. The TLC reality show The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom aims to give career-women-turned-mommies a chance to go back to their old jobs—if just for a week. Jean talks with host Tracey Gold about why this reality TV show may be a golden opportunity for some women.
Tracey, a former child star on the hit TV show Growing Pains and herself a mother of three, says the typical stay-at-home mom may be out of the workforce for 10 years or more, and during that time she may lose her job marketability in her field. The show offers women one week to work full time, doing what they used to do, and Tracey says at the end of the week, all participants are either offered a full-time job with a competitive salary and benefits or an internship-like position that could become a full-time job. "This opportunity that we are giving women is so incredible because, if you are out of the workforce for 10 years, you're not just going to go in and be offered a really great job," she says.
The twist of this reality TV show is that the woman's husband and children think Mom is getting treated to a spa getaway instead of working, Tracey says. When they find out the truth and that mom has been offered a full-time job, Tracey says the reaction of the families varies. "You get some husbands who are so supportive," Tracey says. "But we definitely had some husbands who were [upset], who were like, 'No, you are not going back to work, that is not part of our deal, you know? Just because this is a reality show, I'm not going along with this.'"
While every episode has a different outcome, Tracey says that, overall, the women taking part in the show are grateful for the opportunity. "We've changed their lives, whether or not they take the job," she says."Because, the truth is, just being given the experience, so many women come back with this newfound sense of self-esteem."