Managing your career while also being a mother might make things more complicated, but it doesn't mean you should skip being on LinkedIn. Mid-career mothers should get on LinkedIn and maintain a presence. You can "hide" your profile for periods of time (see tip #2 below) if you would rather, but you still need to get back to it at some point. Better yet, open your account, stay on it and keep it updated. If you stay on the site, you can continue to build your network, so it's already there when you want to go back to work.
If you have been on a career path and are taking an extended leave from work, don't forget to keep your profile updated with activities. Many mothers I know take on volunteer roles in their child's school or spend many hours involved with community organizations. These roles can enhance your skill set, even if you're not getting paid to do them. You are still utilizing and building useful talents that can be recorded on your profile.
If you have been out of the workforce raising children for some years, you may not be on LinkedIn yet. However, if you are planning to go back to work anytime in the near future, you need to begin creating a presence.
Here are two useful tips for moms (and others) about LinkedIn: When you first open up an account, don't give LinkedIn permission to access your e-mail address book. If you share this information, it's likely that the system will send invitations to others on your behalf. This can be a nuisance and there may be people in your address book that you don't want to be connected with on LinkedIn. If you are worried about people seeing your profile (before you have finished completing it or while you are on extended leave from work), you can hide your profile from others (without deleting your account). However, if you use this option, set a date to finalize changes and make it visible to others. Remember, if your profile is not viewable to anyone, it's not helping you build your visibility and grow your network. Both of these are essential components for successful career management.