Unfortunately I spoke to yet another talented and experienced parent who was turned away from one of the large recruitment firms because she had taken time out of the workplace to do a job that is harder than any job going in the workplace - being a parent. The recruiter simply told her that her clients would not be interested because she has not had any recent work experience (she had, but the recruiter just heard 'parent').
In my experience, employers are having huge problems in finding good employees. Flexibility is a common workplace offering these days, and after reviewing this woman's resume, I shook my head in disbelief that they had discarded her without even a telephone discussion.
It reminded me of something I experienced when I was in my 20s - without children. I had gone to Boston USA to work for a start-up. My experience was priceless, however, another large recruitment firm didn't seem to think so. "You haven't had any Australian work experience for over a year so it may be hard to place you." I got up and walked out of that meeting.
The time has come to own the relationship when it comes to recruiters. Start asking recruiters questions like 'Do you know what flexible work means?', 'How many flexible jobs do you have on your books?' and 'If there was a suitable role for me but it was full time, would you submit my resume?'. If the recruiter is not listening to your needs, take your resume elsewhere.
To be confident in asking these questions, you need to be confident in your own abilities, skills and expertise. Be proud of your career to date and your parenting and role, and know what you want your next step to be.