I’ve got about 15 years into my career and those years are fairly evenly split between having children and not. It’s interesting for me to look back at the way my career has shaped up and what impact having children may have had on it. I was recently filling out my yearly self-assessment, reflecting on my strengths and “opportunities’ (love those corporate buzz words), and I have to be honest, I’m a pretty kick-ass employee – even with 3 young kids at home. In fact, I’m bringing so much more to the table now than I ever did pre-kids. Perhaps you’ll see yourself in some of these attributes?
Why I’m a better employee now that I’m a mom…
- Like all moms, I now have a post-graduate degree in multitasking and prioritizing. Juggling a phone call, 2 spreadsheets, and prepping for a meeting in the next 10 minutes? Child’s play. I once cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 15 with one baby strapped to my back, another baby on my hip, and a toddler playing at my feet. I laugh at your spreadsheets.
- Ninja-like time efficiency skills. If it took me an hour pre-kids, I can now do it in 40min. Time is money people! And by ‘money’, I mean a bathroom break and lunch that isn’t a stale protein bar. Also, yes, I may cut out 15 minutes early on Tuesdays to catch my kid’s soccer game, but I assure you that I’ve more than made up for it with my lack of social breaks. You won’t catch me chatting it up at the water cooler for hours, I’ve got 3 little mouths at home that talk my ear off and the opportunity to sit at my desk in silence and productivity is a treat I relish. Also, I’m so over office gossip and politics. No time (or patience) for that nonsense!
- I know myself. I have a clear understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, what I can offer, and where I want to go in life. You want my opinion on something? You’ll get it. You can also rest assured that if I ever come to you with a problem, I’ll have some suggested solutions in hand as well – there is nothing mom’s hate more than whiners (well, maybe lice).
- I’m a better listener and observer. I can hear the words between the words. I have to, because my kids tell me about 25% of the story and the stuff I really need to know is within the other 75%. I have a tween, which means my detective skills are razor sharp – a skill I find useful in many aspects of life. Also, I will not lose my cool. All buttons have been pushed a thousand times over and it takes a whole lot more to get through this thickened skin.
- I’m a strong problem solver. Especially helpful since I make a living as a negotiator, I can see creative solutions to problems and bring parties together to effect change. As the UN embassador bringing peace to WWIII on a daily basis inside my home, the issues I encounter at work are nothing.
Motherhood has helped to shape me into my best version of myself – both in and out of the office – and employers who don’t recognize this in the working mom, are truly missing out.