After what seems a lifetime of raising kids and working from home, I recently decided to return to the world of working for someone else. It wasn’t an easy thing to do. The early mornings suck, I put on makeup most of the time now, I don’t see nearly enough of my children or my wonderful Mommy friends and my weekends of fun have been invaded by washing and other household chores. Childcare is a nightmare to get organised and horrendously expensive, I’ve discovered that my sense of fashion is crap at best and I, like many, have a long commute from Surrey into London.
Like so many Moms who return to the corporate world after years spent raising children, I was daunted, lacking in self confidence, unsure of my strengths, unsure of the market place and if I was still relevant, and also didn’t understand what benefits I bought to the table over and above either a woman who hasn’t had children yet, or a woman who decided to not take the big Mothering break and has therefore kept her career firmly on track.
As a pj loving, spew cleaning, multitasking, home making, washer, mediator, boo boo fixer and sock finding mother of 3, I was stuggling to see how I would fit back into the world of work.
So along with the input of my friends, family and some of my own lessons learned, here are my top 8 reasons to hire a Mom.
1. A Mom has the patience of a Saint
Before being a Mom I found work politics to be a very difficult thing to deal with. I’m am quite a sensitive soul. Now I find navigating office politics a piece of cake. Until you have children, you do not appreciate how easy it is to handle that difficult person in the office.
2. Nobody multi-tasks like a Mom
When you are making dinner, holding down a phone conversation, putting on a kids shoes and stopping the other one from launching off the kitchen counter, returning to work uses those heightened skills within the office environment. Yes I can do that email, write that report, phone that person and eat lunch all without batting an eye.
3. A Mom is the Queen of organised.
My work colleagues wonder how I remember things and get things done quickly. My secret is Mom Organisational Skill! Between my phone alarms, calendar notes, highlighters, post-it notes and lists, I have become the person in the team who everyone else double checks with. I learnt as a Mom that when you have a mountain to climb, it’s best you chart all your steps and relying on memory is fatal.
4. Moms are the ultimate opportunist
It sounds negative but it really is not. When you are a Mom, you learn that time goes too quickly and opportunities can be missed easily. Think of that time you realised you could have a long bubble bath without the kids running in wanting to jump on in and join you or that time you realised you had some cash left over from the grocery shop and went and got that thing you’ve been after for months. You learn to take those opportunities when they arise and maximise them to the hilt, because this opportunity may not come around again for a while. This translates well at work, because when your work mates are still thinking about taking an action, you’ve already picked it up, run with it and are moving on to the next thing.
5. Moms are true team players – not just in the work sense, but empathetic team players
We are a nice bunch. We excel in being polite, empathetic, and we listen. We are the ones who get the root of the problem and work to make the whole team benefit from a solution. We like to surround ourselves with positivity because that’s what we have been doing the past few years. We give a toss about other peoples well being, and instinctively want to help if someone is looking like they are having a bad day.
6. Mom has no time for your crap
Time is precious. Dithering about is not tolerated. It makes for a good motivator in the team if they start to go off point.
7. A Mom is cost effective
This is a two fold benefit. Nobody budgets like a Mom, Nobody can make money stretch like a Mom. Also, many Moms want flexible working which is cost effective for any company. The main reason for this is the point above. If we are working less days, that means we need to crack on and get things done.
8. A Mom thinks laterally
Problem solving doesn’t always come naturally to me but when you have kids throwing about 10 challenges a day at you, you learn to think out of the box in order to find a solution. This is a great gift at work where your Mommy mind starts navigating through the daily grind and finding simple and brilliant solutions that others may struggle to see.
So there you have it. I have been very broad with this, but in all honesty these traits are not only skills that I have learned over the years, but I see some of them displayed in my own Mom as well as time and again in many of the Mothers I have had the pleasure of befriending. So if you are scared to take the leap, remember you are a kick ass woman who has been learning skills outside the corporate or office environment and that taking a break to be a full time mother has not diminished you, but enhanced you as a woman, as a person and as a professional.
My favourite work mates to date. They make a mess, make a noise, distract me from what I’m doing and delight in fart noises. So much like some of my other work environments…