Say what you will, but working moms have an advantage over their coworkers — they are trained to multitask and be more productive.
Being a mom means you’re busy. From getting your kids ready for the day and preparing their meals to cleaning their clothes and ensuring they become contributing members of society, the days of mothers are full. And that doesn’t even include taking care of yourself and the house. You are even busier if you are a working mom. Then, you have responsibilities inside and outside the home.
Most days, it probably feels like you’re barely getting by and struggling to stay awake. You may feel stretched thin and unable to focus. Perhaps you even envy your coworkers who don’t have kids and their ability to go home and put their feet up immediately after work — or head to the bar for a well-deserved drink.
While having limited responsibilities outside work may seem like heaven, as a working mom, you have some advantages over your childless coworkers, and on the top of that list is that you are more productive than they are, and there are studies to prove it.
So, what makes you a more productive worker as a parent? Being a mom in the working world means you know how to:
1. Prioritize Relationships
When you work for most companies, you don’t work in a bubble. You interact with coworkers, colleagues and clients. You have conversations and work in teams to get jobs accomplished. Not every interaction is going to go smoothly. As a parent, you know what it takes to keep everyone communicating and working together.
If you can talk your toddler down from a complete meltdown in the middle of Target, you can keep your team together and working productively during a project.
You also tend to have more empathy, know how to listen better and understand when to compromise and when to stand your ground. You may not always get along with your coworkers and clients, but you know how to approach situations to keep them calm and focused so you can get the job done.
2. Focus at Work
As a working mother, you have tons of responsibilities — and not just at the office. You’ve got to take care of the kids, so staying late after work isn’t always an option. You have to make the most of your time while in the office, so you structure your day to get things done.
Productivity isn’t an option — it’s a survival technique.
Not only are you focused at work, but you can do several things at one time. Your children have taught you how to plan your day while changing a diaper or getting your child dressed, at the same time as making doctor’s appointments or planning that evening’s meal. When you get to the office, it’s easy for you to bring those skills into a new setting and automate some workflows to save time.
4. Problem Solve
Moms know how upset kids can get when something goes missing — especially their favorite toy. While it would be easy to panic or sit down and cry next to them, you stay calm and find a way to solve the problem, whether it’s figuring out where their favorite stuffie is or finding a temporary replacement. You bring your problem-solving skill into the office and use it to ensure your job gets done.
5. Ask for Help
If being a mom has taught you anything, it’s that there are lots of things to do, and you’re only one person, which means you sometimes you have to ask for help.
Same for in the office. If a project is too much work and you can’t handle it by yourself, you aren’t afraid to ask someone to help you get it done. It won’t be the first time you’ve needed a second hand with a difficult situation.
6. Create Boundaries
Time is precious to you, and you want to ensure you have enough of it to accomplish everything you need to at work and with your family — and that means you know how to set boundaries and say no. Because of all your responsibilities, you don’t have the ability to work late or take on extra tasks.
You do those things that help you fulfill your work goals and your family goals, but if a task doesn’t contribute to your goals, you don’t volunteer to take it on.
7. Be a Role Model for Your Kids
There are probably days when you feel guilty for working outside the home, when you want to stay with your kids and savor every moment of their growing years. You watch them cry when you drop them off at daycare and must refrain from doing the same. This feeling is totally normal.
Take comfort in knowing your kids benefit from having a working mom. Studies have shown that children with working moms will more than likely grow up to have jobs of their own, earn higher wages and hold supervisory positions at their jobs.
Being a working mom can be an incredibly exhausting position. Not only do you have long hours at the office, but you also have long hours at home. There can be days that you want to give up, but, remember, you hold an advantage at the office, and you’re making a difference. Keep up the good work!
What other skills do you bring to the office that your childless coworkers don’t? Share them at the end, and subscribe to the newsletter for more news, advice and tips to be happier in your job.
Get everything you need to build a career you love by signing up for the newsletter.