6 Reasons Working Moms Make Good Workers
Heather Muety, Former Senior Project Manager
As of 2010, Women comprised 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force and are projected to account for 51 percent of the increase in total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018. (United States Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau) And according to a Pew Research Center survey, half of U.S. homes today include a full-time working mother.
While there are more working moms in the workforce than ever before, old-fashioned stigmas remain that working moms are not as productive as women without kids and/or men in general.
The reality is what makes us good moms also makes us good workers. We are just as ambitious, dedicated, and motivated as our peers. The difference is when others are hanging up their hats, we are just starting our second full-time job.
1. We Are Chief Multi-Taskers
Have you ever taken a client call, while holding your baby with one hand, and paying the cashier for your groceries with the other hand, all the while pinning your two-year-old to the checkout counter with your leg so he won’t run away? Out of necessity for survival, we have learned to multi-task. But here’s the thing: we are good at it. Working moms have the innate ability to focus our attention “fully” on several things at once. Contradiction of terms? Maybe, but it’s true.
‘Distraction’ by definition means a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else. Distraction is a luxury for those who are used to being able to focus on one thing at a time. This is not a luxury working moms have. We are not easily distracted, because we have trained ourselves to give full attention to a multitude of things that need to happen. We deal with distractions while continuing to get sh*t done. Responding to a client email, while updating a budget spreadsheet, and texting a babysitter that yes my kid is allergic to strawberries and no that type of rash doesn’t sound normal? Piece of cake. Multiple clients screaming at the same time for attention? No problem.
2. Patience & Understanding
If working moms majored in multi-tasking, we minored in patience and understanding. While we are hyper-organized (again out of necessity for survival), we are used to things not going the way we planned and turning chaotic. We are flexible. We can roll with the punches and keep our eye on the prize. We do not need instant gratification. We are comfortable chipping away at steady progress while understanding that journey is just as important as the destination.
3. The Calm In The Storm
When sh*t hits the fan, you want a working mom on your team. It takes a lot to shake us.
We have learned to remain calm and composed through everything: bloody knees, snot, vomit, and many other bodily fluids that could scare off some from ever procreating so I’ll stop there. We know how to remain cool and quickly figure out a plan of attack. We are professionals at fixing the problem.
4. We Are Empathetic
We are raising the next generation. Moldable minds are in our hands every day. We are constantly thinking about what we say and how we say it. We are empathetic and strong. We lead by example. We are approachable. We are not afraid to try and fail. We value strong personal connections. We know we are not perfect and we don’t expect anyone else to be either.
5. We Are Persuasive Peacemakers
If we majored in multi-tasking, and minored in patience and understanding, then we wrote the book on negotiating peace. You think negotiating budgets with clients is tough? At least clients are rational (mostly). Try persuading a two-year-old that green beans are yummy or negotiating peace between two young boys and one very red firetruck. We are professionals at finding common ground and peace among conflicting sides.
6. Working For The Mortgage
We have a lot going on, but we have a lot to lose too. Every working mom has made the decision to be away from her kids for eight plus hours a day. That is a decision we do not take lightly and we want it to mean something. We are not here to play around or just get by. We are here to work hard and give our kids a good life: mortgage, doctors, bikes, braces, hockey equipment, college, etc. We never forget why we are at work.