I’m a working mom to two small kids, 8 months and 3 years – and they are ADORABLE, just look at that picture! Working moms can get a bad rap, and quite honestly at times I feel self conscious about it. Are my employers annoyed when I’m out because a child is sick again, do my kids get enough of me? No doubt being a working mom requires a certain level of flexibility on the job, and there is a perpetual balancing act going on. But here are some reasons that being a working mom actually makes me a better employee:
Right now in life I have to be VERY intentional with my time. My days are more structured than ever, and getting my family’s needs taken care of while also working full-time means I have to be on top of things. I have set windows of time to get certain things accomplished in, and I maximize that time. It’s true with my kids, and it’s true with my job. When I get in the car in the morning to make the morning drop-offs, I’m intentional with my time. We might be in the car, but I can still have meaningful conversations with my 3 year old, she’s a talker. Playing silly games with her and answering her inquisitive questions about EVERYTHING matters, so I make a point of utilizing that time well. The same is true for my work time, it may not always be standard 9-5, but ultimately I know I’ve got a window to get work done in. If I don’t get it done, it will encroach on my family time. Family time is precious to me, so I’m uber focused during work hours, and manage my time better than when I didn’t have so much on my plate to balance.
I’m honestly not a huge fan of it, I prefer to do one thing at a time and then move on to the next. But life requires it right now. I can cook dinner and spoon my son pureed sweet potatoes at the same time, because if I don’t he’s going to scream his head off and/or my sweet girl will have a meltdown, both from hunger. This carries over into work. Before if I had a conference call, I was just on the call, but truthfully every conference call does not need 100% of my attention – some do, and I give that when required. Now, because I’m so used to multi-tasking and more focused, instead of surfing the web while on a call, I get work done. I send emails or plan layouts and chime in when appropriate on the call.
I’m in the habit of being as efficient as possible, because every minute matters. So instead of packing up a bag for my son every morning, I pack it once on Monday with enough things for the whole week. This habit of being efficient carries over into my work. I have systems and processes that keep me from doing the same repetitive tasks more than absolutely necessary. I have customized blueprints for DesktopServer that have all of my standard changes made when starting a new site. So I don’t have to add a logo field to the customizer each time, or install my go-to plugins again and again.
This is the biggest one for me. I love my family, I don’t take any time away from them lightly. Even if I’m in the same room with them when I’m working, not my preference but it happens, it’s still time away. I want my time away to matter, I want to be pursuing something, and ultimately furthering my career so that I can give them more in the long run. If I’m going to be working then I want to make it worth our while. If I get a raise for my hard work or a promotion, then that’s ultimately more for them, it means we can hire a housekeeper, or subscribe to a meal planning service, which translates to more undivided time I have for them. It also means my kids see me as role model. I want my kids to know they can do anything they want, and I’m grateful I get to model that for them with my career.