I always thought I was a good employee, but I have definitely been so much better since having children and doing a lot of mindset work. More than half of Australian mums are working either part time or full time and still raising their children as well (53.4%). 6.7% of working mums are self-employed and around 95,000 mums in Australia are studying Full Time.
Now I don’t know about you, but for me, anyone that is able to work / study / own a business and raise children is a pretty exceptional person. I have kept this to mums that are working as it can often be a big pain point in the corporate world. Dads and other carers also require some attention as they are equally as amazing- but I shall leave that for another day.
Many workplaces seem to overlook the benefits of working mums and how their new skills can seriously benefit their position and consequently the business. The view of a female with children often comes with a mindset that has already been formed and that culturally needs to shift in the corporate world. The view that they will be unreliable, need flexible hours, not be focused solely on the position- although there may be some accuracy to this, it doesn’t outweigh the benefits:
Since becoming a mother myself I have worked 3 days a week. I can honestly say that in terms of my delivery, it’s as good as when I was working 5 days. There is no person in the world that has better time management than a mother. If I want to achieve anything or get anywhere, I have to be super strict with my time. If I want to be out the house by 8am, I need to start getting ready by 7am the latest. 3 children to dress and feed and get things ready for. Dress and feed myself. Allow time for variables that may delay leaving the house eg. Children that need nappies changing, tantrums, refusing to get in the car or a 3yr old that wants to know the “why” about everything in the world. I have to be quick, sharp and organised, and most mothers are exactly the same.
Mothers are used to juggling a million and 1 things at once, we are exceptional multitaskers, quick and efficient.
The need and desire to be the best mum I can has made me really confident in terms of work. When you enjoy working but your priority is your children you become very sure of what works, what doesn’t, and you become very determined to perform really well. I am confident in what I can and cannot do, I am honest about what I am able to deliver, and I confidently deliver it.
A team needs nurturing, a positive role model, attention, someone that says what they mean. Leaders are problem solvers and masters at finding a solution. A mother does all of these and more at home. You develop a greater form of empathy as a mother and you can see things in a different light, when you take this to work you have a greater understanding of your team and how you need to adapt your way of leading to suit the person- one size doesn’t fit all.
A two-three year old is on an enormous emotional rollercoaster so you are exposed to high highs and low lows all day long. So, when you come into work and sh*t has hit the fan, one of your team’s dog died, and another is struggling with a work project, it really helps to have a high level of emotional intelligence. It builds trust amongst your team when you can open up your emotional side and sympathise with them. You become more resilient to changes and more open minded.
Need I say anymore? I have worked in a “boys club” and I have also worked in a female dominated company and both had their pros and cons. A company that has a strong diversity target has a wonderful mixture of personalities and viewpoints which creates much more conversation, ideas and ways of working. A mother can bring so much depth and understanding, they are not just mothers. So, embrace their flexible requirements and let them enrich your company with all their fabulous new skills and attributes.
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