Lately I’ve been thinking about what I’ll do when my children are old enough to go to school. Even though I haven’t worked in a while I know for sure that I’ll want to do something when I have more time. Will I go back full time in the workforce, only part-time, or will I buy or start my own business? Only God knows.
One thing for sure, parenting and being a stay-at-home mom has changed me. And I believe this change is for the best.
So here are the skills I’ve developed tremendously since becoming a parent. Please, don’t email me with job offers, I am not looking for a job right now! But if you are hiring and have to choose between a former stay-at-home parent and a young worker fresh out of college, this post might convince you to hire the parent.
You can’t really say you are good at multitasking until you’ve had to take care of children full-time. Only when trying to cook diner while your son is forbiddingly jumping on the couch, you need to pee and the cats are screaming for food and attention will you really understand the true meaning of “multitasking”. So you think data analysis and answering the phone qualifies as multitasking?!?
I have developed great operations management skills, principally due to my son’s unique schedule. I know when he’ll wake up, how much time I have until his meals, when he naps and can fit all of the day’s tasks into tiny time spaces. Running is done either before or after nap time, but ahead of lunch. Laundry is early morning and takes at least 1h30, while going out takes place after his nap or just in time for said nap if we go more than 45 minutes away from home. Everyday is organized with tasks, activities and projects and rarely is there a day that has no activities planned. Things must run smoothly or one activity will be set aside for another day.
Being a stay at home mom has help me to become incredibly more organized (and yet I thought this wasn’t possible). Not only can I pack the diaper bag with the necessary 10+ items in less time than my husband takes to get dressed, I – 99% of the time – never forget anything. From extra clothes, to lunch, snacks and sippy cups to extra diapers, toys and blankie, sunscreen and hats, I’m ready and I’ve got it all! So, what would we need for the next meeting? It’s like playing with Legos, interchanging blocks. Have any scheduling issues that need to be fixed?
As a stay at home mom, my priority is my son, of course. But I am also a human being, and sometimes need some “me” time. And as you know me, I’ve plenty of projects going on at the same time and strive to get back into shape. Too many things to do, with so little time means priority management. This is also where my extremely developed organizational skills come into play. Even though my son is my top priority, I often manage to squeeze in most of the other top priorities such as training, chores and errands, cooking (hell, I even bake my own bread!), this blog, and more. Unfortunately, “me time” often gets sided.
I have never experienced having a coworker coming in my office screaming and crying for attention; have you? Well, when you are a full-time parent, this happens all the time.
When my son has a temper fit, it has to be taken care of right away. Crisis time! Moreover, my dear son is extremely insecure and literally hangs onto me much more than I often can deal with. I can’t count the number of times I had to calm him down while diner was in the oven, burning. Nowadays I think ahead of time and most of the time can manage the crisis before it even starts (or at least now I don’t burn dinner). And when it happens, I’m ready.
Managing a toddler can be pretty exhausting, but knowing it gets easier with time really helps. No matter which huge project your organization is working on, the stay-at-home mom will know that she can give in a little extra effort and see the rewards soon. The stay-at-home parent will see the long-term benefit of putting just a little extra work in order to achieve the long-term goal.
So, if your organization can deal with the fact that they’re not number one on their employees’ priority list but dead second behind family, I strongly suggest you hire them. Nowhere else will you find someone with as many skills and dedication to a project as them.