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I read an article recently by a mom who was addressing the “missed chunk on her resume” — meaning, a blackout period between her last “official” job and her next one. She was talking about the period of time she took time off to have, and raise her children. Ultimately, the author concluded that we should “not stress about this.”
I have to say, she’s absolutely right. As a corporate director and working parent, I love to hire moms. Here’s why:
1. – Moms can multi-task: Men generally think about, and do, one thing at a time. It’s probably done well, and it’s probably done on time, but it’s just the one thing. Moms, on the other hand, can take a conference call, find the missing receipts for an expense report and plan lunch simultaneously. Throw a breast pump in there and you’ve got yourself one hard worker. Which brings me to my next point…
2. – Moms work their a$$es off: Being a full-time parent is hard; running a house takes work which is what you were doing in that blackout period. Most moms anticipate that they will have to work hard, wherever they are, and this is a huge benefit. They generally want to prove themselves, particularly if they are just back from some sort of leave. You may think “Moms have too many priorities” or “Moms already have too much to do,” but hear me when I say it: as an employer, this totally works in my favor. Corporate work pays bills. It also provides an excuse to get out of work around the house, “Oh no, honey, I really need to finish these charts before tomorrow. Will you get the kids in the tub and I’ll be up to tuck them in?” YESSSSSS.
3. – Moms are generally optimistic: Moms are programmed to be optimistic; it’s necessary to get through the day. The other morning, my toddler woke up at 5am pitching a fit and punched me in the face. I put him in the shower with me because it usually helps calm him down, and he laid a big old crap in there while I had shampoo in my hair. In the middle of that, my daughter woke up with a nightmare, and when we finally went to leave, my right front tire was almost flat. Within those 90 minutes, I used every cuss word I know at least 40 times, but when it was over I actually thought,well, the day can’t get anything but better. Optimism at its finest, or perhaps desperation… either way, it’s proof. Moms can find the bright side.
4. – Moms have guilt: At any given point in the day something is going to fall off the to-do list. Maybe, at the last minute you realize you need a cake for the school fundraiser; perhaps you forgot to dry the laundry and now the kids need underwear and socks RIGHT NOW; maybe you came home from play group and realized the dog hasn’t eaten since last night… what do you do? You get that pang in your stomach, and you do whatever it takes to make it right. That “make it right” thing is what runs 85% of my staff, and I freaking love it. I don’t care if you have to work from home because someone is sick, or change your schedule to do XYZ. I actually support that; partly because it gives you guilt – which it shouldn’t, by the way (I’m not saying guilt is good, it’s just a built-in motivator) – and then you work your a$$ off to make it up. (Ref. item 2.)
5. – Moms depend on each other: In the corporate world, it’s easy to be spontaneous – in a bad way. Change is constant and someone is almost always screwing with your plan. Where others may knee-jerk and dash off a shitty email or pick up the phone and raise hell, moms usually turn to their work BFF and vent – TO EACH OTHER – which is not career-limiting. Once that’s done, a mom feels better, calms down, figures out how to move forward, and gets on with it.