All over the world, there are mothers that struggle with balancing their workload in the home and their place in the business world. Throughout the pandemic, working mothers were especially hard-hit with job loss, increased responsibilities, and maintaining balance.
However, the skills that mothers hone while caring for young children can easily be transferred to the business world, making mothers excellent candidates for management positions in a number of fields. Many mothers have had to make tough decisions in their work lives, but some have balanced motherhood and working successfully and transferred the skills developed in motherhood to the office.
Shiela Mie Legaspi, President of Cyberbacker, knows well what it’s like to be caught between being a present mother and an exemplary employee. Before working with Cyberbacker, her call-center job took her hours away from her children during the week. She could only be with them on the weekends, and the balance she sought in her life was nonexistent. Today, while she works in a high-level position with Cyberbacker, she can balance that with time with her children. She regularly applies skills learned in motherhood to her job.
“The workplace is growing more empathetic and, in a way, kinder as well,” Legaspi says. “Far more emphasis is placed on the importance of work/life balance for workers. Remote work has opened doors for new ways of working. All of this change has cleared many hurdles for female executives.”
Many mothers fear taking a break in their career path to have children will place them far behind their peers once they decide to rejoin the workforce. However, the various skills learned while caring for children can be applied in today’s changing work environment, and as Legaspi exemplifies, to great success.
Here are some skills that are refined in motherhood that transfer to the working world well:
Any mother can tell you that multitasking comes part and parcel with being a parent. You are constantly juggling a million things at once; kids need to be fed and taken to school, doctor visits, illness, homework, and extracurricular activities.
Legaspi found that Cyberbacker’s willingness to be flexible has allowed her to thrive amidst this multitasking. “Having the ability to work in the comfort of my own home while assuring that my children are well cared for is a wonderful opportunity for both workers and their employers,” she says.
Motivating employees and motivating children can be looked at as two sides of the same coin. If you’ve ever tried to convince a stubborn six-year-old to do something they simply do not want to do, you know that motivational skills can go a long way to reaching end goals. Motivating children requires building trust, and the same goes for adult workers.
Research suggests that mothers may have more empathy for others than non-mothers. Empathy is an essential tool to have in one’s managerial tool belt.
Feeling for a person that may be experiencing an issue or understanding where another person is coming from can help foster a healthy work environment. Mothers know that when children feel seen and heard, they are less likely to feel frustrated or out-of-sorts.
The same applies to employees who may feel burnt out or frustrated with their jobs from time to time. Having empathy for your employees or co-workers can help lessen their frustration.
Budgets and Logistics
Ask most families who the planner, the budgeter, the saver, and the logistics person is, and they’ll tell you it’s typically mom. Studies have shown that the bulk of household labor falls on women, from making grocery lists to scheduling appointments to handling the household budget. Taking on these tasks and deftly handling them can prepare women for handling similar tasks in the workplace.
Mothers are natural problem solvers. When kids get sick, we research every little symptom to find a solution. When schedules get mangled, mothers can step in and rearrange everything to ensure things happen when they are supposed to. The ability to research issues and solve problems is needed every day in the working world, and mothers can show employers that their problem-solving skills can easily translate to their needs.
Motherhood teaches women a multitude of applicable skills. In this ever-evolving working world, women needn’t fear losing skills when they become mothers. Rather, they can elevate the skills learned within their role as a mother and leverage those skills in the workplace. “Women are well positioned to lead, and have been for some time,” says Legaspi.
As the coronavirus pandemic wanes and mothers who left positions to stay home with their children during the lockdown return to the working world, we may see a shift in skillset demanded of industry leaders. Mothers will bring more empathy, multitasking skills, and problem-solving acumen to the office, and the working world will likely be better for it.