I think one of the biggest talents that mothers have is multi-tasking. Whenever a friend of mine who has stayed home with her children and then decides to go back to work says, “But I’m not qualified,” I want to scream and say, "do you have any idea what you manage and how much you get done in one single day? CEOs of companies don’t do half of what mothers do in one day."
Lately, I’ve been traveling a lot more for work. But this doesn’t let me off the parenting hook. I am still arranging babysitters, carpools and fielding anxious calls about essays that need to be edited and glue needed for a school project at 10 at night. I simultaneously texted my older daughter and husband asking them to help a girl out. I can’t magically make the glue appear from two hours away.
Thank goodness for texting and email, which allow me to manage the mothership from just about anywhere. I can also help with homework through email and phone calls. And as everyone knows, children are completely myopic. They don’t care what you’re in the middle of when they are having a crisis, even a hurricane is not an excuse not to drop everything and solve their problems.
But somehow mothers do it all, not perfectly, but they do their best to keep everything rolling for their families. And much of the time they make what they do look effortless, even though it takes an incredible amount of organization, energy, self-discipline and self-sacrifice to manage a family’s needs. Some of the strongest women I know are mothers. My friends who are mothers continually inspire me to be a better mother.
So, the next time a friend trying to get back into the workforce tells you she has no employable skills, ask her to write down everything she does in just one day. She will be shocked to realize what she accomplishes every single day with efficiency, creativity and tenacity.
Those are skills any employer would be lucky to have in an employee. In fact, this is precisely what makes mothers excellent employees. They know how to work smart, and most importantly, they are skilled in handling temper tantrums …
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.