I joined Linkedin shortly before the pandemic started to make its impact here in the United States. I'm not exactly sure what prompted me to do it, as I wasn't searching for employment. It had been years since I even updated my resume....not since before I became a mother.
While I was entering my work experience, it was very apparent that there was a 6+ year gap in my professional career. However, I did not stop developing as a human when I left my job to become a stay at home mom (SAHM). On the contrary. As I thought about the skills that I developed and sharpened since having my first child, I realized I had never felt more adept and qualified to contribute to a company/organization.
In all of my life experience, I have found that nothing has been more of an impetus for my personal growth and development than motherhood.
Let me explain.
Mothers learn to budget.
With adding a kid (or more) to the mix, the family budget often shifts and has setbacks (i.e. when unexpected medical and dental bills arise). A mother is faced with the daily economics of her own home and family. She analyzes opportunity costs and allocates funds accordingly. She develops the skill of choosing cost effective ways to meet the needs of her family.
Mothers figure out how to deal with difficult personalities.
Have you ever dealt with a 3 year old who did not get the correct color of cup that they wanted? That type of wrath can escalate quickly and fiercely. Mothers deal with meltdowns and tantrums such as these often. They are navigated to learn how to deescalate and respond to many undesirable circumstances. If there is an adult tantrum/drama in the workspace, find a mother. She will listen and help to figure out how to respond.
Mothers manage time wisely.
With multiple schedules and activities to keep track of, mothers learn to be efficient with their time. Between sports, meals, school, laundry, clubs, etc...the demands of a mother are often greater than there is time for each day. So moms learn to adapt. They learn how to prioritize and plan. They also can be incredible multi-taskers when necessary.
Growing and raising humans is no small task. It is HARD WORK. The lack of sleep. The house work. The care. The worry. It is a commitment like no other. But mothers stick with it. They show up day after day. Their love and loyalty is their motivation. That same devotion and tenacity becomes embedded in them. And it carries over in their other pursuits.
Mothers are creative.
Hanging out with small humans all day has its advantages. It ignites the creative side of a parent's mind. Over time, they start looking at the world differently. Then, the ideas and problem solving skills come. A mother's mind is trained to think outside the box. She can provide a perspective that stems from regular creative exposure.
A needed shift.
With these acquired skills and many others, I felt it completely proper to add the title of "Mother" to my resume.
It is time to make an intentional shift on how our society values and appreciates the work, development, and contribution of a mother. If you see a gap on an applicant's resume due to raising children, take a closer look. Motherhood is one of the greatest training opportunities an employee can have. And that former SAHM might just be the right candidate for the job.