A working woman becoming a mother can only lead to two possible paths: going back to work after the short, law-mandated maternity leave, or taking a prolonged career break to stay with the baby for a few months or years. How is the recent update by LinkedIn normalizing these breaks? Read on to find out.
Years ago, when my children were younger, during a job interview I was asked what I have done during the years not featured on my CV. I was being a mom! I replied. My interviewer, albeit a female, looked at me from behind her half-lowered eyeglasses as if I was crazy! It seemed she never heard that reply before, or she didn’t accept it as an excuse for not working for a few years. Nevertheless, I got that job because my qualifications and gap-filled experience years back then compensated for the “breaks” I took to be a full-time mother.
So, you can imagine my enthusiasm now when I learned that women could add “Motherhood” as a career break reason on LinkedIn. Right up there with going to graduate school, or getting an internship. This means slowly removing the long-attached stigma of being a stay-at-home mom, and the harsher stigma attached to being a working mother.
So, what will you do? Just change diapers and play with a baby all day? One of the many accusative questions a mother is asked when she decides to take a longer maternity leave to spend more time with her child.
The truth is that being a full-time mother is great training to prepare you to go back to work. Here are a few skills you will pick up from staying at home with your child:
Moms, can plan a week’s lunch menu, pay bills online, and rock the baby to sleep at the same time. And all of this before noon.
- Thinking outside the box
Have you seen how moms repurpose and reuse things? Creativity is a daily skill needed to survive many motherhood challenges.
What do you call a woman who won’t give up on her toddler finishing his vegetables or refusing to sit on the potty? Or one who can switch careers, and move from one continent to another with ease and grace?
- Time management
What a mother can do with just 24 hours deserves to be taught as a course in big management and business schools.
Have you seen how patient a mother can be with her newborn who won’t breastfeed? Or won’t sleep? You can count on her to be patient with her team, and clients at work as well.
- Organizational skills
13 types of stuffed animals, 27 gadgets, 47 books, and different types of toys are sorted and organized in a way that is easy even for a one-year-old to find.
“You can watch TV after you have read two pages and wrote one page about them!” “I will read one page and write one paragraph!” DEAL! Years later, this real-life negotiation resulted in a young adult who has read over 500 books and has exquisite writing skills.
Moms make the pain go away and can fix anything that is broken. You can rely on a mom to take your company out of a major crisis anytime.
We all remember many things we learned from our mothers, proof that mothers are natural-born teachers. No one is better than the mother on your team to train and teach the juniors who just joined.
So, moms, be proud of your motherhood-dedicated career breaks, use them to learn and to teach, and come back to work whenever you are ready with your heads held high and eyes on a great future for your careers and your families.