Working mums can get a bit of a bad rap. They're painted as frantic, exhausted creatures with unkempt hair and eye bags the size of Santa sacks. Why does the world see working mums as zombies who are barely coping with life? We think mums make better employees thanks to the incredible new skill-sets they've honed working for the most demanding bosses in the world: babies.
Before you had kids, nothing useful could be accomplished in five minutes. After kids? Five minutes of Thomas and Friends gives you enough time to fold three baskets of washing, sterilise the bottles, prep dinner, and use the toilet uninterrupted. Translate that to the workplace and you become a task-ticking machine.
Anyone who has had to negotiate a toddler out of the bath (or car, or high chair) or convince a child that sleeping at the park would not be a fun way to spend the night, will find that office politics pale in comparison. You are much better at saying no, and you're an expert at plotting out far-reaching consequences. A bag of lollies may stop the tantrum now, but at what cost at bedtime? Need to talk Steve in marketing into endorsing your proposal? Hey, you convinced a two year old to eat green beans last night. You've got this.
You've managed to keep your family fed, cleaned, clothed and housed, all on $3.60 per week. You know how to keep things ticking along smoothly when the bank account looks drier than a Queensland winter. Your employer will appreciate your thrifty new talents when you manage to make one old Biro and a pre-loved note pad last more than two years.
Sick days? They're not for you anymore. Any mum knows sick days need to be held in reserve for the dreaded call from daycare. You'll be at your desk rain, hail, or pneumonia. There will be time to rest when they turn 18.
What's that? You need me to write a report, balance the corporate credit card, create a thirty slide power point presentation, and transcribe the meeting notes? No problem. Nothing is too hard once you've learned to vacuum, bathe a baby, cut up vegetables and change a dirty nappy, with a toddler smearing peanut butter all over the walls and screaming in the background.
Being a mum can be isolating, and its easy to lose sight of the enigmatic powerhouse you used to be before parenthood. Not only will work remind you that there are people out there who appreciate you for more than your Peppa Pig impersonation (although your colleagues will love that too), but it reminds you of who you can still become. It's immensely satisfying being able to complete tasks, eat a meal in peace, and to just be doing something where you don't need to second-guess your every decision. Parenthood doesn't need to be the end of career progression. In fact, it can be the beginning of a new era where you can bring new skills and knowledge to your workplace.
Being a mum is the greatest thing on earth. But nothing will make you feel more like your old self again than getting back into the workforce.
TAFE Queensland has a great range of flexible training options to help you return to work. Check out our range of courses or contact us today to discover how we can help you begin the next phase of your career.