I’m a mom, a single one at that.
I own multiple businesses but before that, I worked at a large company where one might say I “cut my teeth.” Corporate culture wasn’t for me, so I moved to entrepreneurship.
Through all of those years of office training and now becoming a mom myself, I have learned an incredible amount of lessons with one residing at the top: moms make the best employees.
My businesses have fortunately grown. I started out solo, and through the years, I’ve had to expand when needed to truly be able to grow the way I intended to. Hiring can be challenging, but I have built out my team comprised of several moms, purposely. Not only because I am one, and I get how they tick, but it goes so much deeper than that.
In the past, I used to constantly hear criticisms of moms in the workplace. People would say they’re not as focused, not as dedicated; they have too many commitments to worry about outside of the office that could prevent them from keeping their eye on the prize while in the office and I would cringe at every word. In fact, it can be entirely the opposite if just given a proper chance and a mom on your team could wind up being the most highly beneficial business decision you could ever make.
The Octopus Theory
Did you ever see a mother that could not multi-task?
I look back at some moments in my life, such as a typical start of a business trip when my daughter was younger. On my own, wheeling a suitcase, while pushing a stroller with a messenger bag strapped across me, feeding her and digging for a bottle in my bag in an airport all while on a conference call on my headset en route to board a plane.
It sounds manic, but to me it was just natural and to many, many other moms that are home cooking dinner in the evening, while helping their child with their homework, handling household tasks, getting in the car to do activity pickups, preparing clothes for the next day, paying bills online and responding to emails and texts both personal and work-related without breaking a sweat.
It just happens, and most mothers never, ever complain about it. They just DO.
They’re given a situation, a tough one that has a lot of moving parts, and in most cases, they just figure it out. If this incredible skill isn’t what you need on your team, you’re probably not growing the best way possible.
In a study for Microsoft, it was shown that 62% of women make better team players and nearly 2/3 of moms surveyed agreed their multitasking skills improved after having a child, along with their time management skills whereas those of working dads didn’t necessarily improve.
A day in the life of a busy mom is a day you cannot possibly imagine unless you’re in those shoes.
There are very early mornings that begin with thinking of someone else, handling something for someone else, ensuring someone else’s day is going well, that someone else is thriving and ensuring that someone else has everything they need to be their best. Activities to sign up for, school to prepare for, homework to complete, socialization to enjoy, food to eat, stable home to reside in and the list goes on.
A mom can handle all of these spinning plates in the air easily and not drop any because it just comes naturally.
It’s balance. When a mom really enjoys their work, fitting this into the mix to maintain balance also comes naturally too because they’ve had the best training. Work is something so crucial to a mom’s life to keep them grounded and feeling like they perhaps once did before all of the beautiful chaos and at least in my case, as is the case with countless others, work is so much more appreciated at this stage of life, commitments get stronger and in the end, work makes a mom a better version of herself in all ways.
They also make incredible role models for children. A recent study of 50,000 adults in 25 countries saw daughters of working mothers completing more education and landing in ten leadership roles.
Placing beads on a string or making a complicated version of colored slime. Waiting at a soccer game that’s gone into triple overtime. Getting up at 5 am for hockey practice. Listening to a story from a child that is adorable but goes on, and on, and on, and on.
Patience is an art best developed by caring for a child and realizing that one’s schedule is no longer their own. Life operates on a completely different cycle once one enters motherhood and nothing else tests one’s patience quite like this.
This is a quality that can be highly attractive in the workplace and contributes to people getting along, to dedication to perfection on projects completed, and also when it comes to both learning on the job and perhaps even training someone on the job.
The Art of Negotiation
Consider how many times a day a mother has to channel her inner Monty Hall and play out a whole Let’s Make A Deal scenario. 10? 20? Easily.
“If you get dressed in 5 minutes I’ll let you play a game on your phone.”
“If you eat 10 brussels sprouts you only have to eat four pieces of steak.”
“If you finish your homework in time you can watch a little TV.”
The script goes on and on from sun up to sun down when you’re a mom. It is a constant battle, an endless trade, a continual offer being made and with negotiation being such a critical cornerstone in business, this is likely one of the best assets you will find in a mom.
Because they are forever on the training ground. It doesn’t stop when work stops, it begins far before and ends far later.
And remember, in most situations, moms usually win.
Emotion Where It’s Needed
Most say there is no room for emotion in business, but passion is what fuels people to be their best.
When commitment is strong, and the desire runs deep, there is no stopping anyone from achieving their goals. Moms enter the most extreme commitment one can ever make, the most binding, the most dedicated, the most bonding and the most amazing and they deliver, every minute of every day.
There’s a touch that a mom has when explaining something when handling a delicate issue, when keeping things going when everything else seems dire that is so crucial to helping maintain a happy, healthy work environment.
So, I urge you, whether you’re on your own and growing slowly or you’re running a large company, to ignore concerns you may have had before about the performance a working mom can deliver and consider these reasons why I firmly believe a mom should be a top candidate.