As I laid out the clothes last night, packed the bags, made the lunches for me and my husband…I started thinking about the skills I have improved on and learnt from parenting that can be transferred to the office. I hear all too often from friends that they receive comments like ‘but you are at home all day doing nothing’ or ‘what DO you do all day’, constant mum shaming (whether we work or not), when in fact, mums at home, mums at work, mums everywhere, in fact any parent, never stops, and so here we have it, the skills that take mum to the office and the skills that help us survive a day with kids.
Multitasking: Reading books, doing jigsaws, cleaning, housework, helping with homework are skills that help you coordinate your work load, manage events, juggle different online applications. Planning your life with kids helps you plan your time in the office more effectively.
Managing difficult situations: So here I am, in Tesco, one of my kids is lying on the floor screaming at me, the other one has climbed into a shelf (true story), so what do I do. I stay cool, I deal with one thing at a time and remind my self that screaming and shouting won’t work..an attempt at diplomacy however can work with toddlers if executed correctly and the same can be said in any difficult work scenario. Keep calm, say your piece and get the child (co worker) off the shelf.
Networking like a pro: When you have children, you have to throw yourself into the deep end to make new friends and establish good relationships for the sake of your kids (even if you don’t really like the other parents that much). This is invaluable in the work place, creating connections for the benefit of your company, building partnerships and trust can help move the business forward.
Being ahead of the game with technology: So my 4 year old and 2 year old each have a Kindle. I probably spent too much time debating whether this was a good idea but it has been a great one (especially on the plane). There are so many amazing games for education: my 2 year old can name more or less every dinosaur out there and my 4 year old is learning to read with it. We have child safety measures in place and a timer that automatically switches it off when they have had x amount of screen time. The point is, with technology changing so rapidly, it is important for me to know what is happening because I can’t get to a point where my kids know more than me, the internet is a scary old place and I need to maintain some control. This means I am constantly aware of what is going on.
Budgeting ninja: It’s true, I have an excel spreadsheet that monitors all our incomings and outgoings. Now I have two kids, I don’t have the same spending luxury as before (have you seen how expensive kids shoes are?) but since introducing it, we are so much more in control of our finances and can see exactly where we are with just one document and this is a skill that definitely transfers to the office, managing budgets across all departments.
What have I missed? There must be a hundred other skills out there that parents can take to the office. Care to share?