Forget the mum guilt, especially when it comes to work – giving birth has given you skills that will trump those of your colleagues.
You might worry you’ve lost touch, or feel insecure or nervous about going back to work. (Yes, we’ve been there, too.) But motherhood brings hidden advantages on all levels, practically and emotionally. Giving birth and looking after a newborn requires an inner strength only mums develop – not least patience and an ability to negotiate out of dead-ends (lost toys and tantrumming spring to mind).
And these brilliant by-products of having a baby give you the edge at work, too. In a recent survey, 61% of working mums believed they did a better job after having a child.
Still not convinced? Let our Working Mums Club panel mentors remind you why you’re the best you’ve ever been.
1) You’ve developed patience
If you’ve ever tried to do anything in a hurry – er, get your baby to sleep or work out how to use your sling while your baby bawls – you’ll know that you can no longer proceed in life without drawing on deep reserves of patience.
‘Most parents learn to take a deep breath and give people around them more understanding,’ says Jessica Chivers, founder of The Talent Keeper Specialists and author of Mothers Work! How To Get A Grip On Guilt And Make A Smooth Return To Work. ‘In the workplace, this means a greater acceptance of other people’s approaches.’ So, you’re not just a team player, but you’re empathetic, too.
'Motherhood focuses the mind'
4) You’ve found perspective
So what if your rug is now off-white thanks to spilt milk stains? As a new parent, you’re often forced to surrender to the unpredictable messiness of life and adopt a ‘whatever will be, will be’ approach that works wonders when faced with a job interview or scary presentation.
'You'll believe you're capable of anything'
‘Once you’ve given birth, dealt with a newborn and mastered being a mum, you believe you’re capable of anything,’ says Jessica. A recent study showed that working mums were less stressed than those who stayed at home, and singer Lily Allen agrees that motherhood has mellowed her. ‘Having kids, you think about the future in a very different way,’ she says. ‘It becomes less about you and more about someone else.’
Once you’re a mum, you need people
5) Your inner control freak has left the building
– whether it’s your own mother to babysit, a childminder to enable you to work or a neighbour to sign for your bulk delivery of nappies. So, if you haven’t already got used to getting people to do things for you – even if they don’t do them exactly as you would – it’s time to.
But this doesn’t just mean being bossy. ‘The art of delegating is in giving enough responsibility for someone to take ownership of a task,’ says Tamara Heber-Percy, mum of two and co-founder of travel company Mr & Mrs Smith. ‘And it’s the same with toddlers, as they learn through doing, you have to let them get on with it,’ she says.
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