Let me preface this by pointing out that I, myself, am not a manager. I have experience managing people (thank you, summer lifeguarding job), but not as an adult in the corporate world. I did spend the summer informally supervising our team intern, which has given me a peak into the role, and I LOVE it. That being said, I’ve had some fabulous managers and some not-so-fabulous managers and because I work in a the heavily-female world of communications, most of my managers just happened to be mothers.
I think we often overlook skills that moms have as being valuable in the workplace because they are considered “soft skills.” We sometimes feel like to be successful in a male-dominated workforce, we have to act more like men. Here are five reasons the skills we acquire as mothers make us great manager
1. A mom can multitask LIKE A BOSS (no pun intended). I know, I know, researchers will tell you there is no such thing as “multitasking,” we are really just switching from task to task very quickly. I bet that researcher has never replied to an email with one hand from home while nursing a sick baby in the other.
2. Moms are nurturing.
I’m not saying you need to hold your employees’ hands and walk them to the playground, err, conference room, but there’s something to be said for having a boss who takes a personal interest in your career and goes out of her or his way to help you further it.
3. When it comes to work-life balance, moms get it.
Whether you have a sick relative, are preparing for the birth or adoption of a child or caring for an aging parent, life gets in the way of work. Moms are constantly riddled with guilt thrust upon us by nature or nurture (I’m not getting into that debate right now) so we understand the need for flexibility at the office. With technology that tethers us remotely wherever we go, there’s no excuse not to allow flexible work schedules in your office.
4. Moms are the hardest working people you will ever meet.
Long hours and late nights don’t necessarily make you a good employee, but we’ve been there. Did you bring your baby home from the hospital only to have your little cherub sleep through the night immediately? I didn’t think so. Moms know hard work, sleepless nights and selflessness better than anyone. Caring for a child is a full-time job and all you SAHM, you’re doing incredible work!
5. Moms know that poop happens.
Didn’t get that contract? Lost an important client? Ticked off the head honcho? Yeah, that sucks. But it’s not the end of the world. Most moms have literally been pooped on and it’s not a pleasant experience. But it’s also not the end of the world. Grab a baby wipe and move on.
**This is not to say that single, childless men are bad managers. On the contrary – I’ve had bosses who have never been married, have no children and are some of the most understanding people I have ever worked for.