I never realised I was upskilling or reframing my career path as a parent. If you’d been one of the few people that actually stopped to ask, I would have told you I was just ‘doing’ and barely surviving. And even now-a-days, on those low down, bad days you’ll probably still catch me professing the same. But, the truth is I’ve become an almost hybrid of my former self.
Today’s guest post comes from Berrit (Naomi Oikonomou). Full time WAHM, digital content creator and voice behind the BiBs nominated parent lifestyle blog booBerrit.com
This has not been an easy ride and the transition has not come naturally. Trying to navigate between all the definitions of me can be scary, depressing and downright hard work. But even on the darkest days I wouldn’t go back to who I was or the way I used to work. I just wish someone had helped me to see my value as a professional sooner. When I quit my job as a retail manager after almost 20 years in the industry to try and start a family, I honestly thought I was done. That you had to chose between being a successful parent or a successful professional.
Truth is though, you don’t need all the skills, just SAHM to get by in business. SAHM or Stay At Home Mums (and Dads) very quickly learn to master the following 5 skills:
Have you ever attempted to get lace up shoes on to a toddler and survived to tell the tale? Then you my friend have patience. In fact, whatever the waiting process you endured to finally meet your legacy human, whether that be through adoption or pregnancy you’ve selflessly put the needs of another before yours and waited for things to come right. All whilst you monitored and managed the process.
Post kids how many times despite letting go being the easier option have you simply held on? Now compare that to pre-kids. I’m telling you now if I’d walked into a new store and been told I had to manage on zero hours sleep, whilst wiping multiple bottoms on an hourly rotation I would have run, Forest Gump style. But postpartum and less than 5 hours after birthing child number two I was breast feeding, nappy changing, meal prepping and assignment writing. Why? Because as a parent you are just expected to deal-it’s your job!
Which leads me to resilience. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. If pregnancy, episiotomies, baby loss, leaky boobs, prolapse, sleep regression, colic and the rest have all taught me anything it’s that I bounce back. I am resilient! And sometimes without choice I’ve had to get back up faster than I wanted or humanly felt it possible to. Because no matter if your vagina just fell out or your hormones seem to be auditioning for Niagras Got Talent, kids need to be fed!
I’m not talking broken arms or medical emergencies. Although, having kids can often feel like a constant re-run of the movie Collateral Damage. From the moment that baby was born you’ve been triaging. Having the ability to assess every moment and prioritise needs and tasks is a highly sort after skill. Businesses need people that can distinguish between the urgent, non-urgent, immediate and long term. Much like medical professionals (and parents) successful businesses use triage categories to determine whether something is essential/critical, important/urgent, optional/supportive or in deed any combination of the three. You know like how kids have to eat and nappies need to be changed, but you also have to order the groceries, get to the school gates, service the car whilst making sure to form good family bonds and interactions with your children.
Whether consultative, participative, collaborative, transformational, coaching, delegative or visionary there is no doubt that you have honed and mastered at least one and possibly a selection of managerial skills in order to get shit done. From getting them to feed, sleep, go to school, do their homework, play nicely, share, take their medicine, clean their room, be polite, get dressed… If you’re a parent you will have learnt how to wrangle other human beings in order to complete the task at hand.
Are you struggling with how to frame your value as a professional, but the above rings true? Then I urge you to go back to your CV and use the headers above as buzz words to reformat your resume. You’re bossing it and you don’t even realise it!