Being a working mom gets a bad rap. Even though it can feel like you’re racing around from the moment you wake up until the wee hours of the night, working can actually make you a better parent. Not convinced? (After all, if you stay home you’ll have more time and attention to give the littles.) Let go of your guilt about not being home 24/7, and check out these ways that working can have a positive effect on your mom-ing skills.
1. It hones your organizational abilities. Parenting in general requires a skillful degree of organization. But, depending on your job, you may be building these much-needed abilities during the workday as well. Whether you’re writing reports, setting up a new office billing system, conducting the weekly employee meeting, or doing any number of other work-related tasks, you’re honing excellent organizational skills that you can easily take home.
2. It teaches you to communicate with kindness. Talking to your toddler isn’t always easy. Young children are notoriously all about the “I.” This means the inability to take no for an answer, petty bickering among sibs, and a me-first attitude. While your job might include days filled with sweet, generous, easy-going clients and coworkers, chances are that at some point in your career you’ll have to deal with difficult people. How you handle these not-so-easy-to-get-along-with adults can breed skills that will help you communicate with your tot.
3. It can help fulfill you. Yes, you’re a mama. But that’s not all. It’s easy to get lost in the parenting world and start to think that you’re nothing more than a caretaker responsible for breastfeeding, behavior management, and all things “kid.” The feeling of fulfillment your job offers can make you a better person. And that makes you an even better mom.
4. It establishes a helpful routine. Because of your work schedule, Monday through Friday looks the same for you — week after week. Some people see this as monotonous. But you see it as creating a steady routine. Without the structure that the workday forces you into, you might not have everything from the morning meal to bedtime down to the perfectly-running system you’ve now built.
5. It makes you appreciate time with your child. Just about every aunt and grandparent wrote, “Cherish these moments, they’ll go by too quickly,” in your baby shower guest book. Now that you’re a mama, it’s easy to let the little things slip by. But not if you spend 40+ hours a week at work. When you’re with your child, you’re WITH your child. The less time you have to spend together, the more likely you are to make the most of it.
6. It can alleviate financial stress. Sure, working at a full-time job on top of your parenting job can create a lot of stressful situations. But when it comes to finances, you might feel some of that anxiety lift. Finances are a major source of tension, and on only one income, you may have to make unwanted cut-backs. Adding a second income to the household can alleviate some of the financial stress, making you a more relaxed and present parent.
7. It helps build patience. Your toddler is demanding yet another sippy cup of juice. And you kind of can’t take yet another impatient request. But wait! You don’t have to. You get to leave the house and go to work — at least for part of the day. Even though work isn’t exactly a vacation, it does give you a break from tyrannical tantrums and weeks’ worth of whining (that is, unless you count your boss’s behavior). That daily break gives you a parental recharge that just might result in an increased patience level when you get home.
8. You set a positive example. Someone is watching you. Your mini-me notices everything that you do, including the fact that you work. Having a job that you enjoy and do well sets a positive example of what a woman can do, be, and accomplish.
9. You teach your child how to be independent. Teaching your child to develop into an independent person is your job as a parent. While you might want to take care of everything for them and coddle your kiddo, this won’t breed the skills they’ll need someday. Whether your child goes to daycare, has a nanny, or hangs with the neighbors while you’re at work, they’ll start building independence when you’re away at the office all day.
Are you a working mama? How does working make you a better parent? Share your answer and tweet us @BritandCo!
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