My son is not yet 3 years old, and he’s already dropped an exponential amount of knowledge on me (despite his limited vocabulary). His mere existence is constantly teaching me about love, sacrifice, discovery, and more specifically, how to power through a day when I’m totally exhausted. I can think of a few key areas where these lessons are especially applicable, including but not limited to, my roles as a mom, friend, and a colleague. In fact, there are a number of ways that your kid will teach you to be a better coworker, I’ve found. The lessons we learn from parenting are endless and humbling and essential, aren’t they?
To be totally transparent, I don’t have traditional coworkers the same way that I used to. After my son was born, I did return to my office job in student affairs and outreach at a nearby university, but ultimately decided to only stay for a few months, opting to transition to a blend of life as a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom. Now that a couple of years have gone by, I identify mostly as a work-at-home mom which, in my case, means that work is on my mind pretty much every hour of every day since the door to the office is always a few mere steps away.
So, while I don’t share a workspace with my colleagues, I’m interacting with them frequently via chat, over text, over email, video calls, and social media. I’d wager that my experience as both a mom working (temporarily) outside of the home, and as a mom working from home, has provided me with some clear(ish) insight on how becoming a parent makes you a better colleague.