I've created my fair share of resumes (as a freelance writer for over three years, it became part of the monthly gig) and I take a great amount of pride as to what I can put on that resume. Graduated from college? Check. Understands how to create a spreadsheet even though spreadsheets are the worst? You bet. Fluent in Spanish. Si, jefe. However, the things every mom can put on her resume, in my opinion, make parents the must-have employees of any office or subsequent work environment. Sure, I thought I was an employer's dream candidate before I procreated, but now? Now I know what I'm worth (and it's certainly more than the 80 cents for every dollar a man earns, thank you very much).
The fact that my life would change after I became a mother wasn't lost on me, but I didn't necessarily realize that those changes would only make me a more desirable employee. In fact, I guess I tended to only focus on the "negative" aspects of how my life would be fundamentally different once my son came into the world. No more going out whenever I wanted, for as long as I wanted. No more lazy Saturday and Sunday mornings. No more random, spontaneous trips to distant lands (OK, I didn't really go to "distant lands" before I was a mom, but I think Las Vegas is strange enough to count). I was so afraid that I wouldn't recognize who I was after I became a mom, that I failed to realize how much motherhood would enrich my life. In other words, my son has made me better and in more ways than I can possibly articulate. Hence, the bullet points and the resume-like organization of all the wonderful attributes my son has given me.
So, if you're a mom and you're either preparing to go back to work, or you're thinking of re-joining the work force after a significant absence, find solace in the fact that motherhood has gifted you with a boatload of admirable qualities. You're a potential boss' wet dream, my friend. Just make sure you write your resume accordingly.
Yes, I can tell the difference between a breastfeeding poop and a solid poop. I know what meconium is and I know when my baby is going to stop pooping it. I can look at my kid's poop, and tell you what he had to eat and if he is healthy or if we need to make an appointment with the pediatrician. I know, I know. Try to hide how ridiculously impressed you are.
I can get my toy-throwing, all-out-screaming, ridiculously upset toddler to calm down in under a few minutes. So, if you know a passionate disagreement between coworkers needs rectifying, I'm your girl. If I can deal with a 2-year-old toddler who can't calm down because I gave him the red cup instead of the blue cup, I can handle a pissed off employee who doesn't like the fact that we have four meetings on a Friday.
When I worked from home, I could answer emails, write an essay, and dial into a conference call, all while breastfeeding a newborn. I don't have to give all of my attention and focus to one thing in order to complete a task. In fact, I don't think I've stopped to focus on one thing, and one thing only, since my son was born.
Fluent In Toddler Speak
You might not be able to understand what my son is trying to say when he mixes English with Spanish with toddler gibberish, but I can. So honestly, trying to decipher what a drunk coworker is saying at the annual holiday party is freakin' child's play.
Requires Little Or No Sleep
Yeah, I don't think I've had a solid eight hours of sleep in over two years. I don't need to be "well rested" in order to get the job done. I don't need an "afternoon pick-me-up" in order to turn in quality work. I've been living my life in a mild state of intense exhaustion since before my kid was born, so I got this.
Possesses An Overabundance Of Patience
It takes a lot to really upset me these days. I can stay cool, calm, and collected as my kid screams and throws his toys and chucks his little, limp toddler body on the living room floor. I can handle him getting up 15 times in a single evening. I have harnessed my patience and can enter a zen-like state in a matter of moments, so an annoying coworker? No problem. A mean boss? Please, that's nothing. I can go inside myself where I feel no pain, and count to 10 as many times as it takes for all to be right in the world.
Appreciates Constructive Criticism
I have been judged and shamed for my parenting since before I was even a parent. People seemed to have some "feelings" about how I gave birth, how I breastfeed (and when, and where, and for how long) and why I chose to co-sleep. If I can handle someone telling me I'm a bad parent because I let my kid sit on Santa's lap, I can handle those yearly performance reviews. Bring on the criticism, my friends. I can take it.
I'm used to people following me because, well, a 2-year-old toddler is constantly following me. I know how to lead by example, because I when I say, "Sh*t," my kid says, "Sh*t." (And loudly, and usually in public, and definitely more than once.) I'm used to having another human being look to me to have the answers, so being in charge of a group project or supervising other employees is a no-brainer.
Comfortable With An Immense Amount Of Responsibility
I mean, I'm in charge of keeping another human being alive. If I can deal with that responsibility without having a mental breakdown every few days, I can be in charge of anything any potential employer needs me to take ownership of.
If the universe has, apparently, found it appropriate to trust me with another human, I can be trusted with important, work-related material. Need me to take over that one project with that one serious deadline that's responsible for a bunch of advertisement money? Done. Need me to deal with a sensitive issue? No problem. I got anything and everything under control.
Can Make Coffee In Under Three Minutes
It's a gift, really. A gift that has allowed me to function at amazing capacities after breastfeeding a child basically all freakin' night long. A gift that has rendered sleep irrelevant. A gift that I could give an entire office, actually.
Can Tune Out Outside Noise With Terrifying Precision
I have harnessed the ability to tune out my child's tantrums (when necessary and safe) in order to finish grocery shopping or answer an email or cook a meal. I can focus on work and still tune into my son, too. My ability to either focus in on one particular noise, or tune out any and all noises, is uncanny. So, a loud office? Ha. That's nothing.
Works Well Under Pressure
I don't think there's anything scarier than being responsible for another human being. I have held a brand new baby in my arms, only to be overwhelmed with how much culpability I have. I know what it's like to live my life acutely aware that there's danger all around us, and still enjoy that life. So, a big presentation in front of a room full of potential investors? That pales in comparison to holding my baby right after he was born, looking into his eyes, and knowing that I am responsible for his health and happiness.