What are my 'mum skills'?

Yesterday, an impending school reunion left me lamenting my lack of exciting career and questioning my life choices. Since every work-related decision I have made in the last ten years has not been about status, progression, or even salary, but about balancing work and family, I worried that I had not made full use of my education and as such, would be deemed a failure.

Amidst my frantic scramble to think of what I could say to make my role as an executive assistant sound more interesting, and justify my desire for a family above a career, I found myself listing the valuable life skills I’ve gained from being ‘just a mum’.

I used to get frustrated with chasing people for work to deadline and explaining the same thing over and over to difficult members of staff. Now I spend all day repeating myself. At least my colleagues listened. I can't say the same for my kids...

Multi tasking
At work I thought I was damn good at multi-tasking. I'd pat myself on the back for answering emails and calls at the same time as making tea and dealing with daft queries about the photocopier or binding machine.
That was nothing compared to what I do now. Last week I cooked dinner from scratch (Chinese chicken and egg fried rice), prepared a bolognese for meals later in the week, fed my baby and entertained Lily with a drawing and craft activity. Simultaneously. Whilst also having a conversation with my sister on FaceTime. 

Risk Management
When planning a project or event it was always an essential part of my job to prepare for every eventuality and mitigate risks. I still do that on a daily basis. From remembering to pack a truck full of nappies, spare underwear, clothing, plasters, creams, wipes, muslins, medicines and whatever else I can fit in the bottom of the pram; to the bigger, scarier stuff like keeping an eye out for traffic and possible dangers. You name it. I've thought it through.

I don't care if you manage corporate accounts worth billions or oversee hundreds of employees. Nothing compares with the responsibility of having a tiny human being rely on you for every single thing. It's pretty overwhelming. But so much more fun (most of the time) than making money for your boss.

I can't lie. I completely fail at this in my home life. Not through choice, but because when you're on the go constantly, something has to give. I have a tight routine and do the same sort of thing most weeks. It keeps me sane. I like to know when I'm leaving the house and when I'll be back. I get to work on time and I pay my bills. But I have a memory like a sieve when it comes to getting back to people, remembering forms for the nursery and booking doctors and dentists appointments (and then remembering to keep them). I guess if it got to this bit in a review with the kids, I'd gloss it over as an area for improvement...

Time Management
In the workplace, I automatically assess and prioritise my workload as it comes in. I know how to manage expectations. This is impossible with a toddler. Their only expectation is that you obey their every whim on pain of death, or worse, a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket. But I manage. On the whole. I'm able to get through the majority of tasks in the day, ensuring that the important bits (like feeding and changing) whilst also seeing to the needs of my two small wannabe-dictators. This means that sometimes things have to give. The washing might not get done that day. I might not dust for a few weeks days. As long as no-one dies and it all gets done in the end, that's a success.

Fitness is important in the workforce. You need to rely on your staff and it's not great when they're sick or out of office. Honestly, I'm not really into this fitness thing. I'm exhausted by the time I get to the end of the day and struggle to find time in to pee, let alone implement a structured fitness plan. But. Every day I end up carrying the pram, laden with all the shite necessities mentioned above, down and up the mountainous, uneven steps at the front of our home. At those times I'm like She-Ra, Princess of Power. Except fatter. With brown hair and more clothing.

I'm pretty sure there are more, and that they will all come in useful once the kids are at school and I can hopefully up the hours in my working week. In the meantime, I need to remind myself that I do have skills and expertise, and that I apply them on a daily basis. Even when I don't realise that I'm doing it.
Min said...

I think all these should definitely go on your CV! #FabFridayPost

Moderate Mum said...

These are great. Next time I update my CV I will add these points and then give myself a title like Co director of nurturing and head of lost socks at My Gaff Inc #FabFridayPost

Su said...

Brilliant! Such a different world from the Office. lol! I love your writing style - very creative. Thank you so much for linking up with #FabFridayPost x

Our Cherry Tree said...

They will certainly be going on there at some point! Who wouldn't want to hire She-Ra?! x

Our Cherry Tree said...

I just love that job title! Does it come with a good salary? x

Our Cherry Tree said...

Aww, thank you! I feel like I'm still attempting to find my blogging 'voice' but it's wonderful to be appreciated. x

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