I’ve been working since college. Let’s just say the realness of America did wonders in hammering out the desi lazy and off to work I went. And I was working up until the time that L decided to shake things up and enter our lives. I delved into motherhood, the telling of stories, the pureed food, the elaborate playdates, the sleepless nights (those still persist) and the constant fascination with how amazing this little kid is.
Then came along O, and our cycle, even though similar in it’s demands, became slightly more chaotic. Let’s just say, I was having a great, exhausting, exhilarating, frustrating, exciting yet sometimes boring, time. But it was now time to go back to what I knew best: work.
However, this post isn’t about my journey back, it’s about all the things I think motherhood prepped me for. All the things I realized I learnt on the ‘mom‘ job.
- Patience: There is very few things or people in life that test you as much as your kids. Whether it’s spending half your day waiting for them to put their shoes on, or spending a good part of the evening trying to make them finish their meal, kids have a way of trying you. And boy, do mine try me. Well, it helped. I used to be an impatient soul, always rushing because I didn’t want to waste time. Now, I’m open to long debates and questions because well, I get a lot of them at home.
- Time management: Remember the days when it was all about you? When you languidly made it though the day, doing as you pleased. Those days are long gone. Say hello to schedule and routine. Because without that, kids are just a hot mess. I spent so much time putting my kids on a schedule, my own free spirit somehow caught on as well. Now, I’m the master of time management. I can have her to ballet, dressed for a party and in bed, without blinking an eye and losing any time. So imagine how much that helps while working? You’re suddenly not drowning in deadlines and not having panic-attacks when someone requests a 3000 word document by end of day. You’ve got this.
- Multi-tasking: Ok I was always good at this. But now, I can order groceries, change a diaper, put baby-shark on the TV and velcro my other kid’s shoes at the same time. Which means, I can use this trait to better manage my work as well.
- Perspective: When a kid get’s sick, even with a minor flu, a lot of stuff falls into perspective. All the stuff you’re worrying about seems less daunting. You stress less about the house being too messy, not fitting into your old clothes and not reading enough. You focus on the big stuff. And it carries forward into work also. You pick and choose your battles at work. You realize if you fail, it isn’t the end of the world – you will do better the next time. If you’ve got too much work, you take a breath and plough through because at least the important stuff is in place. It’s all about perspective and realizing what really matters.
- Appreciation: Time away from work leads to a greater appreciation of it. You realize how privileged you are to be able to work towards something you love.
- Conflict management: Two kids, barely 2 years apart. Need I say more?
- Perfection: Your mission to become better has became not just a personal need but one that will be viewed by 2 little humans as well. How’s that for pushing you to be better?
I’m sure there’s more to this list, and I’m sure I’ll revisit it at some point. So whether you’re a SAHM or working mom, you’re constantly learning on the job. And no matter how daunting it seems, because sometimes it inevitably does, you’ve got this.