Juggling a career as well as a family is not easy, but somehow working mothers manage to do it. According to studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, they also tend to be highly productive, both at home and the office. In fact, moms with two or more children were found to be the most productive of all. This is quite interesting as people generally assume that the demands of motherhood make women less productive employees.
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In fact, studies have shown that there is a so called “motherhood penalty” because of this wrong assumption. Here are just a few reasons why working moms manage to stay productive despite all the demands on their time.
1. They Understand When And Where To Make Trade-Offs
Most jobs require us to make a series of choices on a daily basis, which is something mothers are very familiar with. Raising children also involves having to constantly make serious choices about what will benefit them the most. It also often means having to make trade-offs on a regular basis. This is a useful skill that working moms can then bring with them to the workplace in order to ensure that they always make the most informed choices.
2. They Are Methodical In Their Approach To Productivity
Keeping track of everything that children require on a daily basis can be a daunting task, which is why mothers are usually meticulous about their preparations. These requirements increase exponentially as children enter their school years, so most working mothers are well-versed in paying attention to details and maintaining checklists to ensure everything gets done. This is a valuable skill set that comes in very handy at work as well.
3. They Have A Healthier Approach To Work
While working mothers have the resilience to carry on with the job when they are not feeling well, they also know the importance of taking care of themselves. Too many people overexert themselves to the point of illness, which might work in the short-term, but eventually leads to inevitable loss of productivity. Not only do working moms make use of whatever benefits are available to them at work to improve their health, but they also visit doctors and dentists to ensure that they stay healthy.
4. They Find Solutions Instead Of Waiting For Them
Mothers deal with unique challenges every day, and often they must come up with innovative solutions on their own. This kind of out of the box thinking and proactive approach to problem solving provides them with another advantage in the workplace. Where others might wait passively for someone to provide a solution if they encounter a problem, the opposite tends to be true for working mothers.
5. They Make Every Minute Count At Work
One of the things that mothers quickly master is time management as having children means having very little downtime. Because free time is so valuable, working mothers know how to use it effectively. Since they don’t have the time to stay late at the office to finish up tasks, they tend to make sure that they get everything done on time. The necessity of getting back home at a reasonable hour to manage their family translates into greater workload efficiency.
6. They Are Not Afraid To Rely On Support
Although mothers are more than capable enough to handle most problems on their own, they are not averse to seeking out help when needed, either. Sometimes pride or a fear of being seen as incapable cause people to avoid asking for support at work, but this can have a detrimental effect on productivity. Working mothers know that the only way to get something done sometimes is by getting help, and doing this at work comes naturally to them.
7. They Can Apply Their Relationship Skills Effectively At Work
An important part of being a parent is the ability to foster nurturing relationships. Unsurprisingly, this is also a very useful skill to have in the workplace. When people feel that their own needs are taken into account, they are likely to be more productive, and this is something that mothers are very good at. This means that not only are they highly productive themselves, but they can also help the productivity of those they work with.
8. They Know That Sometimes You Have To Say No
One of the key elements of remaining highly productive is having the assertiveness to say no to requests that waste time. For some people this is very challenging, but mothers deal with plenty of unreasonable requests from their children and know that often it is better to say no.
9. They Know All The Tricks For Making It Through A Long Day
Parenting is exhausting, but mothers know that it is not something that can be set aside or left for later. This is why they learn all the tricks for coping even on those stressful days that feel endless. These can range from having something nice to look at, like a plant, on their desk, which is proven to increase productivity, to regularly drinking water, which also improves productivity.
10. They Take On The Hardest Tasks First
Not all tasks at work are pleasant, which can lead to procrastination and a loss of productivity. Mothers are used to dealing with some tasks that are very unpleasant at home, but also know the importance of getting these done. At work, this usually means that they will get the hardest tasks done first so that they can focus their attention on other work without it getting in their way.
11. They Know The Value Of Proper Preparation
Planning ahead in order to be the most productive is essential when it comes to family meals and grocery shopping, so it is a skill set that mothers hone very well. Proper preparation is just as important in the workplace and can help working mums to save time and be more productive.
12. They Have Learned How To Be Good Managers
Raising children requires the ability to multitask efficiently, negotiate fairly and also handle stress well. It is little wonder then that working mothers are more than likely to be good managers at work too. This is because the skills that they use on a daily basis at home are just as useful when working in a managerial position. Their conflict resolution skills and ability to see all points of view definitely come in handy at work. This is backed by a study performed by the Center for Creative Leadership and Clark University, where it was found that being a committed parent improved a manager’s work performance.
13. They Have More Patience
If there is one thing that mothers have in spades, it is patience. This means that when dealing with the irrational demands of children, the ones that they encounter in the workplace are not apt to faze them as much. While other people might lose their temper or say something they might regret, working mothers are able to draw on their patience to ensure that things don’t escalate into unproductive arguments.