There are several reasons why you should hire a woman who is a parent, psychologically, neurologically, cognitively, and socially. I lay out some of them here.
When you become a parent, there are various things that are unknown to you. You are in a constant overwhelming battle and you are struggling with every little thing because this is new territory for you. But when you find yourself after a few months and become comfortable with who you are as a mum and your new identity, things will start to change dramatically. From a neuroscience point of view, there is evidence suggesting that there are growing cells during pregnancy and during early motherhood in your brain too! So, what are the exact benefits that employees could also benefit from?
1. Super focused
While it might sound obvious, but when you are a parent, and you know that you have only limited time to finish what you had to do, you become super focused and productive. There is no time for postponing things that need to get done and there is no procrastination, most of the time! Your attentional span might be limited because of repetitive disruptions, but when you want to get things done, you can do it very efficiently and squeeze it in a short time when your bub is napping, for instance. This is a super important quality for an employer. If you hire a woman who is a mum, you know they will be efficient and focused in the time they have.
Again, while this multitasking is an obvious characteristic, it is a very important one. Our brain doesn’t do multitasking, it just learns to switch between tasks quickly, and hence, there is a cost for switching between tasks. But when you become a mum, you keep track of the time that your baby needs to be fed, while watching their signs of tiredness and plan to do groceries while your bub is napping before it’s too late to get home for another feed or nap. At the same time, there are various tasks that need to be tracked and planned so your bub is not disturbed and you can manage your other chores around the house too. While this is taxing and make mums tired, this is a reality. From the mundane home jobs to office jobs, believe me, mums can track multiple tasks at a time. They can manage to organize a meeting and follow up a stakeholder’s response while thinking about having lunch with a colleague and always be ready to pop into bub’s daycare if needed.
When you are a new mum, every single decision about your baby is loaded with hours of thinking and considering different options and possibilities. The extent to which this is healthy is another topic, but when you train your brain to think about an issue from a different angle, transfer of this skill to other situations is very easy, with a little bit of motivation, I must add. Evolutionarily, we are designed to care for our babies and there are our main focus of attention, but if our jobs become more inspiring and will be in line with our passions and goals, there is no reason why can’t we make better decisions in our day jobs too.
Mums become so empathic and patient. Compassionate. Taking care of a small child who learns every single thing at a relatively slower pace than you, makes you more patient towards others. We become who we are from a fragile, dependent creature and that’s a very remarkable journey. Doesn’t matter what your background is, you become more understanding of others. That is a unique quality when you are in a work environment and especially working in a team with different backgrounds and various levels of skills. You are able to understand others’ points of view better and respect them more.
If you ask every mum about their days, they would say that no day is the same. Things change daily, and even hourly. You need to go with the flow and be flexible to be able to care for your child and provide a nourishing environment. Rigidity blocks your child’s creativity and instinctively, every mum knows this and even if they don’t know it, they are forced to be flexible. Again, this is a unique and rare characteristic to find in an employee. If you hire a mum, you know that they can be flexible with changes that might happen in the project that require outside-of-the-box thinking.
In almost all of the women I met who are mums, I see sparks and motivation. They have ideas, inspiration, and originality. They love to create and they are ready to take action. They are full of lights and while they admit that raising a child is the most difficult thing that they’ve ever done, they are alive. A lot of women I know, started their own businesses, their programs, their ideas, their websites while dealing with the life-changing event of becoming a mum. This shouldn’t be considered lightly when hiring a woman. Most people think that if they hire a woman, they might be disorganized, late, not motivated, tired, and full of excuses. But if you provide a proper environment, women can handle be a unique mum as well as an inspirational and creative employee.
7. Just-do-it mindset
When you are a mum, you don’t have much time to waste. You just do it. If you have to book tours for daycares, finding the closest appointment possible for an allergist, book a family photo shoot, or join a class for your child’s development, you just somehow manage to do these things. You get things done! This is a great mindset to look for in an employee. Incomplete tasks make your brain inefficient and thus, tired. When you have this mindset in your employees, you can be sure that you see your project to fruition.
Our lives change as we become parents. Most people struggle to go back to their jobs after their maternity or paternity leave. I think we should think about our employees who are parents as an important asset rather than a lost cause. Think about their potentials and see how you can use their potential to your benefit rather than dismissing them because they are expecting a child or have a child, even unconsciously that might happen. Everyone will benefit from this conclusive and dynamic workplace.