It is so irritating for me to see that the only way to get a decent job for a woman who has put her career on hold to raise her children is to be self employed. There are exceptions of course, but the rule in the western world is that to be employed in leading jobs, you need to be “plug and play”.
By definition, a Stay-At-Home mom is never “Plug and Play”. And her ability to learn and perform is often underestimated.
Stay-at-home moms develop amazing skills that should certainly be valued when they look for a job.
A woman who has been able to raise safely one or several human beings from infancy through adulthood, has MANY skills.
Children are the best trainers ever! They challenge you every single day where you least expect to be challenged.
Let me list skills a Stay-At-Home mom necessarily develops; they should certainly be appealing for any employer:
Leadership: Do you know what it takes nowadays to convince children, husband, contractors or employees to do something? Without a minimum of leadership a Stay-At-Home mom would never get anything done.
Flexibility: As long as you have to deal with several people all day long, especially immature ones, you develop an amazing ability to adjust to different approaches. In addition, a mother is constantly interrupted by the urgent needs of her children, and very often she has to delay or postpone what she initially planned to do.
Great communication skills: Throughout the day, a Stay-At-Home mom speaks at least four languages: husband’s language, contractors’ language, women’s language and children’s language (knowing that each age has its own dialect!)
Outstanding multitasker: Pay a visit to any household with children between 6:30pm and 8:30pm and you will see an amazing multitasker in action: the Mom! She baths the kids, prepares dinner, helps with homework, tidies up behind them, fights against their reluctance to start bedtime routine, all at the same time.
Thoroughness: Of course all Moms choose their battles to keep their sanity, but there is always at least one thing they are very thorough about: it can be parenting, tidiness, cooking, health conscious or other. This is a huge skill in times where superficiality and zapping reign.
Ability to negotiate and compromise: Feeding a child with something healthy from the age he is able to complain about it and resist, is an efficient way to train your negotiating skills. And although the “best” parenting techniques tell you that it is wrong to do that, I do not know one parent who does not make deals with their children: “ If you eat this, you will get that very appealing stuff…” And nowadays parents negotiate everything with their kids…or should I say, kids negotiate everything with their parents.
Dedicated and Hard worker: Everybody knows that a Stay-At Home mom day starts when she wakes up and finishes when she goes to bed. Do you need more?
Creativity: Children these days get bored 3 seconds after being left with unguided activity other than screen time. Who do they go to find the next thing to do? Mom. She needs to be resourceful to meet that challenge every day.
Ability to handle emergencies effectively: Once again check how Moms deal with accidents ending up in emergency rooms to find out how Moms, even super-stressed, deal with emergencies.
The only thing she does not have is a good sense of her own value in the business world. And that is only because the business world does not like to take risks with human resources. This should change: these moms have an amazing experience that should benefit everybody.
A former stay-at-home mom looking for a job should be viewed as a great asset for any employer.
Prospective employers, give them a try, they will do their best to get the job done efficiently. They won’t be afraid to learn new skills. And they will deliver.