It has been almost 12 years since I decided to quit my job to become a full-time mom. At first, I thought it was the best decision I have ever made, since I was going to solely dedicate my time to raise my wonderful kids. If I knew the actual me 12 years ago, I would have told my younger me to think it twice if what I wanted was to come back to the corporate world. Is not that I regret being with my girls, since I have had the opportunity to be present in every little aspect of their life; it has more to do with the fact that "Labor World" still refuses to acknowledge how committed full-time moms can be.
I was really surprised when some weeks ago, at the World Economic Forum held in Davos last January, Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America, came out with the following quote: "Hire women who have paused their career to have children. Just watch how talented and hungry they are." This was the perfect description of a truly sad reality that professional moms are facing right now. The only thing I would only change would be the word "paused." We need to start promoting motherhood as a change in career where women are challenged to perform under really bad conditions like sleep deprivation, hormone imbalances, stress and at many times, if not all, frustration.
In my case, after eight years of having my kids and looking for an opportunity, I sadly realized I was not going to have the corporate job I had envisioned. Maybe not exactly a part-time one, but a home office at times, with a flexible schedule, vacations when needed, etc. This may seem like too much to ask for a company, but if you really think about it and realize what a positive impact it will have in productivity and loyalty, employers may be giving a second thought and consider the above conditions.
If you take a deep look at full-time motherhood, there are many skills used during this "pause" that can positively be applied to any job.
First, full-time mothers need to apply patience as a permanent state. They cannot just quit on educating these little persons they are responsible for. Mothers need to get strength and knowledge from wherever there may be able to find it to help these little creatures become at least as good as their parents had been.
Second, full-time mothers need to be the perfect administrators. Regardless of the fact that to raise their children, moms need to administer the household, now, instead of getting two salaries, the family has to adjust to only one while the family gets bigger. It's not only the paycheck that needs to be stretched; quality time, too, has to be distributed among kids, partner, friends, house chores, free time, etc. At the end of the day, I do not know how or what mothers do, but they manage to get it done (panic attacks included).
And last, it may be one of the main reasons for the above skill to happen, but with time and practice, they become excellent multi-taskers. Full-time moms cannot take no for an answer. Homework has to be made while cooking, doing laundry and taking some time to watch the news so as to have something serious to tell their partners, run errands, do school volunteering, take children to afternoon classes and so on and on and on...
These are some of the many skills actually included in this non-pay job of ours. Instead of having a "gap" in our resumes and an explanation on why we have not worked since our last office position, we moms should be updating it with all the skills gained so far during these years of motherhood.
Full-time moms are so hungry for attention and economic independence that many of them are willing to take on any challenging job they can encounter. The problem is that society is still taking baby steps on this topic, either not offering mothers a chance, or giving them inadequate options.
This has been a hard journey. We full-time moms cannot stop dreaming that change will happen. Somehow, someday, if we team up and promote ourselves with confidence, we will finally be recognized. It is not how much time you can give to a specific job, but rather how much intelligence and skills you can bring to the table.