I just added “mother” to my LinkedIn profile. Why shouldn’t I? I’d go so far as to argue that adding the title, mother, should be seen by employers, human resources, and recruiters as an advantage to any team. All the skills we’ve developed, especially during this pandemic, can easily transfer into the workforce.
How can everyone agree that parenting is the hardest (and most rewarding) job in the world, and yet mothers still don’t feel comfortable adding this to their resume? Why doesn’t being a mother count? The skills we hone being mothers shouldn’t be discounted in the working world, yet they are. If every mother added it to their LinkedIn profile, I truly believe that, eventually, being a mother would be seen as an advantage to those hiring or recruiting.
Think about it.
Pre-Pandemic, raising children to be kind, compassionate, smart, and responsible humans, so they can be productive members of society was, arguably, the hardest job one can take on. Tell me if I’m wrong, but it takes a special skill set to tell your kid, for the 18th time, without raising your voice, that his pants are on backward, and yes he has to put them on properly before he goes to school, while also saying “we’re going to be late!” for the 33rd time. (I work patiently in stressful situations.)
It takes skill to be able to remember the 119 tidbits your kid wants to tell you about Minecraft or to guess their 18th favourite animal (I like learning new things!) It takes skill to keep your kid in their room at bedtime, when they keep reappearing, asking for a snack and the meaning of life. (I like to encourage others and am comfortable giving directions!)
It’s a skill to have the willpower needed when your kid has the same listening habits as a brick wall (I can work with all kinds of people and motivate them!) It takes skill to shower and shove down a power bar in less than five minutes, because someone is yelling, “Mommy! Mommy! Look at me!” 5000 times. (I work quickly and efficiently!)
It takes skill to perfect an effective Mad Mommy Voice, one that can scare the crap out of both your kids (and, possibly, the next-door neighbours if you’re yelling) into putting their damn dinner plates in the dishwasher. (I’m a good communicator!)
It’s a skill to both listen to one kid telling me about their homework, while ignoring the other kid whining because he finished his banana and doesn’t know what to do with the peel, while I am also disinfecting vegetables. (I’m great at multitasking!)
It’s a skill to make the perfect peanut butter sandwich that my son usually sends back, if he sees there is one iota of crust I didn’t cut off, or if there is too much peanut butter, or if there is not enough peanut butter, or if I didn’t cut it exactly into four equal squares. (I’m a perfectionist! I pay attention to details!)
I’m also a “monster killer” at bedtime, looking in closets, telling my son that I hired the ghostbusters when he was at school. (I’m a forward thinker AND I think quickly on my feet!) Who wouldn’t want to hire someone who has all these skills? And mothers are totally unappreciated! (I work well, with little to no supervision!) We are constantly sleep deprived! (I am willing to work long hours! I can work on four hours of sleep!)
In fact, I’m trying to not let all these skills I’ve gained as a mother go to my head.
But I do believe that mothers can get so much more done in an hour than some get done in a seven-hour workday. Yesterday I took my kid to the dentist, drove my daughter to volunteer, ordered holiday presents on Amazon, went to the bank, made a doctor’s appointment for both kids, filled out an overnight camp form for my son, filled up my gas tank, picked up a prescription for one of my children, researched a story for work, and went on a short run, all before noon! Which means I still had 9 more hours of “work” before my “shift” ended. (I am willing to work late to get a project finished AND willing to work long hours!)
I laughed when I was prompted by LinkedIn for my “title,” my “company name” and “employment type.” The choices, and you can only choose one, include, “Full Time,” “Part-Time,” “Self-Employed,” “Freelance,” “Contract,” “Internship,” or “Apprenticeship.” I mean, how awful would I look if I said I was a “freelance” mother? Or a “contract” mother? I could, I think, have clicked on the “apprenticeship” box, since apprenticeships train people to become skilled in a particular trade, in this case, that trade is parenting. Newer moms can probably check this box since the average length of time of an apprenticeship is four years. But I’ve been at this mother-thing for 17 years. (I’m not a quitter!)
Choosing a “title” for my profile was a little trickier. Typing the words “Mother” or “Mommy” seemed a little bland. One article I read suggested I use another word than “Mother,” encouraging job-seekers, to use other variations of the word, like “Domestic Engineer, or, “Full-time Carer and Household Manager,” both of which do sound more professional than the word “Mommy.” (Although Super Woman may be an apt title?)
There is a debate on whether to include the title mother on LinkedIn profiles, resumes and cover letters, especially for those who have taken years off to be stay-at-home moms. Personally, I can’t think of one mother during this pandemic who wouldn’t agree that the skills and duties we have been forced to perform, without a doubt, should be added onto LinkedIn profiles or job applications. Most of these skills would translate into skills for the job you may be applying for. I can’t think of one other job that comes with so many responsibilities other than being a mother. (I’m responsible! You can trust me! I’ve kept one kid alive for 17 years!)
I have screamed at my kids when they argue, “Just stop looking at each other!” (I’m skilled at conflict resolution!) I have drilled it into their little brains that we are a family, which means when any one of us accomplishes something awesome, it’s a win for the entire family. Likewise, when someone in our family has had a bad day, we are to be compassionate and as empathetic as if we had a bad day too. (I am a team leader! And a role model!)
Frankly, pandemic or no pandemic, all one should really have to put down under skills is “one-piece pyjamas.” Anyone in a hiring position, who happens to be a mother, knows the skill it takes to get squiggling and giggling toddler legs in the right leg hole, while showing the dedication we have for our children (I’m a very loyal employee!)
I wish more working mothers would add “Mother,” or, “Part-time HouseHold Manager, or even “Boss Mom,” because, and I’ve said this from the very start, this pandemic will set women back 100 years, since it’s us mothers taking on most of these new tasks, when already some employers, recruiters, and CEOs, unfortunately, still have these outdated and preconceived notions that mothers we will not do as good a job, and that those who are child-free have more time to work, are more ambitious, and can work weekends and nights, which is just so…false. (I can work on four hours of sleep easily!)
And now I fear that many women who are mothers will have an even harder time finding a job, since schools can close down any minute, which means that employers now we will be homeschooling online learning again (I can be thrown into unknown situations and learn quickly!)
But as for a mother’s work ethic, pandemic or not? Sure, we may have to call in sick, more often than non-mothers, because kids are germ-pits. Yes, we may have to leave work early sometimes, as I did last year at 11:23 a.m. when the school called saying, “This is not an emergency. But your son ran into a wall. And then when he turned around, he ran into another wall.” I was at his school by 11:55 a.m., even though I was working all the way downtown (I thrive on deadlines! I can work under pressure!)
I’ve had to be in constant contact with doctors, with teachers, guidance counselors, tutors, coaches, orthodontists, with other mothers, setting up playdates and sleepovers and, pre-pandemic, organizing birthday parties and chasing down RSVPs (I’m very organized! I’m also persistent! I get the job done!) Because I’m a single mother, with two kids from two different dads, I have to communicate with each father, who have completely different personalities. (I love to network!)
“You can sleep in my bed, but only if you shower first!” I always say to my little one. So I also negotiate bedtimes, showering schedules, how much time is left before they have to shut off their devices. Sometimes, I wonder if I’m arguing against pint-size litigators. I might as well be a “hostage negotiator” at this point, since it seems that’s how I spend 90 percent of my parenting time. (I’m a skilled negotiator and I have the ability to work under pressure while remaining calm!)
When I told my son he can order one item off Amazon, because he got a good report card (I give praise where praise is due! I’m very encouraging to others!) I had to redirect him from the $75 dollar wrestling figure he wanted, telling him he had to pick something that was $50 or less (I can also budget!)
What do ALL these skills scream to you? To me, they scream “Mother!” AND, “You’re hired!”
Plus, mothers will tell you if you have food on your face while also being able to provide tissues, Tylenol, Bandaids, highlighters, hand-sanitizers, half-eaten snack bars, and even extra socks at a moment’s notice, thanks to our Mommy purses! (I’m prepared for any situation you throw at me!)
Trust me, it’s not the worst thing to hire someone who has honed so many skills. So, what do we think of the title, “Domestic and Maternal Goddess?”