Motherhood gives you all the skills you need to lead (or get a job).
Today one of my best friends told me that she does not have a job. I’ll call her Olivia. For recognize-ability’s sake. Each day, this single mum (she’s a Brit) wakes up at dawn, makes sure her two boys are up, makes their lunch, organizes their after-school schedule, makes sure they are clean and pressed (well maybe not) and heads them off to the subway, like the postman neither snow, nor sleet, nor—you get the point—she gets the job done.
Then Olivia returns home to make sure their finances are in order by running an in-home office so she can greet them in the afternoon and make their dinner, help them with something called Algebra and Earth Science, make their dinner, order them off the TV—six times—and wrestle them to bed, teeth cleaned, bodies scrubbed. But she says she doesn’t have a job.
Here are some other things Olivia does:
- Negotiates. They are always trying to manipulate bed time, play time and homework.
- Teaches communication skills: Please and thank you, say hello to your neighbors and write thank-you notes. (I think that’s called employee development.)
- Admits when she is wrong. “Maybe slapping him across the face was a bad idea. I will go and apologize.” (I did not claim she was perfect) And sometimes, as Auntie Evan always says: “Sometimes ya gotta be a bitch.” All top leaders know this.
- Responsibility: Admitting to who, when, and where he lost his retainer and makes sure he’s the one to find it.
- Is willing to be “the bad guy.” No, you may not stay up past 10.
- Is a role model: Shows up on time and also hangs out with cool, gay people like me.
- Takes them to foreign countries to understand and interact with other cultures. (Again, I think that’s called employee development.)
- Does her best not to speak ill of bizarre family members—like their father.
- Talks about them behind their backs (lot’s of bosses do that to let off steam)
- Asks for advice on childrearing from friends and professionals like teachers. (Sometimes she even listens)
So, in short, I’d say she has a job that teaches her all of the skills a leader needs to have. I wonder if we can hire her at Forster-Thomas Inc.? Why—because above all else, she is passionate about what she does!