Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Taking Care of Business: The Transferrable Skills of Motherhood

Friday, 27 April 2018

Taking Care of Business: The Transferrable Skills of Motherhood

It would appear that I may be up for a promotion. Now I will admit that this has taken me a little by surprise as my "external commitments" (also known as children) mean that I constantly feel like I am short changing my employer. I appear to be either setting up for work having arrived harassed, dishevelled and clutching either a rancid sippy cup, part masticated banana or nursery essential whilst cursing under my breath for having forgotten to drop it off with the relevant child; or loading myself up like an over worked pack horse about to start an expedition to outer Mongolia as I attempt to make my way out of work with a ten minute window to collect two children in two separate buildings who will undoubtedly want to show me everything in their respective nursery rooms from the rose coloured pebble amidst 7437 other rose coloured pebbles to their new, rather loquacious best friend who demands a play date, tonight and won't take no for an answer. Meanwhile the intervening period at work, between arrival and departure, is filled with a sense of being rather incapable and more than a little inefficient.

This aside, it would appear that the powers that be either know something that I don't or are too easily distracted by my ability to procreate at the most inconvenient times of the work calendar to notice my short comings and are really committed to positive discrimination. Regardless, I thought I should prepare myself for interview process as, if memory serves me right, my interview technique is somewhat lacking. I recall having perfected the art of profuse sweating from the underarms, back, belly and upper lip accompanied by an incessant and indecipherable babble akin to a toddler who is keen to express the inner, rather convoluted, workings of their mind. What my technique does not involve is poise, clarity of thought and confident, articulate answers. Therefore, I decided to research what skills I should possess as potential "management" and prepare my answers accordingly.

The numerous websites which I stumbled upon listed several key skills that one should possess in order to be a successful manager and that during interviews one should be able to "use specific examples from one's own experience to illustrate how one has acquired the necessary skills and to demonstrate how one has used them effectively."

Well one was stumped. 

One had nothing.

Whilst examples in the work place eluded me I got to thinking; I spend 3 days a week between the hours of 9am and 5:30pm doing my paid job and every other minute, hour and day attempting to do my more than full time occupation of managing the two unruly rug- rats at home. Those children had spent their entire lives (a grand total of 6 years) preparing me for this moment. I was ready.

They had had me in training for this day

Communication and Motivation

I am a skilled communicator. This is evidenced in the multitude of ways in which I can convey and effectively disguise a negative answer from “I’m not sure”, through “not right now” to “oh look, there is a bus/bird/pebble/lamp/key/dog/chair!” Furthermore, I also have a strong background in the field of translation and a history of effectively deciphering a variety of instructions, emotions and frustrations uttered by my “juniors”.

However, I would strongly contest the belief that a person in my position should be available at all times and establish an "open door policy" as I feel that a healthy distance should be established between management and the “junior staff” to allow for authority to be maintained. I find that locking myself in the bathroom for regular intervals throughout the day aids me in this practice.

Distance is key
My ability to motivate is second to none. I am universally acknowledged in our family unit to be the most effective at inspiring our "staff" to defaecate in the appropriate vessel. I have even gone the extra mile and devised an anthemic song to encourage those who are doubting their abilities and inspire them to achieve their excrement related goals. Go me.

Visualise your goal

Organisation, Forward Planning and Strategic Thinking

Organisation and forward planning is an essential part of my daily life. Anyone with two toddlers must be organised and able to identify all the possible eventualities that may be encountered if they wish to leave the house. Should they also require the toddlers in question to accompany them they must also employ some effective, strategic planning. On multiple occasions I have found myself facing a mutinous duo who would no more like to venture out into the elements than they would feast on cold cabbage stew and under these rather testing circumstances, where appointments are looming and scheduling is tight, I must employ the most strategic of thinking. I must engage my experience, knowledge and insight to achieve my goal. More often than not this involves bargaining, followed by reasonable threats, then excessive bargaining before I start to issue threats that some might consider far beyond the reasonable punishment of a 4 year old and entirely unenforceable but I get the job done.  

Their interest in outdoor pursuits is often lacking

Problem Solving and Decision Making

I have read that effective problem solving and decision making “requires outstanding attention to detail and the ability to remain calm under pressure" and I am sure that some of the other candidates may have regaled you with numerous examples of how, having been presented with a critical issue late in the process, they effectively managed to overcome the obstacle and calmly extricate both themselves and the company from the situation with aplomb. However, until they have had to deal with a raging toddler, excessive layers of winter clothing and a liquid excrement expelled at high pressure when armed with only 3 wet wipes and a “can do” attitude, I doubt they are in the same league as I.

Three wet wipes people!

Commercial awareness

I have a strong track record of anticipating the needs and wants of my “clients”. Many is the time I found myself catering to the unvoiced demands of those I serve without prompt, be it procuring the latest episode of “Go Jetters”, enabling (against his audible protestations) the youngest to recharge his batteries by putting him to bed during the day or engaging the eldest in an arts and crafts situation. It is merely fortuitous that this ability to pre-empt my “clients’” needs also serves to provide me with a brief hiatus in the middle of a long day at “work”, which in turn, undoubtedly increases my productivity (on social media).

It's about recognising the specific needs for each "client" where here we see arts and crafts are not effectively engaging the youngest

So, as you can see, we as mothers have many a transferrable skill and should not fear the workplace or question our abilities to thrive there. After all, if I can tame a couple of lawless toddlers who would no more be reasonable than they would perform algebraic equations, then I can definitely hold my own in the corporate world.

Management here I come.

Totes Profesh.

3 Little Buttons

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