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Does Parenting Make you Better at Work?

Interesting article in the NYTimes.

In my experience parenting has made me better at work…how so?

  • a lot more focused…no time to dilly-dally if you are managing a household with two kids under three;
  • much better at seeing the bigger picture…kids give you perspective;
  • better at multi-tasking (I’m mum, nurse, story-teller, cook, psychologist, arbitrator, negotiater, fixer of bubus, Teletubbies watcher, decider, etc.);
  • better at decision making (is this worth going to the ER to or not?),
  • and much much better at trusting my intuition (there is no playbook for parenting, 99% is trusting your gut).

What about you KP readers, has parenting made you better at work?

6 comments to Does Parenting Make you Better at Work?

  • Sarah

    All of the above points as well as a refocus on my career. Personally I have never been so driven to go after what am passionate about and getting paid for it. Its still a work in progress but its off the ground.

  • I have so far failed to produce children. Does this mean that I am condemned to spend the rest of my career languishing in mediocrity? Shame. I was hoping to reach superwoman status regardless of whether I had made use of my uterus.

  • Trisha

    Parenting certainly makes you a better worker. When my son was three weeks old I had to, code, analyse data and write a report for a major donor. As a single mum living in a country where I had no support at all, healing from a ceasearian birth – I did it all I worked day and night as I cared for my new infant and submitted what I think is some of my best work. I have never been soo driven and when I was through I felt like Superwoman. Something came over me when I became a mother – it is no longer just work for me. I want to be the best to set a good example, and to provide the best so yes Parenting has made me a better worker.

  • Ory Okolloh

    Stephanie, I’m sure superwoman status is achievable with or without children :-) My post was certainly not intended to suggest otherwise. There’s just a misconception out there, I think, that having children means an automatic end to a woman’s thriving career…it’s just nice to hear that it’s not always the case.

  • I think the misconception comes from employers, who imagine that the minute you’ve given birth you have permanent “baby head” and lose all interest in anything else. It’s a shame, because it’s patently not true, but so many employers can’t seem to accommodate greater flexibility for parents, and that’s why so many women find it difficult to keep their careers on track once they become mothers.

    Every new business I’ve heard of recently has been started by a mother who’s decided not to go back to the office. It’s not that they don’t want to work, it’s that they don’t want to work in the same manner as they were doing before they gave birth.

  • lilalia

    After 19 years of raising my two children and working as an engineer the whole time, I can say with complete conviction, being a parent made me a better worker, a better colleague, and a better mentor to younger colleagues. Yet, this does not mean that this fact was enough to overcome prejudices, misconceptions and ignorance in the work field. It all comes with a price tag and you have to allow yourself the room to make difficult decisions for the benefit of your children, family, marriage and your own personal development.