Before I had kids, I used to work hard. I worked long hours as a freelance web project manager, stayed late at my client’s office and gave it my all. I was never off duty – responding to emails as soon as they came in, regardless of the time of day or night.
I put off writing a book – something I’d always wanted to do – because I never had the time. I worked, came home and had dinner with my husband, watched some awful soaps on tv and then collapsed in bed. I always thought there would be an easier, quieter time in my life to write, and I decided to wait for that to happen so that I could really focus properly on my writing.
I took seven months off to go around the world backpacking with Hubby, then came home to the UK with a totally fresh outlook. This was partly because drinking fresh coconut water on dazzling-white beaches opened my mind to the beautiful world around me, and partly because I returned expecting twins 🙂 Less than three years later, my non-identical balls of energy and mayhem were joined by a headstrong little sister. I was in the wonderful position of having three children under three. That’s not for the faint-hearted, I can tell you.
I carried on freelancing, but switched to being a writer instead as it gave me the flexibility to work from home. I’ve learnt a lot since then about productivity, time management and, more importantly, mindset.
Here’s why working mums with more than one child are the best people for any job
There is a good chance that if they’ve come back to work from maternity leave, they’ve done so because they love what they do. They aren’t there to waste time – they’re there because they’re passionate about their job and their career. Getting people that love their job and genuinely want to be there is priceless.
They have a mind that plans intricate strategies on auto-pilot, and they can troubleshoot ten different scenarios before they even happen. In the mornings, a mum has to think about getting breakfast ready, getting a gaggle of kids dressed in clean clothes, getting them washed and their teeth brushed, finding multiple pairs of matching shoes and getting them on the right feet and loading the correct packed lunches into the correct bags (not mixing up one child’s Marmite up with another child’s jam or it could lead to a catastrophic meltdown). It’s like the biggest challenge you could ever imagine and she needs to do it with a stop watch hanging over her as she needs to get out of the door before she misses her train to the office or runs late for the a morning conference call. She is supermum. Every single morning. And she never, ever fails. Even when shoes get lost or end up on the wrong feet, she somehow pulls it back and gets everyone out of the door bang on time.
She believes that anything is possible and she proves it daily. A mum of multiple kids has absolutely zero spare time, but she carves it out carefully from her day. Where I once saw myself as too busy to write (haha how I look back and laugh at my crazy childless self), I now make it part of my day, every day. I haven’t gained any time – in fact, I can safely say I’ve never been this busy in my entire life. The thing is, I know that there will never be a quiet time. No time will be any better than today. So like all mums who have multiple kids, I just get on with it NOW because I believe it’s possible and I know I can do it. (What on earth did I do with all of my spare time before I had kids, and why on earth did I waste any time at all watching awful soaps and reality tv?!)
A working mum is someone that deals with multiple toddler meltdowns on a daily basis. She is officially a rockstar negotiator. Whether it’s arguing about toast that has already been cut into triangles instead of squares or pinning down contract deliverables – same difference. Actually the toddler argument is probably more difficult to settle.
She faces challenges, full on, every single day, without flinching. Think of dinner time after a long day. She goes home and cooks a dinner that she knows most of her kids won’t eat and it will turn into an argument. Again. Yet she still does it every single day because it’s the right thing to do.
She can see everyone’s point of view and help everyone understand the fair solution. Taking turns with the train set, or getting a team to agree on job responsibilities – it’s all pretty much the same skill set.
A mum of multiple kids crams an immense amount into her day. As a mum of three kids under seven, I now fit at least three times the amount of stuff into a day as I did before I had children. Having kids has made me super busy but it has also made me find ways to be super-productive and get more done during the time that I have. Before, I could easily stay in the office until 8pm to finish a job. Now I have to do the school run at 2.30pm, without fail. Deadlines like that drive you because there is no alternative.
A mum of multiple kids takes multi tasking to a whole new level. Think of a computer that has 2438 tabs open and that’s the mind of a multiple mum. She can be sending an email, planning her ‘to do’ list and answering the phone pretty much at the same time as trying to stop the pre-schooler from jumping on the dog. Now that is a superpower if ever I saw one.
And a mum of multiple kids does all of this while essentially running the home. Yes, I know this is the modern world and men are involved in running the home too. Like most men, Hubby gets stuck into household duties too, but let’s be honest, it mostly falls to the mum to be on call for sick kids, it’s mostly (always in my house) the mum that buys birthday cards and presents, and it’s pretty much always mums that organise play dates and family events. A mums mind is constantly whirring from the noise of all the things she has to to – which at any one time is usually a ‘to do’ list that stretches at least two sides of A4. With all of this going on, the fact that mums carry on each day without buckling under the pressure shows our impressive levels of endurance.
So there you have it. Just a few reasons why working mums that have multiple kids are rockstars and we should celebrate them for their awesomeness.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with another working mum that you think will appreciate being recognised as a true rockstar.