Being a mama is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Few would disagree. It requires resourcefulness, creativity, organization, time management, people skills, effective communication, conflict resolution, adaptability, leadership, and the ability to work under pressure. Quite a diverse and impressive skill set, to be sure.
Whether you stay at home with your kids, work for yourself, or work outside the home, it’s really important to keep your resume current. After all, you never know when an amazing employment opportunity might present itself. Just like you have a diaper bag packed with the essentials to handle everything from a Category 9 Poop Explosion to a hangry preschooler, when it comes to being ready for Opportunity’s knock, preparation is everything.
I feel pretty confident that if all the bosses in the world were mothers, then all you would need to write on your resume under ‘Employment History’ or ‘Work Experience’ is…wait for it…Mother, and you’d be granted an interview, at the very least. It takes a mother to understand just how much that title encompasses. If I ran a business, I’d want a lot of mothers on my staff because I know that they know how to get shit done.
But because we don’t know who will be running the hiring show at the next workplace you’ll set your sights on, let’s make sure your resume is truly reflective of your skill set and expertise. Regardless of whether you dropped out of school in Grade 10, or have a Masters degree, if you are a mother, most of the jobs and skills listed below apply to you. Update your resume accordingly.
Project Manager – My dad once told me that a child is a parent’s lifelong project. By that endearing logic, every mama is a project manager. We manage just about every detail of our children’s lives from the moment we pee on the stick and the plus sign appears. Schedules, appointments, meetings (aka playdates), health plans, travel logistics, budgets, document organization and updates, task delegation – all common responsibilities of both mothers and project managers. This is an absolute must for every mama’s resume.
Event Planner – When you’re a mama, it can feel like you’re perpetually in planning mode. There’s the day-to-day planning needed to keep little kids
busy so they will nap long and hard engaged in meaningful activities. And then there’s alllllll the other stuff. Birthday parties, Easter egg hunts, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Back to school. Swimming lessons. Visits from relatives. There is no end to the planning. Mamas are experts at identifying all of the elements inherent to scads of different events and activities. We make a list of all the logistical decisions that need to be tackled – invitations (paper or phone/email?), decorations (simple or elaborate? seasonal? colour/superhero/monster truck theme?), grocery lists (allergies? vegetarians? gluten free? turkey/cake ordered?), *Sidebar thought: can you imagine if there was such thing as turkey cake? Yucko.* cleaning (make up the guest room? de-sticky the kitchen floor?), scheduling (who drives who where and at what time? arrivals? departures? Baby’s nap!), communicating key info to involved parties (messenger? facebook? email? text?), shopping (gifts, food, decor, treats, WINE) – and we crack on with getting shit done to ensure everyone involved with the event enjoys themselves. Given the number of details constantly swirling around in a mama’s head, it’s a wonder our brains don’t short-circuit. We are event planners, and we learned on-the-job.
Resolution Expert – Also sometimes called a mediator or negotiator, this is another role familiar to mothers everywhere. When kids are in the picture, it is rare that a day passes without the need for the tactful and strategic use of conflict resolution skills. Imminent meltdown in the grocery store because Toddler Timmy has grabbed a bag of neon-orange cheese snacks only for them to be promptly seized and put back by Mama? Brother and sister feral with rage at one another because it is a rainy day and they both want to use their shared iPad? Mothers know that these situations call for quick and effective conflict diversion skills. She knows to stealthily replace the bag of cheesies with a bag of sugar-free bunny gummies that she keeps in the ‘Emergency Snacks’ pocket of her mom-bag, thus distracting Toddler Timmy and ensuring at least another five minutes of tantrum-free shopping. She also knows how to swiftly produce a schedule for the iPad to ensure equal time for both brother and sister, as well as how to knock together an alternative activity option for the sibling not using the technology. If this doesn’t work, she knows to threaten them with the elimination of tech time if they don’t get their shit together. Every mama is a Resolution Expert to some degree. This job definitely belongs on your resume.
Researcher – If you’re a mama, you are intimately acquainted with Google. First time mothers are research maniacs. I know I was. From the colour of a baby’s poop to sleep training strategies to vacation packing and every. little. thing. in. between…mamas are skilled researchers. They check their personal library of baby books, they engage their network of mommy friends, they pour over online articles, they connect with others in forums dedicated to their particular concern or issue. If you need information, moms know how to find it. Add it to the resume, ladies.
Recipe Developer – This is the one job in the list that might not apply to every mother, but I would bet my banana muffin that it applies to many. Take this situation for example: You have started introducing your baby to solids. On the menu today is pureed avocado – but Baby no likey. Baby spit outey. Being the ever-resourceful and creative mama that you are, you add in some pureed banana, and then a sprinkle of cinnamon (because all the stuff you read – ahem, researched – about baby food recommended adding spices to further broaden Baby’s food experience). Avocado with a swirl of banana and a dash of cinnamon. Voila! You developed a recipe. Resume, y’all.
Chief Operations Officer – This is a resume kingpin. It requires balls to include this one on your resume, but if the powers that be can’t take a little cheekiness, then we don’t want their stinking job anyway. The COO (how appropriate that the acronym is also a baby sound???) is responsible for the daily operation of a company. For the purposes of this post, the company we’re talking about is your family. In your role as a mother, you likely oversee just about every detail of your family’s day-to-day existence. You see to it that the bills are paid, groceries are purchased, and the kids have clothes appropriate for the season. You ensure there is something on the table for dinner (pizza delivery counts!) and that Baby gets at least one nap in her crib. You know when projects are due at school, the names of your children’s best friends, and the best place to get matching pajamas for the whole family for that Christmas photo your husband loves so much. Birthdays are remembered and birthday cards are mailed. Sunscreen gets applied. Vitamins are taken. Daycare/school drop-offs and pick-ups are down to a science, lunches are packed according to school allergy guidelines, and you’re on a first-name basis with your children’s teachers. Sheets are clean(ish), the floor is free of the kind of crumbs that hurt to step on, and the fridge has nothing rotting inside. You, mama friend, are definitely a COO.
So go on! Update that resume! Be ready for Opportunity’s knock and watch the interview requests start rolling in!