Many people are under the impression that having children changes your life dramatically and it’s true, but maybe not in the ways that you might expect. Kids shouldn’t be seen as a hindrance when it comes to balancing motherhood or fatherhood and a career since most people who have children are actually more productive than those who do not.
Parents Might Be Faced With More Pressure (the Positive Kind)
Pressure to get things done isn’t always a bad thing, and as any procrastinator knows sometimes that added pressure is actually just the thing needed to increase the energy and focus on a task. Working parents are certainly dealt some extra responsibilities in the day to day, but instead of slacking off in some departments it seems that they just become more adept at picking up the slack and getting things done.
The key to getting everything done is multitasking, and no one is better at it than moms. In fact, a study that was done by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that mothers of two children are actually the most productive career women of all. Over a thirty-year study period, they confirmed that people with kids consistently outperform those who do not. The study also found a similar correlation for men and children, but the effect was stronger for mothers than fathers.
Other studies have found that women are naturally better at multitasking then men are thanks to the ways that our brains are structured, which might have something to do with the slightly different results based on gender. The constant switching of attention between cognitive tasks can be tough on any brain, but research has found that men tend to be slowed down by it and make more mistakes than women do.
Parents Have More Marketable Skills
Becoming a parent is a heavy learning curve for most, and the skills that one acquires in doing so happen to be skills that are highly sought-after in the job market. Researchers at the Clark University and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina determined that parents tend to excel at skills such as negotiating, compromising, multitasking, and patience. If you can resolve conflict with a three-year-old you can almost certainly manage a group of adults.
Parenting skills and managerial skills just simply overlap, and the only way to learn it is to live it. According to the research published by the study:
"Parents tend to perform better in the workplace, especially in managerial roles, because they know how to multitask, cope with stress, and negotiate.”
Many Parents Have More Drive than Non-Parents
Most parents would disagree with the concept that being a parent kills your hopes and dreams. The processing of reaching them might change a bit along the way, but anything that really matters is going to keep mattering, and some parents even have higher ambitions and more drive than people who aren’t parents.
There are a couple reasons for this phenomenon. For one thing, many parents want to provide their children with as many opportunities that they can, which usually means finding some sort of success for themselves. Money, of course, is another driving factor for a lot of families, which might explain the desire that so many women have to climb the corporate ladder.
One study done by LeanIn.org and the McKinsey & Company found that moms are actually 15 percent more likely to be interested in being a top executive than women are who don’t have children.
None of this is to suggest that’s it’s necessarily easy to be a working mom, but it certainly is motivational information. Plus it’s great for referencing when any questions arise about whether it’s possible for women to “do it all.”