Parenting Can Positively Affect Your Work

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13My story is a unique account of how becoming a parent can positively affect your work life.

A few year’s ago, my life was focused on my career. I was juggling my position as a flight attendant while planning two large events, TEDxBocaRaton and Contagious Optimism LIVE. I was a single woman and had become an expert at multitasking and was able to spend all hours of the day working. It was in the middle of one of my busiest weeks when I got the phone call that changed my life. A five-day old girl needed a foster home. I was recently certified to foster a child and the call came quicker than I had ever expected. All I had was a crib, so to say I was not prepared was an understatement. I had one hour to go to the hospital to pick her up and a full schedule of meetings and a pile of work on my desk. I had become a working single mother in an hour.

Becoming a mother had an incredible impact on my career. Suddenly, I had a desire to be more successful and a motivation to take my career more seriously. I wanted to be a good role model. It became critical to me to show the baby that I have a career that I love. But I how was I going to be a great parent and continue with my busy work schedule?

Caring for a child became my most important job. This new priority taught me how to work smarter. The flexibility in my positions became more important than ever. But now instead of working all day into the late hours of the night, I was forced to create a schedule that worked around the baby’s schedule. This put structure in my working life. This made me a planner. Working smarter, planning and prioritizing are key habits that helped make me a successful parent and successful in my career.

Next, the baby taught me to take care of my health. I was feeding (and still do) the baby organic fruits and vegetables as part of a well-balanced diet. One day I realized I was eating junk and feeding her a nutritious diet. I had to rethink my own eating habits. Once I changed my diet, I had a healthier mind, body and spirit, which made me a better mother and a better worker.

As a new mother, I received some of the best advice I had ever heard. The advice is about getting overloaded. “When you get overloaded and don’t know what to do – STOP – regroup and start fresh the next day.” When I feel stressed and overwhelmed in my jobs, I stop for the day. I use the rest of the day to spend with the baby, relax and clear my mind. When I start again the next morning, I am more productive. This advice has made me a more constructive worker and a calmer parent.

Being a working mother can be overwhelming, but your role as a parent can help you be a more successful worker.

  • Be a planner: Create a schedule that works with your child’s schedule. Example: I work 5 hours during the day while the baby is at daycare and 3 hours at night after she goes to sleep. I have a rule to stop working when she gets home from daycare and spend time with her. I plan my meetings around my baby’s schedule and appointments. I plan my weeks because it is essential to me to set aside time everyday to be with my child.
  • Work Smarter: Prioritize your to-do list. Moms only have a certain number of hours each day for work. Start by getting things accomplished that are time-sensitive. Keep in mind you are human, you can only do so much everyday.
  • Be healthy: Having a healthy child is extremely important, but your health is valuable too. Having a nutritious diet will make you feel better in all parts of your life. You and your child can be healthy, happy and feel good.
  • Do not get overloaded: When you feel overwhelmed it is important to stop working, unwind and start new the next day. You do not want to burn yourself out. Working too much can have a counterproductive effect on your work. Stepping away will lower your stress, which is good for your child. This will also help you be a more productive worker.

Becoming a foster parent has been a rewarding experience in itself. I am very happy to say I was able to adopt my daughter and become her forever mother. However, I never expected what a positive effect being a parent would have on my career. I learned so much from my foster child, and hope the few things I have shared will help other mothers in their work life.

The picture of my daughter was Easter last year that speaks volume her innocence and inner beauty.

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