What are you great at in the office? Use those same skills to be great as a parent!

Working Mom, or rather, When “Working” Meets “Mom”

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Categories Parenting, Working

Here’s my perspective on being a single mother with a career I love: My time with my daughters is a vacation from work. My time at work is a vacation from my kids. I’m perpetually on vacation. Yes, I’m frequently tired and the need to constantly prioritize means that many lower priorities don’t make the cut.

Overall, though, I love being a working mom. It’s just how I’m built.

For the most part, I try to keep mommy-Sadia and professional-Sadia separate. In fact, when pondering my career trajectory, I came to the realization that I didn’t want to go down the managerial track precisely because “boss” is such a parental role. I spend my time at home laying out behavioural expectations, following up on progress, and enforcing peace. I don’t need to be doing that at work too.

That said, my work environment is extremely family-friendly. Actually, it’s just all around friendly. My coworkers and I hang out outside work. We exchange parenting tips. We know each other’s kids and pets and in-laws. My daughters, J and M, think of many of my coworkers as family.

It still surprises me, though, when I notice aspects of my job entering my parenting. The other day, I was trying to help M and J make peace after a misunderstanding. J had stomped off to the shower, understandably upset, in my opinion. I sat down with M to get her side of the story.

M: Am I in trouble?
Mommy: No, of course n… Actually, what do you mean by “in trouble”?
M: It means I hurt somebody’s feelings.
Mommy: In that case, yes. You hurt J’s feelings. I mean something different when I say, “in trouble.” To me, it means that someone’s about to get a punishment,
M: (starting to cry) I’m going to get a punishment?
Mommy: No, not at all. I just thought you were asking if you were getting a punishment, and that’s why I said no.

Then it struck me. I’m a business analyst. Much of what I do all day is get people to shared understanding, often by investigating assumptions and clarifying terms. Despite my own assumption that mommy-Sadia and professional-Sadia were distinct, I use my professional skills in my parenting.

How does your career or education impact your parenting?

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Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

4 thoughts on “Working Mom, or rather, When “Working” Meets “Mom””

  1. That’s great that you have such a great workplace. I think despite keeping your worlds separate, there is bound to be some overlap. You choose a career based on what you are good at and enjoy, so those skills are a part of you, no matter which role you are engaged in. :)

  2. Well, I’m an elementary school teacher and my kids at home are 3, so yeah there’s a bit of overlap! 😉 It has been a great way to learn- I have been able to apply things that I learn as a parent to my teaching, and vice versa.

  3. I love that idea: vacation from each aspect of our lives! That’s how I definitely see work. It’s a little break from the constant parenting. And yes, when I’m home and on the weekends, it’s a nice opportunity to spend time with family and not be hampered by time constraints or work responsibilities.

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