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13 Reasons Why Working Moms Are Way More Productive Than You Imagine

13 Reasons Why Working Moms Are Way More Productive Than You Imagine

Believe it or not, if you are a working mom and have two children, you are more productive than your female counterparts who have never had children or maybe have only one child! This was the result of the research division of the Federal Bank of St.Louis who did a major study on this topic.

Let’s face it. Many employers think that once a woman becomes a working mom, she is going to be less dedicated and even less hard working than before she gave birth. They rarely say this in public but it is a stereotype that still remains. But the facts and research are painting an entirely different picture.

If you are still not convinced that working moms are more productive, here are 13 reasons why this is a fact of life. They need our respect, support, and praise more than ever.

1. They excel at multi-tasking

Multi tasking may not always be a good thing when you have to concentrate. It can slow you down and switching from one task to another is not exactly efficient. But it is extremely useful when you want to cut a few corners and especially when you are using different channels. Working moms do that all the time at home and they can adapt it also to when they are at work. They can reflect on feedback while waiting on hold or moving from one office to another. The physical tasks are almost automatic but the mental processes can be highly efficient. They do the same at home as they do laundry and ironing while they plan meals, shopping and outings with their kids.

2. They are really flexible

They have to forego the perfect home and will be flexible about working arrangements in the office if their boss allows it. Look at the infographic here to find out the struggles working moms have when they cannot get flexible working hours. This means they have to jump through more hoops and juggle everything a bit more cleverly.

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3. They manage their time better

In other words working moms do not waste this precious commodity. How could they? They are simply better at time management. An Ernst and Young study found that this was true because women wasted only 11% of their time compared to 14.5% for the rest of the workforce.

“I can now very respectfully get to the point, get information, I ask better questions … I direct conversations more efficiently.” – Melanie Ocana, mom to two children and business owner.

4. They are more empathetic

Being a mother brings out all the empathy and nurturing needed in human relationships and that is so useful at work. Networking, collaborating and team work all demand these qualities and working mothers have them in abundance.

5. They are happier and more fulfilled

Working moms feel more satisfied with their lives as they have greater independence, can follow their interests and passions and have a greater sense of purpose. Their careers and their families can benefit enormously from this, according to the American Psychological Association and they are generally happier than the stay-at-home moms.

6. They welcome the break away from their kids

Yes, it is a super challenge and many working moms thrive on it. There is also another reason in that they can benefit from the change of scene and give their all to their job. “How on earth will you manage to juggle your family and job?” is the classic question at interviews. The best answer of all is: “Believe it or not, I like being away from my kids during the workday… just like you.”

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7. They are more motivated at work

Working moms have a lot on their plate and the motivation they feel to spend some precious time with their kids means they are even more productive.

“Not wanting to work too late or too many weekends, when I am in the office I get it done.”- Tonisha Pinckney, criminologist and mother to two teenagers.

8. They are more efficient at home and at work

Working moms realize fairly quickly that running a household means streamlining routines and schedules at home and not worrying about a perfect household where everything runs like clockwork. However, they will be able to use their work experience to make the household run more smoothly. This will also benefit their work.

“I had to set smart goals at home and make sure that they were religiously met or else my responsibilities with my job suffer … being a parent made me see the importance of setting up a plan, implementing it well with room for spontaneity and flexibility, and then evaluating the outcomes.” – Chris Ruffolo, writer and mom to twins.

9. They are paving the way for equality

Long way to go. But working moms now are showing that they can be more efficient and organised even when they have to juggle mothering and working. Just think what working moms could achieve if there were better facilities for childcare, paid sick leave and more access to flexi time. They would become super efficient and get the equal pay which is their right.

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Once the pressure is off the working moms who are juggling an astonishing number of demands on their time and energy, there will be a much more relaxed attitude at work. Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Don’t Cry is leading the way with this video interview. She is basically saying:- “Newborn baby, breastfeeding mom, no big deal—let’s get to work.”

10. They are providing strong female models for their children

This makes parenting so much easier for them because they are providing a model for their children to follow by being dynamic and following their career objectives. They are really raising them to be strong individuals and their children can feel proud that their moms are successful. This makes parenting easier, can alleviate many of the pressures at home and make them even more productive at work. Working moms often make the boundaries clear.

“I work my day around being able to be home with them in the morning and at nights. We don’t have meetings at 6 o’clock; I’m home having dinner with my family. I also have an incredibly supportive husband who as made accommodations for our family because it’s incredibly important to us. We’re an equal partnership that we’ve had to evolve.” – Jessica Herrin, mom to two daughters and founder of Stella & Dot

11. They are less likely to gossip

There is simply no time for office politics or gossip at the water cooler. These sessions are often highly unproductive and create a toxic workplace. Because of simple time constraints and because working moms know better, you will not find them at the water cooler doing that.

12. They never have hangovers

Younger, single staff may actually have more sick leave due to late nights and hangovers. This is why many employers now hire working moms as they are more productive and they never have hangovers!

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13. They make better team players

Employers now want more efficient and better team players and working moms fit the bill perfectly. This is what Microsoft research found when they interviewed 2,000 women and 500 employers about working moms. When they were asked whether the working moms made better team players, 57% said that the mothers were definitely better than single or childless women.

The best news of all is that technology s now helping working moms with their juggling tasks and they are becoming even more productive now in the workplace. More great news is that some forward looking companies are allowing moms to bring their child and carer on business trips until the baby is one year old. Way to go!

Featured photo credit: My mom, at work/ Nick Gray via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Freelance writer

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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