My résumé definitely has a bias towards the experiences and qualifications from my last full-time employment 4 years ago. Also listed are the part-time gigs I’ve done while “on family leave” at home with my kids, and my writing credits. But something is clearly missing: The Mom Qualifications. The education, skills and experiences developed in this role deserves their own résumé, so here’s my attempt at a narrated version.
Demonstrates Advanced Administrative Skills: Designs, coordinates and communicates regular appointments to promote optimum health, education and social engagement of all members.
Example: No one would ever get their teeth cleaned without her scheduling, switching providers when insurance changes, reminding and in some cases bribing and physically carrying certain members to such “wellness” visits. They also might never get together with friends, enjoy maintained facilities or vehicles, or have any toilet paper.
Multi-Tasks Mentally, Physically and Emotionally: Keeps track of all members allergies, permission slips, uniforms, clothing needing washed, favorite comfort items, contents of the pantry, fears and abilities. Example: Making dinner with a child in one arm, a snack that is nutritious but not too filling to quell the cries of another, in time for the entire family to eat before the evening schedule begins. Becoming ambidextrous helps.
Curates Attitudes: Functioning as the PR department, convinces, plans and carries out every opportunity for organizational bonding, enrichment and recreation. Curates organizational blog and creates photo books, cards and mementos for extended organizational membership. Interprets past experiences and current events, defines terms and explains bodily changes while in moving vehicles. Example: “Mama, what’s slavery?” “Why don’t (classmate)’s parents live together?” “When are we going back to _____?” Respond immediately – but watch – the light’s changing.
Engages With Diplomacy: Negotiates with members at all levels of authority to reach goals identified as primary values of the organization. Mediates between members in conflict and integrates long-distance member participation in the life of the organization with expertise in family systems theory. Example: As one member emerges from their room with an item to announce to another, “Hey, remember this? It’s mine,” she assesses the situation, time until they need to leave for school, and how much teaching, coaxing, or quashing of dynamics needs to take place.
Excels at Holding Diverse Realities in Tension: Balances the confidence and humility of knowing that she fulfills the most important job in the world that simultaneously looks like she does nothing all day, and is in service to the most demanding bosses of all time, over whom she holds the most authority and influence of anyone else. She somehow comprehends that it is fleeting and yet will never end. Example: A member of the organization refuses to partake of a dinner that is carefully prepared to include things she actually eats. Repeat ad nauseum.
Acts with Self-Awareness: Demonstrates ability to compartmentalize, analyze own biases and pursue goals for the good of the organization despite personal reactions.
Example: Attempting to practice any parenting advice beyond what is internalized from her own childhood.