Somebody I know returned to work today after an absence of a few months, so I’ve been thinking about what it’s like to be in the workplace as a single mum, particularly if you are returning after a break looking after the children. Many people feel nervous about taking this step but I would always encourage them to turn it round and look at the many transferable skills that parenting teaches. As a single mum, you have to become excellent at planning and strategy – just look at what’s involved in a day out with small children (or indeed distracting a small child heading towards having a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket!) Time management skills become honed through those hectic mornings getting ready for school or nursery, not to mention recognising the best departure time for the school run! Patience and understanding and the ability to grit your teeth or hold your tongue when necessary will put you way ahead in the people management stakes. Accountability and shouldering responsibility is easy , because you alone, as the only adult in charge of your offspring, understand clearly that whatever happens is all down to you! As for commitment – what bigger commitment is there than having a child? Relationships may come and go but the one you have with your child is the strongest, most enduring commitment you will ever make. So, as you reflect on the many useful qualities and abilities that being a single mother has brought out in you, take courage from these strengths and seize the chance to get out into the world of work and knock ’em dead!
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