One of the best skills a mom has is the ability to juggle the demands of her children, her professional life, the rest of her family, and her own needs. It’s never a perfect balance, and it’s challenging, but it’s an incredibly admirable skill to have, particularly at work.
And Jennifer Spraggins, a team lead for software company AbleVets LLC in Washington D.C., reassured moms in an encouraging LinkedIn post to embrace and brag about that skill set. Lately, Jennifer noticed she’s been interviewing more and more women who minimize the fact that they have kids, believing it will make them a more appealing job candidate. “I noticed that many of the women end their interview spiel with, ‘I don’t have young children anymore so I’m always available’ or, ‘No kids to stop me from working,’” Jennifer said. “Or my favorite, ‘No more young kids so I can focus on my job.’”
Jennifer continued with a firm reminder to women, “Telling me this will not ensure you get the job. Telling me this downgrades every mother who ever held down a full-time job while raising a family. Telling me this, with an anxious tone in your voice, only makes me sad that you feel as though I would write you off for being a mother.”
As a mother of two, she is well aware of the challenges being a working mom brings—and the professional benefits it provides. “I have many full-time jobs, one of which is being a parent to two human beings,” Jennifer said. “It does NOT make me an incompetent employee at my corporate job. It makes me a hard worker and a responsible worker.”
There are countless examples of moms going above and beyond in the workplace—from Miri Rodriguez, a mom of two and head of Microsoft’s Global Internship Program, to all of the amazing moms we featured for our annual Working Mother of the Year award.
Jennifer ended her post with a reminder to moms to be transparent and proud of their role as a parent. “Don’t doubt yourself,” Jennifer said. “Don’t hide your #parentlife. Go forth and conquer mamas.”
Having a boss who understands that family comes first is key to a successful work environment. Not every mom is fortunate enough to work for a place that is so inclusive or makes reasonable accommodations. And we know the interview process can be daunting for moms trying to reenter the workforce after having kids. That’s why it’s so important for employers like Jennifer to speak this openly about moms in the job-seeking process so they know their value and worth—and go in more confident than ever before.