I've always been a hard worker, but since becoming a mum something happened – I work even harder, but with less time.
There's something about growing older and also juggling the lives of five people (mine, my husband's and our three girls) that's transformed my working style.
Here are 10 reasons I've become a better worker since becoming a mum:
1. Time management.
Since having kids I don't have the luxury of time anymore. Once I start working I have to keep my attention firmly focused on the task at hand. Overtime isn't an option when you have kids to pick up and dinner to cook. This often means lunch breaks are scarce and you don't spend time gossiping in the work kitchen.
I'm now more aware of the time pressures and stresses of other working parents and have more empathy for those caring for others at home, whether it be elderly parents, siblings or extended family members. A friendly smile, a conversation asking how they're coping or simply offering to grab them a coffee helps make the work/home life juggle not so stressful.
Ask a mother to get a job done and she'll do five. I can work, organise my kids' out-of-hours school activities, plan meals for the week, online shop for presents and eat lunch all at once. So, if I have many work tasks that need doing at one time, it doesn't worry me.
4. Work under pressure.
The moment you have kids you have added pressure. It's a fact. No matter what I'm doing I'm under pressure. And work is no different, but strangely, sometimes, just being at work and not being around my three children is a lot easier and less stressful.
5. More resourceful.
When you hear the words 'I'm bored' one hundred times a day you get skilled at coming up with new and interesting ways to keep them entertained. Problem solving and inventiveness is a big part of raising kids.
I don't have the time or energy to beat around the bush. If I want something done or see a need for change, I'll speak up. Since becoming responsible for the lives of other people I'm more confident to speak up when it matters.
7. Conflict resolution.
When you've had to deal with a kid having a tantrum at the supermarket you can deal with any problem thrown at you in the workplace, particularly difficult colleagues. Pity you can't put them in the naughty corner.
Gone are the days of wanting to jump from one job to another. I now have three people who depend on me, I have to make sure I have a good working relationship with my employer or I'd have no money to feed and house my family.
When I work I'm completely in the zone of work mode. I'm not a time waster - I just get the job done. I'm not easily distracted, except when I'm working from home and my kids are on school holidays, that's tricky. And why do they constantly need food?
Work is where I get to be me, not someone's wife or mother. It's my creative outlet and being given the chance to think outside the square and come up with new ideas is an area I thrive. It also keeps my brain active. It challenges me and gives me my identity outside of my home life and that's so important to me as a mum and a woman.