I used to use the term ‘working mum’. Especially when I became one. I’d debate the definitions of SAHM, working mums, mumpreneurs – the pro’s and con’s and how tough it is to have kids and a career. Working Mum is a catchy title, it tells you how it is, it’s a badge of honour. But
…I honestly believe it does more harm than good for women in business.
Ok. Close your eyes. When you got to work this morning did you see the huge clown with the red nose by the main door? Did you just imagine a clown in your mind’s eye? Your version of a clown, your version of the ‘main door’? I bet you can still picture it?? So what happens when you’re referred to as a Working Mum?
People picture you first and foremost as a Mum, and whatever that looks like to them – then put a career on top.
Nobody says Working Dad, or Engaged Cat-Owner – what does your home situation have to do with your title at work??
I’m being flippant of course. I’m not taking away from the huge effort it takes to juggle a career and a family and if ‘working mum’ is a badge of honour for you, and it’s working, then you go for it. But personally, I think it puts a filter on you and your work that doesn’t need to be there if you want a career rather than a ‘job’.
In the words of one of the wonderful career woman I work with, “Got to say the ‘working mum’ thing was a bit of a light bulb moment for me…I had fallen into the trap of wearing it like a badge of honour “look at me doing it all!” when really it was likely causing (sometimes subconsciously I’m sure) some doubts as to my ability to do just that. Anyway, that has totally reframed how I see my identity already – crazy!”
So, try this:
- You’re a sh*t-hot [insert job title], who happens to have a lot of responsibilities outside work
- Allow yourself to be that person when you’re at work
It will make wearing your other hat at home a lot easier too, I promise!
About Kate Savage
Kate Savage works with High Performers in the Creative Industries – how to be them, lead them, inspire them. She is a Career Coach, Mentor, Speaker, Writer and Creative Thinker.
In addition to being accredited in Workplace Coaching, NLP, Workplace Diversity and extendedDISC, Kate draws on more than 15 years creative agency experience in management, mentoring and team development, to help creative thinkers to get focused, get noticed and get results.
Blog first published on Elbow Room Coaching