Why Parents Make Great Employees: A Person Specification

Have you ever stopped to reflect on the new skill-set you’ve attained over the course of your parenthood journey? You haven’t just been cooling your heels during your maternity/paternity leave, that’s for sure! So get ready to ace your next job application…

Essential Skills

  1. Flexibility – One thing we parents become surprisingly accomplished at is the ability to complete a great many tasks with the use of only one hand – whether it’s making a cup of tea, cooking dinner, responding to an important email or pouring a well-earned glass of wine at the end of a looong day – we can do it all whilst holding the baby (bonus points if you can do this without also disturbing the baby).
  2. Accountability – My husband and I are solely responsible for the lives of two small human beings. There is no level of accountability quite like it.
  3. Adaptability – Got a week of activities planned for your toddler? Toddler gets sick. Must find new means of entertaining toddler for the entire week. Alone.
  4. Ability to prioritise – Both your children are screaming at once. One is hungry and needs a nappy change, the other is overtired and having a tantrum. You successfully put out all the fires, one by one, starting with the most pressing need.
  5. Ability to multitask – I can simultaneously feed my newborn whilst reading my toddler his one-hundredth rendition of The Hungry Caterpillar. I can settle my baby to sleep whilst playing cars with my toddler. I can supervise my toddler‘s lunch whilst washing the dishes. I can change a nappy whilst singing The Wiggles. You get the picture.
  6. Organisational skills – You should see inside my nappy bag! And nothing says organised quite like a parent of two small children arriving at a 9 am appointment on time.
  7. Team player – They may drive me crazy at times, but no one’s got my children’s back more than me and my husband, and there’s no tighter team than ours.
  8. Excellent communication skills – I am painstakingly teaching a small human the intricacies of the entire English language. I also speak fluent baby (in other words, I can have a stab at guessing what someone is trying to tell me through the powers of deduction – that’s no easy feat).

 Desirable Skills

  1. Negotiation skills – Persuading toddler to eat his breakfast/lunch/dinner, persuading toddler to get dressed/undressed, persuading toddler to drink his water/milk, persuading toddler to put his toys away, persuading toddler to share his toys with his sister, persuading toddler to get in/out of the car-seat, persuading toddler to go to bed/nap, persuading toddler to get in/out of the bath – toddlerhood has got to be the most intense crash course in negotiation there is.
  2. Problem solving – My toddler took your toddler’s toy? No problem! My toddler just hit his baby sister? No problem! My toddler’s favourite toy is stuck under the couch? No problem! Teddy bear’s lost his hat? Let’s quickly craft him a new one out of papier maché and crayons!
  3. Available to work extended hours – Parenting is work, 24/7. Anything less is a holiday!
  4. First Aid – I can dispense Panadol to a teething baby like there’s no tomorrow.
  5. Self Defence – I’m a whizz at avoiding miniature toy missiles.
  6. Perseverance – No one knows perseverance quite like a parent who has put down a peacefully sleeping baby only to have them wake up the moment their back is turned mid-execution of a ninja-style escape.
  7. Commitment and dedication – One thing’s for sure, there is no one more committed or dedicated to the overall health, well-being, safety, development and happiness of our children than we are.

Bonus Skills

  1. I can recite The Wiggles greatest hits on demand.
  2. I even know some of the actions!

Just don’t expect me to be on time. For anything. Ever.

What new skills has parenting brought out in you, and what skills have taken a hit?

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