In December 2010, my amazing wife decided to pause her career in fundraising to take on a really big, really scary new role...
Over the past 12 years, she's done some truly astounding work as the Chief Operating Officer / Superhero of our home...
... and she's been promoted (with more responsibility) three times!
(How? We have four children!)
But now that our children are older and more independent, she's thinking about returning to the workplace.
I'm helping her to update her resume today, and the following is what I've proposed she includes as her work experience from 2010 to the present:
I took a career break to raise four incredible children, and in doing so, became an expert in people management, delegation, facilitation, negotiation, conflict resolution, and managing multiple priorities.
I believe that anybody who believes being a stay-at-home parent isn't "working" hasn't been a stay-at-home parent.
It's the toughest job in the world, and I'm absolutely certain I missed a few skills that get developed along the way.
As a society, we need to change the conversation about what it means when parents (both men and women) take a step back from their careers for a bit to focus on their families.
The learning doesn't stop, it accelerates.
And the skills you build at home are absolutely transferable to the workplace.
The next time we see a parent trying to return to the office after taking time to care for a child (or two, or four...), let's remember they're trying to return to an office...
... the "work" never stopped.
P.S. For the record:
Yes, this post was shared with Meredith's permission.
Yes, those are our four children, Chloë, Aidan, Charlotte, and Andrew.
Yes, despite their amazing good looks, they're all really my kids.
Yes, my four children can be made available to any of my agency friends who may need stunning beautiful little people for photo shoots or commercial collaborations.
Yes, I'm a very, very lucky man! :)
P.P.S. A special shout-out to Janice Anderson, who after I posted this to my LinkedIn profile, recommended I change a single word in my wife's job description that gave it 100x more impact. What was the change, you ask? It was to change "but" to "and" so that it now reads "I took a career break to raise four incredible children, and in doing so...." Brilliant!