rachael_ellison_009-(ZF-10236-05389-1-009)So many parents apologize for or deny having kids to get ahead in the their careers. Women AND Men. At the same time, I often see and hear the same people using the skills they’ve learned as a parent to advance in their careers.

So, which is it? Does parenthood have to be a career roadblock or can our roles in our families add to our professional skill set?  In order to make progress and move past stereotypes, I think we need to make the case for why we as moms and dads are uniquely valuable to the corporations/organizations we work for. If we can’t make the case for ourselves, why should they?

This week I asked a few hundred people online and in person for their take. Here are three of dozens of ideas that emerged from the answers I collected:


  • “I remain passionate and committed but less emotionally embroiled. I take things less personally.”

It helps you BUILD CONFIDENCE & AUTHENTICITY. Once you’ve made the transition to raising another human being, everything seems easier.

  • “Being a mom allows me to be more myself at work, which makes me more productive. “

As a parent, your need to put real boundaries around your time. Boundaries help you BOOST EFFICIENCY.

  • “I know how to work smarter and faster. And I keep my staff on task more effectively.  I’m results driven with a new level of efficiency.

Next time you find yourself apologizing for or covering up your role as parent, think about parenthood can be an asset to your growth as an effective an influential leader. 

A version of this post appeared on rachaelellison.com.


rachael_ellison_009-(ZF-10236-05389-1-009)ABOUT RACHAEL: Rachael Ellison is an executive coach, organizational-development consultant and work-life advocate. In 2009, she co-authored an internationally distributed paper on work life best practices: “Better Work, Better Life.” The paper launched a campaign to improve work life practices in 100 non-profit organizations.