I've dropped in and out of a blog called "Large Families on Purpose." While I myself don't have a very large family (not by that standard, anyway!) I am intrigued by the author's ideas, since in my books, having that many kids makes you much more of an expert on child-rearing than most child psychologists with one or two children who choose to do a lot of research and then write a book. From my own experience in other areas, you cannot truly know your field unto you are dropped in the middle of it and learn from the trenches.
So I clicked into an article she wrote about "professional parenting." The short time I had while both young children were napping was but a blink of an eye, but I was able to glean the following list that the author compiled about what it looks like in her mind to be a professional parent. She likened being a stay at home mother to the ideas and standards we afford to out of home workplaces. Here's the list:
1. Prepare for the day
2. Be purposeful
3. Focus our attention on our work place (our home)
4. Invest in the atmosphere
5. Apply self-discipline; others are relying on us
6. As a manager, motivate others
7. Have a vision
8. Budget our finances
9. Study to improve skills and knowledge
10. Requires our whole person
11. Practice team unity
12. Recognize our responsibilities
13. Don't just survive but embrace it to achieve success
There are lots of thoughts in each of these areas from the author on her blog, but I find that just reading down the list and thinking of each item in terms of my own mothering career is eye-opening. Too many days I feel like my only goal is to make it through with my sanity intact. And yes, there are days in the professional workplace that are also like that. But in my work experience (thinking specifically when I worked in film and advertising) each of these ideas were key factors to determining success. Without some adherence to this principles, the product of our work would have either been sloppy or non-existant. Those are harsh words when I apply them to myself as a mother and my home as my workplace and my children as my "employees," but I am realizing I cannot shy away from such a critique. Because failing in my career as mother is not an option I want to consider.