7 Ways Being A Mom Makes Me Better At My Job

These working moms have turned parenthood into professional development.

Karen Tappin took a one-day maternity leave. It would have been shorter, if not for her husband. The day after her 2007 home birth, the founder and CEO of the beauty line Karen’s Body Beautiful put her daughter in a wrap and tried to leave for work, but she couldn’t find her keys: Her husband had hidden them. “He was like, ‘Really, Karen? I knew you were going to try to work. Let the baby take her first day in this world off.’” Tappin conceded, then took the baby to work with her the next day. Tappin’s daughter accompanied her mother to work throughout her babyhood. “It’s been a beautiful experience,” says Tappin.

There probably aren’t a ton of American working moms that would describe their work/motherhood experience as “beautiful.” Research has shown that a “motherhood penalty” results in working mothers being less likely to be hired, less likely to be perceived as competent at their jobs, and less likely to receive equal pay. And with the U.S. lagging behind many others in terms of support for new parents, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope right now for new policies to help working parents.

When the right support is available, many working mothers find that motherhood actually boosts their careers.

Here are some of the ways that working moms–those with access to family support or child care–find that parenthood makes them better at their jobs.

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