A study conducted by the research division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis just reached maybe the least surprising conclusion of all time: women who have at least two children are literally the most productive employees in the entire workforce.
Oh, you mean to tell us that SCIENCE and RESEARCH prove that busy moms with careers get more done than absolutely anyone else in the world? WE ARE SHOCKED.
(We are not shocked.)
And the reason for this is straightforward. As this astute, smartly written article from Jezebel points out, “Being busy often makes you more productive.” Can you hear every single working mom in America nodding her head simultaneously?
We don’t have any choice other than being productive.
Let’s break that down a bit. Most moms have no choice but to fit in and organize the following:
- Household chores (a disproportionate share, we would add),
- Calendaring (this is a serious task)
- Managing the slate of extracurricular activities for each child
- School obligations (this encompasses everything from restocking diapers at daycare, to enrollment paperwork, to endless fundraisers, to being secret reader)
- Scheduling and attending most or all of the doctors’ appointments, dental checkups, and parent-teacher conferences
- Buying birthday gifts for the children’s friends’ parties
- Community volunteering
- Buying new clothes and shoes when the kids inevitably do that thing of outgrowing everything they own at once
- Prepping for every major holiday
- Ensuring appropriate cards and/or gifts are handled for all family birthdays and events
- Grocery shopping
- Prepping and cooking meals
- Ensuring all children are appropriately bathed/teeth brushed/hair brushed/wearing clean clothes, etc.
- Taking care of household pets, and…oh, I don’t know…
- Maybe occasionally fitting in self-care such as exercising or having dinner with a girlfriend.
We (Heather and Erin) each went through our daily schedules JUST FOR TODAY, and in addition to doing our jobs that pay us money so we can pay our mortgages, we did the following:
- Packed lunches
- Made breakfasts and hounded children to actually eat
- Made sure homework was completed and in kids’ backpacks
- Fed/changed/washed up the baby
- Walked dog
- Conference call with an outside vendor for the nonprofit board I sit on
- Thirty-minute household tidy-up, plus unloading/loading dishwasher and doing one load of laundry
- Administered medicine to my geriatric cat
- Exercised (I want a gold star for that)
- Paid daycare tuition and restocked bedding/diapers/wipes at daycare
- Completed and turned in reading logs for school read-a-thon
- Organized babysitter for an evening later this week when both my husband and I have work dinners scheduled
- Scheduled playdate for my son
- Bought birthday present for the birthday party my daughter will be attending this weekend
- Scheduled flu shots for the entire family
- Signed up to bring snacks my son’s soccer game
- Woke 3 sleepy children
- Delivered a sippy of chocolate milk to little guy
- Made breakfasts and lunches for all
- Took dog out (twice) in the AM
- Fed dog
- Took trash can to curb
- Got all 3 kids in car at the very last moment we can leave without being late
- Drove for ~75 minutes in traffic to two different carpools
- Drove home, loaded and started dishwasher, switched 2 loads of laundry
- Brief shower (and apply dry shampoo)
- Swap workout clothes for professional attire
- Drive to work
- Socialize briefly, get coffee, do actual lawyer work
- Use lunchtime to go to local church to try to locate lost sneakers (not found)
- Consume a Diet Coke and a granola bar for lunch while back at my desk
- Research tutors for 2 of my 3
- Cook beef stroganoff for dinner from scratch at the request of my children
We are guessing all of this will look very familiar to every other mom reading along. We’re productive because WE HAVE TO BE. If we get lax or lazy, this entire system falls apart.
We can crank out deals/presentations/meet our sales quotas/finish our reports/grade 30 papers every single day at work and be out the door at a reasonable hour because we are EFFICIENCY MACHINES. And we’ve become efficiency machines out of necessity.
This is why it sucks so much when businesses value and reward face time over productivity. Because working moms can do logistics better than FedEx and get more accomplished than our childless coworkers (and no one had better dare take offense to that because it is now proven by science in a study conducted by men)…but what we can’t do is put on the show of busyness for the sake of the show.
We can’t do face time for the optics.
Because we actually don’t have the time. Refer back to the lists above if you need a quick refresher.
But meticulously picking apart the fallacy of face time is a post for another day (and rest assured, that post is coming).
What’s the most badass (or challenging, or unpleasant, or otherwise impressive) thing you got done today, Mama? Because we know you got things done. Tell us in the comments or drop us an email.
Hugs and high fives to you. Keep on being literally more productive than anyone.