I’ve been revising some older posts and I came upon a speech I gave to a large group of women in our town way back in 2005. I was invited to speak to represent the Mums of our town. I thought I would post it again (as it stands) in celebration of all Mums this Mother’s Day (here in Australia).
Many people have asked me over the years if I ever get bored I can honestly say, I have never never been bored at home. Never bored socially, emotionally, creatively, or intellectually.
One reason I believe I can say this is that I have believed deep within myself that staying at home with my children is a God given profession. I don’t want to disregard at any time those who are working. What I would like to impart though is a deep appreciation for the role we play while we are at home - be that full time or part time.
Let’s have some fun tonight as we redesign ourselves and what we do in those hours at home.
I mentioned before that I saw myself as a Professional. There are a few basic problems with me having this view of myself.
- Not many other people see me as a Professional
- I have no letters after my name to say that I have had the training to be a Professional
I often find myself on the back foot when I am mixing with people in the paid workforce, when they ask me that question ”What do you do?” To continue to say I’m just a mum in itself indicates that I, personally, dont see much value in being a mum. Of course I do see value in being a mum. As I put value on my job, the value that God intended, I believe that people around me - be it my spouse, my friends and any one I meet along the way – will start to see value as well.
Has anyone ever considered marketing yourself as a Family Manager in such a situation? In today’s language MANAGER holds incredible value. You may argue that saying MUM should hold value but it doesn’t seem to in today’s market so let’s play their game. Can you all envisage going out and buying a name plaque for your kitchen door, mine would say – Belinda Letchford - Family Manager!
On what grounds do I have to give myself such a position? I am a big believer in bringing the skills I learnt before I became a Mum to my new career . I was a business manager – so this is how I think.
A Business Manager manages many departments. I manage many departments.
- Food department - catering
- Finance department - accounting
- Schedules - time management
- Home & Property department - real estate
- Special Projects department - entertainment, decorating or recreation
- Family & Friends - hospitality
A Business Manager / Executive also has the freedom to take on other roles in other businesses. I too have those opportunities. I have taken on a role in Education as our family have chosen to home-school our four children. I also run a home business, a scrapbooking business with Creative Memories.
A business manager works within the Business goals set out in the Business Plan. As a Family Manager I work within our family goals.
A Business manager works with a team - I have my family as my team. We work together to achieve not our business goals, but our family goals.
A business manager builds her team, spends time and effort going to team building camps etc. I have to build my family culture and nurture relationships – team building etc!
A Business manager knows her team’s weaknesses and strengths and works with them. As a Family manager I need to know my children’s strengths and weaknesses and work with them.
A business manager has a daily planner - she knows her tasks. I have to know mine.
One of the biggest shortfalls in my job as a Professional Family Manager is that I have never taken a course to give me the skills necessary. I have been fortunate to have a mother who taught me a lot of skills. I have also learnt that it is up to me to seek out information, to seek out the skills necessary for me to achieve my task. In the business world this would be called initiative and professional development.
Business managers build their networks. What about the concept of getting together with other Family Managers and talk through one of your departments? Maybe the catering department – swap a few workable recipes, discuss pitfalls and successes, and brainstorm for better ways of doing this whole catering thing. This is the same as corporate executives from the same or related industries who get together at trade fairs to share information, look at new developments, or work on causes of common concern.
If only coffee could be a tax write off! Maybe it is a bit of a jump to say networking and coffee mornings in the same breath but I do see many of the times that my friends get together we talk over all our Departments. To me this is valuable networking and it does enhance the productivity of my home.
So in answering the question do I get bored? No, not ever. I believe that along with all the other mums here in this room tonight we have the most creative job in the world it involves fashion, decorating, recreation, education, transportation, psychology, romance, cuisine, design, literature, medicine, art, horticulture, economics, government, community relations, paediatrics, entertainment, maintenance, purchasing, direct mail, law, accounting, energy and management. Anyone who can handle all these tasks has to be somebody special. She is. She is a MUM.
Notes: My thinking has been particularly influenced by the Book Family Manager by Kathy Peel and a poster published by Above Rubies on the different jobs a mother takes on.
Over to you:
Do you see being a mum as your profession? How has this perspective helped you be a Mum?
Learn the Skills to be a Better Mother: If we truly value our job as mother we will invest time and resources to training ourselves to improve our skills and knowledge so we can be a better mother.
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