NEWS

It’s Time Moms Start Putting “Mom” on Their Resume

mom on the phone with kids around

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Key Takeaways

  • Some organizations are encouraging moms to put time spent in motherhood on their resumes
  • Many of the skills moms pick up during child-rearing can transfer successfully to a professional setting.
  • Nearly 5 million women are no longer working since the beginning of the pandemic.


Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, moms across America were faced with a nearly impossible workload, often shouldering the dual burden of a full-time job with raising a family. While dads have become much more involved in recent decades, the role of motherhood is still a heavy lift. 

But the pandemic laid bare just how difficult managing two sets of competing responsibilities can be, as moms either left the workforce from sheer lack of options when it came to childcare or took on the responsibility of working from home while caring for children. 

Now more than ever, moms returning to the workforce deserve some credit for the host of skills they’ve gained from the trenches of parenthood. And many argue that it’s a title that even belongs on a resume. 

Pandemic Brings Lingering Unemployment for Moms

As of March 2021, an unprecedented number of women had left the workforce. Estimates indicate that nearly 5 million women—the majority of them Black and Latina—are currently without a job as a result of the pandemic.

Now, there’s an official movement that encourages moms to add experience gained through raising little ones to their resumes. The Motherhood on the Resume (MOTR) movement was started by Hey Mama, an online community for working moms. The site describes it as “a movement to validate the unpaid labor of moms, de-stigmatize taking time off from work for motherhood, and recognize the strengths moms bring to their professional lives, not in spite of being parents but because of it."

Parenthood: A Host of Transferable Skills

While employers may wonder exactly which parenting skills translate to the workplace, many moms are wondering which skills don’t.

“Moms are multi-talented by nature,” says Leslie Pyle, founder of HireMyMom.com, a career website that helps match remote and freelance employees to small businesses. “They are cooks, counselors, event managers, time managers, budgeters, shoppers, teachers, listeners, multitaskers, taxi drivers, supervisors and so much more. Many of these skills are crucial in the workplace as well.”

Sadly though, many employers don’t recognize these attributes or only see parenting responsibilities as those that draw time and attention away from work, rather than enhancing professionalism.

Aliza Friedlander is a freelance writer who’s part of the HeyMama community. She added her motherhood experience to her resume back in 2019 and feels that one of the biggest hurdles for working moms to overcome is the lack of understanding in many workplaces. 

“I believe employers and employees who aren't moms have a difficult time understanding the pressures moms face and misinterpret their commitment to their kids as laziness," Friedlander says. "Moms struggle to move up in their careers, especially if they want to work part-time or in a remote or flexible capacity to be a professional and parent."

She continued: "Moms who decide to clock out at a reasonable hour, prioritize their kids, or make different professional choices are pigeonholed as lazy. But in reality, moms are the hardest working people in the nation. It's the lack of understanding and knowledge that leads to this untrue stereotype."

Real Moms Speak

We asked several moms to weigh in on what skills they’ve learned as a parent that have also served them well in the workplace. Here’s what we (and they) learned:

How to Balance

"[As a stay-at-home parent], I worked harder than I ever have, learning to balance a house with less money, more expenses, meal planning, appointments, household chores, and having full attention on a little person," says Cheryl P, a mom of two in Tucson, Arizona who works in the publishing industry. "It made me a better version of myself and a more empathetic leader."

How to Manage

"I’m the CEO of my entire household, ensuring that all humans within it remain healthy, fed, bathed, clothed, loved, educated, entertained, and active each day," says Nikki Oden, in an article published in Working Mother (used with permission). "I’m responsible for managing schedules, deadlines, and attitudes. There have been times I’ve had to do all that on less than three hours of sleep with dirty hair and teeth and spit-up on my shirt. And I do it all for a whopping annual salary of zero dollars. That truth bomb helped me realize I am extremely valuable in the workplace—not despite being a mother, but because I am."

How to Communicate

“The greatest skills I’ve learned as a mom are communication skills," says Olivia T, mom of three from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who works in marketing. "As a mother, I’m constantly mentoring, teaching, and counseling my children. In addition to that, there are also the communication skills I’ve honed through events and organizations I’m part of as a parent.”

How to Give Instructions

“As a mom, I spend my entire day communicating in some form or fashion. Failed communication can lead to arguments, tantrums, and God forbid, meltdowns. Clear communication is a must-have skill for moms and a valuable skill for the workplace as well. Have you ever given poor instructions to someone? Because I have done that with my kids and learned very quickly the importance of clear and direct communication."

What This Means For You

If you’re a working mom, join the movement! Clearly delineate the skills you’ve picked up while in the trenches of parenthood. You never know—your next dream job or position might just call for those very skills. 

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  1. Saenz R, Sparks C, Validova A. Inequities in job recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic: A year later. The Carsey School of Public Policy. Published online 2021. doi:10.34051/p/2021.40