Becoming a parent can make you a better worker, New York Times writer Lisa Belkins said in a recent column.
I'd always heard that becoming a parent made men better workers. The common wisdom said fatherhood made men more stable and better
Women, the old prejudice held, would become unreliable once children arrived. Motherhood would bring distractions and increased sick days
on account of small, runny noses at home.
My own experience has been mixed. In my early days of motherhood, I concluded that each sleep interruption meant a loss of 10 points from
my IQ the next day. And small, runny noses, fevers and upset tummies did indeed take a toll on my work attendance.
At the same time, I began to discover professional advantages to being a parent. For example, I had a whole new way to connect with other
parents and with children.
When preparing children's sermons for the various churches where I preached, I could tune in to preschoolers' joys, questions and fears in
a new way. As a hospital chaplain, I better understood the anguish of dying parents who were leaving young children behind.
But you don't have to be working directly with children or parents to get a professional edge from parenting.
Good parenting helps you zero in on what's truly important. You become more skilled at setting priorities.