It is a common belief that nothing in this world can prepare you for parenting, especially motherhood. You can read up all the books you want about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, but nothing can beat what experience can teach you. Even if you confide your fears and doubts with other moms, they’d only speak from their own experience, which sometimes can be useful and sometimes useless. Thus, the truth is, every woman is different – her situations, circumstances, personality, etc. Similarly, every child is different too. So many mothers have to adopt different ways of parenting if they have more than one child because what works for one might not work for the other. Every child is unique, and a mother, through experience, understands it.
According to a survey conducted by Zippia, out of the total 188,401 Licensed Social Workers currently employed in the US, 77.8% of the workers are females. There have been many studies on why there is such an imbalance in this particular field. All research bottle down to certain traits that make the female gender more successful in this field than men. The National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (2021) states that social justice, empathy, integrity, dignity, the importance of human relationships and effective communication are the core values of social work. Most women exhibit these traits naturally. This is why women are more likely to take up social work academically. In fact, in 2015, 86% of the MSW graduates were female. To encourage more females in this field, CSWE accredited online MSW programs offer top-quality curricula and ease for women to enter and excel in the field of social work. Online programs have been preferred by mothers more because of their convenience.
Researchers believe that motherhood and social work are two sides of the same coin. As mentioned above, the core values required to be a good social worker are natural to women. But these personality traits reach a whole new level once they enter into motherhood. In this article, we have highlighted the similarities between motherhood and social work. These similarities can help moms see how the soft skills that motherhood has taught them can also make them shine in the field. Similarly, female social workers who wish to start a family or are on their way to welcoming their first child can see how their job has already equipped them with a lot that is required to be a good mother. We hope this article will reduce a lot of their anxiety.
The Ability to Make a Difference
For children, their mothers are their entire world. No matter the amount of support and love a mother gives, it holds immense meaning and importance to the children. As a mother, you must have noticed how your entire existence pretty much revolves around your children. You acknowledge the importance of your role in their life, and you are constantly trying your best to play that role effectively. Social work demands the same support and devotion. You can make a difference in the lives of the people who’d you’d seek to help in your social work career.
Similarly, as a social worker, if you have successfully helped your clients overcome their problems and made their lives better, you already have the motivation and the will to be a good mother and be the right beacon in their lives.
Organization and Multi-tasking.
Both motherhood and social work are demanding jobs. A study conducted in 2018 stated that motherhood is equivalent to working two and a half full-time jobs. There is a lot that needs to be managed and looked after. This makes women organized as they wish to keep everything in routine for their mental peace. They also become experts in multi-tasking. They listen to the never-ending stories of their toddlers while sorting out the laundry or cook while feeding their infant. The list goes on. Social work is basically all this too. Planning the appointments, monitoring clients, handling a crisis or filling in the paperwork is just the tip of the iceberg. So if you’re a mom, you’d be an excellent social worker. And if you are a social worker, you’d be an excellent mom. Because your ability to multi-task and organize is top-notch, and both these roles require expertise in them.
After becoming a mother, the first person you can feel empathic to is your mother. You start to reminisce about your childhood and how difficult you probably were as a kid. This sense of empathy soon takes over, and you can begin to understand other parents, especially mothers. When it comes to social work, empathy makes all the difference. If you can put yourself in other people’s shoes and understand their misery, you will find yourself working harder to pull them out of their problems. This is why mothers are more inclined to choose social work as a career because of how quickly they feel the pain of others.
On the other hand, dealing with aggrieved families, mothers and children can make you learn how easily children get affected by parents’ poor decisions. As a result, you can empathize with children. These lessons can help you be a better mother, someone who is a role model to her own children.
Kindness, Patience and Tolerance
Both these hectic jobs that keep you physically and mentally occupied round the clock will teach you patience and tolerance. Whether it is your crying toddler or your grieving client, the toll both these jobs have on your mental health is unmatched.
You also learn kindness when you realize that your toddler’s tantrum just means he needs his mom to comfort him, or your client’s breakdown is them desperately seeking help. Being able to see the hidden plea for help behind a tantrum is what both the jobs entail. With the patience and kindness that either of these roles teach, you are ready to take on the other well.
Research has proven that women’s emotional quotient (EQ) is higher than men’s. And when a woman embraces motherhood, she is able to feel and handle many such emotions and feelings that were completely unknown to her before. This is why women usually are more active in careers that involve dealing with other people like teaching, social work, etc. Similarly, careers like social work help women understand motherhood better as their jobs require them to offer care, devotion and commitment to their clients, something that mothers do for their children. This invisible connection between these two roles has made many mothers succeed in a career in social work, and many social workers vouched that their jobs made them better mothers.