By Kathy Zucker • Wednesday, February 5th, 2013
This is what I saw when I woke up this morning.
— Kathy Zucker (@kathyzucker) February 5, 2014
Any minute now, I am expecting email from my baby daughter’s daycare telling me the facility is closed for inclement weather. The snow day call from my kids’ school already came in last night at 10:30 pm. Even before then, I was canceling today’s appointments on the virtual certainty that I would have three kids age 7, 6 and 1 on my hands indoors all day. And I spent yesterday – the one clear day expected this week – paying taxes, cleaning the house, getting groceries and doing laundry in case we lose power during several days of snowstorms.
— National Grid US (@nationalgridus) February 4, 2014
For those keeping count, this is the second snow day this week and the fifth day off this school year for Hoboken, NJ public schools. According to the groundhog, we can expect another six weeks of this mess. So what’s a working parent to do?
“The groundhog saw his shadow so there are, like, 8 more years of winter.” – my son, who I’m not correcting because he’s probably right. — Jenna (@TheJennaBee) February 4, 2014
For starters, don’t hide what you are going through. Non-parents tend to be clueless about what parents are experiencing, but this winter has been so extreme that even the most dense co-worker knows 100% of parents in the area are having a tough time. In 7+ years of parenting I never wrote about having sick kids until two months ago, when my baby started vomiting and didn’t stop for three weeks. I am NOT a complainer, but the last couple of months have been..challenging. Did I mention that I started a new job?
I am also advising two startups about marketing and business strategy.
— Kathy Zucker (@kathyzucker) February 2, 2014
How, in the worst winter of my life as a parent, did I manage to not only keep pace with my work but take on new responsibilities? By being totally upfront with employers about my (considerable) strengths and weaknesses. For all intents and purposes, I am back on my summer routine, when I constantly have kids underfoot. I wasn’t planning on starting summer vacation during a blizzard in February, but this is a classic example of practice makes perfect. I get up at 4 am to get the really important work done, then take on tasks throughout the day that can be interrupted, like answering email and doing research.
This is also why I am a consultant. If I were a traditional full-time employee with specific work hours, this arrangement would be impossible. In my industry – marketing with a heavy focus on social media – the majority of communication is virtual, taking place over email and Google Plus hangouts. It is extremely rare to see my colleagues in person – my goal for 2014 is to get to a conference where many of them will be present.
— Kathy Zucker (@kathyzucker) February 4, 2014
By showcasing your strengths and weaknesses, employers can decide whether they want to work with you or not. And who knows? They may even regard your weaknesses as assets.
Kathy Zucker, CEO of Metro Moms Network and Managing Editor of Metro Moms Magazine, mother of three young children and New York Life Keep Good Going Shorty Award winner and judge, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. She blogs at MomCondoLiving.com, tweets @KathyZucker, posts pics on Instagram, gets down to business at LinkedIn, cracks jokes on Facebook and gets outdoors on Youtube. Email is Kathy@MetroMoms.Net but the fastest way to get in touch is Twitter or Facebook.