In Praise of Working Military Moms
Recently I became a grandmother and oh how I wish my understanding of working mothers would have come sooner than 2012! You see, I don’t have children of my own. I am a step-grandmother, which translates to: I am reaping all of the wonderful benefits that a “real” grandmother experiences – without all of the trials and tribulations afforded by motherhood.
Flexibility is not in my vocabulary and I expected military moms to deliver the tasks before them in record time – keeping our mission fresh, innovative, and completely focused on precise deadlines.
Now that I have a grandson, my time is more valuable than ever. I’ve experienced an epiphany regarding the additional perspectives children bring to the lives of non-moms, such as myself.
Since the birth of my grandson, I am happier and much more flexible than I have ever been in my professional life – and I believe my Team will agree. Deadlines for deliverables are thoroughly discussed so the Team can balance work and life responsibilities at a nicer pace. We laugh more on conference calls and we’ve learned we cannot be everything to everyone.
The most amazing thing happened after we instituted a more family friendly environment to our CASY-MSCCN Program: production levels skyrocketed. They literally skyrocketed.
Our growth as an organization became historic in certain circles of DOD and branches of the Armed Forces. We bonded as a Team, the likes of which I’ve never enjoyed before. Becoming family-friendly was the key to peak performance. One year ago, I would have argued that creating a family friendly work environment did nothing but coddle workers, slowing down production of deliverables. Boy was I wrong ... so very wrong!
How I Became A More Family-Friendly Boss
I read a report published by The American Psychological Association that showed mothers who maintain their jobs while their children are in infancy and pre-school years, are happier and healthier than their more traditional stay-at-home peers.
Here’s the data that blew me away. (From Medical News Website: Working Moms Are Happier and Healthier Written by Rupert Shepherd Copyright: Medical News Today http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/239140.php)
“The article, published in the December 2011 issue of APA's Journal of Family Psychology, included nearly 1,500 mothers who were interviewed after their child was born and in follow ups over the next 10+ years. Mothers employed part time appeared to have better overall health and less depression than stay at home moms, while general health and depressive symptoms were essentially the same in both full time and part time working mothers.”
Working Moms Bring Enormous VALUE to the Corporate and Private Sector Workforce
In retrospect, I so wish that I had read articles such as this to truly understand the VALUE working moms bring to the corporate workforce and private sector. The focus, love, dedication and selfless care they place into their children’s daily care is the SAME type of work ethic the working mom brings to my program – day in and day out.
Corporate America Supports You (CASY) and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) were chartered in 2004 as private sector non-profit organizations that provide no-cost employment readiness, vocational training, and one-on-one job placement services for National Guard, Reserves, transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, homeless female veterans, war wounded and caregivers of war wounded. CASY-MSCCN operates as an employment partner to all branches of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Coast Guard, through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). In addition, without funding and through its partnership with Kenexa and DirectEmployers Association, CASY- MSCCN created and maintains the National Guard Employment program, which provides training and job placement to returning National Guard personnel and their families. Each of these high-touch programs is supported by solid partnerships with major corporations, mid-size companies and small businesses that provide employment opportunities for our military-affiliated job seekers. Our state-of-the- art technology, built by Kenexa, provides real-time, verifiable tracking numbers and outcome reports to our employment partners, military services, and donors.
By Deb Kloeppel
Deb Kloeppel is the founder and president of the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN), a unique non-profit and nationwide military-affiliated job applicant referral agency. The company uses online and offline products to connect employers in all industries and with men and women who have a military affiliation. MSCCN offers screening services, job postings, and resume search subscriptions, advertising in online and print media and participation in workshops and career fairs. Deb founded the company in 2004.