working momsForget everything you've heard about (the lack of) maternity leave. Ignore the mommy track, and the high cost of day care that makes it prohibitive to have a job. It's time to look on the bright side of tiny people completely upending your life and making it all about them, them, them. You know who I'm referring to: babies.

Maybe you're one of those ladies who decided enough was enough with the day job and are now staying home with your new baby. Good for you! Sure you'll avoid the headaches of day care to office commutes, wondering if your sitter actually remembered your baby was lactose intolerant, or cursing your husband for not realizing that you've been working hard all day as well. But you might also be missing the biggest career opportunity of your life.

Here are the five ways that baby's can actually boost your career, instead of tearing down your mental acuity little by little.

1. Focus

Until you've had a person become entirely dependent on you for her every little move, you don't know what a time crunch actually is, really. Luckily that time crunch at home makes you focus like nobodies business when it's work time. You don't have the option of finishing something up when you get home, because someone is already there demanding your every fibre of being. All that focus means more efficiency at the office, means, promotion!

2. Ambition

Again, that dependent also needs you to keep him diapers, food, and a home. You need cash money for that, probably even more than you needed before that baby arrived. Nothing like rising expenses to make you go for that new position and the big salary bump.

3. Bonding

Kind of like the smokers of the 1990s, the parents of today's workplace find themselves gathering and discussing those little scamps. Just throw this one out there: "Hey, does anyone know how to get into the new magnet school?" and you'll have a whole new set of friends/fellow commiserates.

4. Example

Probably the best reason to pull it together, professionally, is to set a good example for your child. You've heard enough about the sad work ethic of the most recent generation, make sure you don't bestow the same fate on your little one. By the time she's old enough to come to "Take Your Child to Work Day" you're going to want to make sure you're sitting pretty at that job.

5. Distraction

You're going to feel one of two ways about going back to work after having a baby: Excited for the break from baby care, or miserable and lost without that baby. Either way you need the distraction of hard work, or you'll just be happy to be out of the house and using other parts of your brain. Both of these work styles can pay off, big time. And before you know it you'll be running things!

Do you think you're a better employee now that you have a baby?

 

Image via lrargerich/Flickr