Working in a Restaurant Made Me a Better Mom

Like many of us moms out there, I worked as a restaurant server back in my younger days. While I was in college, I worked for a few years at Cheddars in Grand Prairie and for a short time at the Magic Time Machine in Addison.

Although I went to a wonderful college, my education from working in a restaurant was quite possibly just as valuable. I often gratefully look back on the skills I gained working in a restaurant that come in handy all the time as a mom.

Consolidate like a Boss

Being able to consolidate my daily tasks may be the skill I’m most grateful to have mastered from my years of restaurant work.

My annoyed manager often yelled at me to do a better job at consolidating my work. Every time I left the restaurant kitchen, my hands were expected to be full with items for as many of my tables as possible or a tray of hot food for some table that wasn’t even mine. Every time I returned to the kitchen I was supposed to be carrying as many dirty dishes as possible. God forbid I ever ran back into the kitchen empty handed to type in a quick order or fix a quick problem for a table. Every step I took was expected to be strategic, combining as many jobs as I could possibly do together.

A mom finds she learned many lessons about motherhood when she worked in restaurant.

This emphasis on consolidating made many evenings very stressful in my restaurant days but boy, am I grateful as I work each day to feed four kids 735 different times, clean up 1,356 messes, do half a million loads of laundry, etc. It’s amazing how many jobs I can do in a strategic order that allows me to accomplish the maximum amount possible.

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Work with Difficult People

All jobs have difficult people, but restaurants seem to be a special environment for people who can be a real pain. Between the occasional over-worked, under-paid manager and customers, who think you are their personal servant to working along side all kinds of people from different walks of life, I was able to practice working with my types of people, under many types of pressure. 

This has been very helpful as a parent, because sometimes my own offspring are (gasp) difficult to work with, not to mention it’s helped me be more patient and understanding in dealing with teachers and other parents as well.

Come to find out the world is full of people who are different than me, so one of my most valuable skills is being able to work along side, connect with, and even love people who can be hard to be around sometimes. 

Make Mundane Tasks Fun

Some of my best life memories are at my restaurant work. The restaurant service industry seems to employ a lot of outgoing, adaptable, and funny people. So it seemed natural to bond over stupid jokes, crazy pranks, and made-up games to make the most boring parts of our job more fun. 

Similarly, as the leader of my kiddos I find a lot of what I need my kids to do is boring but necessary. Creativity in making the mundane tasks enjoyable is a gift to them and me. I’m thankful I’ve had so much practice.

Working Well Under Pressure

I can’t count the number of nightmares I had FOR YEARS of forgetting to bring a table their drinks, even after I no longer worked at a restaurant.

Yes, it’s just food and working in a restaurant isn’t brain surgery. But when you’re young, there is a lot of pressure in a restaurant job. People want to come in and be served perfectly and receive their order like 30 seconds after the place it (and they need like 12 extra sides of ranch). There is little understanding that you have three to four tables to take care of, you may have to wait in line to put in their order or get their drinks, you’re expected to help take food to other tables, AND that you have something called “side work,” where you also have a job in the kitchen that can be pretty demanding.

You’re trying to keep your tables happy (because you want to get paid obviously), while also keeping management happy by helping deliver food, getting your table to order extra drinks, and completing your extra work. You may work eight to nine hours straight on a busy night, and in a restaurant job, there are no breaks. And for all those hours you don’t even get to eat, sit down, and maybe not even have time go to the bathroom. 

Restaurant work has helped me be able to handle intense days. No matter how crazy my days are with my kids, it doesn’t compare to the immediate pressure I felt working on a busy night in a restaurant. If nothing else, at least I get to sit down sometimes (okay, for like five minutes a day — but still) and at least I’m not depending on my demanding kiddos for tips.

Ability to Move On

In a restaurant there are some bad nights. You get whinny or angry people at your tables that don’t tip well and make you feel crappy. You drop a soda inside a ladies designer purse (yep, I did that). You just can’t get in the right rhythm to be able to serve your tables in a way that feels manageable. Your manager is on your case.

But the beauty of that work was that when the shift was over it was done, and your next shift was a fresh new start.

Your mistakes or unfair blows yesterday don’t have to mess up your today. It can be challenging to let go of the mistakes we made with our kids yesterday, but those restaurant years trained me to let each day go and remember to start fresh the next day.  

Proud to be raised in Burleson (shout out Kelly Clarkson), Jami was even the Elk mascot for her beloved Burleson High School. Jami's greatest pleasure comes from exploring the world and learning about all the beautifully unique people in it, so she started a business in the summer of 2021 taking groups of women around the world! Her business, Women Exploring the World has already taken women to experience Christmas markets in Bruges, Brussels; Paris, and London. They've also taken women to Costa Rica, Italy, Tanzania/Zanzibar, Scotland, and to Norway to see the Northern lights. Jami's greatest gift is her family, Corban, her beloved hubby; Jessy (born 2011); Maggy (born 2013); Lilly (born 2015); and Jude (born 2018). Besides running her travel business, Jami spends her days having adventures with her kids, homeschooling them part-time, assistant coaching PE, attempting to keep her brother and sister labradors out of trouble, keeping her son from killing their cat, and supporting her husband at his Edward Jones office downtown Fort Worth. Jami is a woman secure in God's love for her. He is her first love.


  1. What an awesome blog!!! You’re amazing and I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with you …. Peace and blessings!

    • I love you Zeb!!! When I think of you I have to smile. I learned a lot from you and have such love towards our wonderful time working together.


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