The Birth of a Digital Mum

Having my cake and eating it.

I have ALWAYS worked. That is until I had my son and then my daughter 19 months later. Yes, I know! A big, but welcome addition for my husband, step-daughter and I.

Then I dreaded the thought of going back to work after having my 2 children. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the thought of actually doing some work — let’s face it, when you have 2 children under 2 years of age, going to work is like having a duvet day! But I almost had panic attacks thinking about what I was going to do, how I was going to juggle it all and whether I could give my all to my job and still be the Mum that I wanted to be. I had always worked in demanding roles. I enjoyed the challenge and really didn’t mind putting a full day in at the office and then a couple more hours at home in the evenings, I was fortunate that I really loved the job and always wanted everything I did to be successful. But then my life was hit by a fireball of nappies, CBeebies and most of all motherly love. I felt guilty that I wanted to get back to my career but I also didn’t want to sacrifice those precious moments with my babies. I wanted a big fat slice of the cake and I wanted to eat it too! I just didn’t know how to do both.

Then I read about Digital Mums — talk about right opportunity, right time just right everything. In my previous roles I had managed some social media activity and really enjoyed it, in fact I had once considered focussing solely in this area. So I applied. I actually felt nervous filling in the application form, I wanted it badly and felt it was perfect for me. It would give me the training I needed to become a freelance Social Media Manager and it offered me the flexibility of doing the course whilst still being at home with my children. Eureka!

Starting the course was nerve wracking, I knew I had a long road ahead and was worried about being able to manage it with two children at home. It wasn’t easy, but it was enjoyable and therefore the motivation was always there to keep going — even if it was 2am in the morning!

I have been trying to think of ways to describe the course that mothers can actually relate to and the best thing I can compare it to are the stages of labour. Don’t wince… hear me out — it’s a good labour.

  • Pain — there is some pain. This is inevitable, you are juggling lots and learning a new skill so it’s expected. But it’s a good pain, almost an addictive one and you know there will be huge gain at the end of it.
  • Panic — you will doubt yourself, question your own ability, wonder if you are doing the right thing etc at some point in this course. Don’t worry, it is a fleeting emotion and these thoughts and all unfounded. Keep Calm and Carry On.
  • It really is all worth it in the end — the cliché is bang on for once. But instead of cuddling baby, you can cuddle the wine, safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to drive to work in the morning (because you now work from home — yippee!)
  • It becomes your labour of love — because you are doing it for yourself, and for your family. Finally a win-win situation.
  • Extending your family — you will meet (digitally) some amazing people on this journey, particularly those who are in your cohort. You will support each other and guide each other through, right to the end and beyond. That is one of the many brilliant things about this course.
  • Some people have more difficult ones than others (clients) but the end result is the same, you will have managed a live campaign and you will have achieved your goal.
  • Cravings — sleep, chocolate, coffee, wine… the good news is you can have them all (well, maybe less of the sleep), it won’t harm your campaign and may even help it ;-)
  • It will fly by — at the start, much like pregnancy, you will think there is such a long way to go and that it is going to take forever. But before you know it you will be writing you final report (with plenty of chocolate and wine to hand) and already you will start to wonder where the time went and how you are going to miss it all when it finishes, including your client and your lovely weekly hangouts.
  • Delivery — that’s it. You’ve done it. Wow, it’s all over. Except it isn’t, it’s really just the beginning and simply time to move on to next stage, nurture it and let it grow.

So if you are thinking of taking this journey and need more in your life than Mr Tumble, then go for it. It will be the best thing you ever did.