The world’s greatest juggling act

My Digital Mums training is at an end. And I can’t quite believe what I’ve done. I have submitted every assignment, read, watched and understood each tutorial and run an 8-week Social Media campaign for a real client.

And now I have received the amazing news that I’ve passed the course with a brilliant overall grade! Yes! I am going to celebrate! Big time! Because there were numerous times over the last 6 months where I seriously wondered if I would make it to this point.

Not because I didn’t feel I was up to the work or that the course content was over my head. It was because I simply didn’t think I had the time to do everything that was required to get me here.

You’re doing what?

When I said I was signing up for the 6-month intensive Strategic Social Media Manager course with Digital Mums, plenty of friends and family expressed surprise (to put it mildly). Where on earth would I find the time for the 15 hours of recommended study each week? I was looking after my 2-year old and 7 month old daughters at home.

Since resigning from my job as an Agency Account Director following my second girl’s arrival, family finances wouldn’t stretch to childcare, so ‘Stay at Home Mum’ became my full time job. And I have loved it. Setting aside the crippling expense of childcare for two kids under 3, I wasn’t prepared to leave my girls full time and miss out on the important moments. But becoming a full-time mum? It was a big leap.

There’s a light…

The Digital Mums course offered me another option. I could take my experience and talent from years of brand marketing and use it to retrain as a freelance Social Media Manager. Applying for the course I was excited and scared. I had little experience in Social Media Management and suddenly realised that I really badly wanted to get on this course! What if they turned me down? The application process was a bit daunting and my confidence was a bit low after months of being at home with two small children.

“What have I done?”

I was over the moon to be accepted and soon I was logging on to their innovative training system and looking at what lay ahead over the next 20 weeks. Oh. My. God. I seriously started to worry about what I had taken on. The 15 hours a week study time that Digital Mums recommended didn’t seem to be enough. Would I ever get my head around all of this? Was I way out of my depth? Panic set in and it took all my resolve to tell myself “You can do this”.

“Nobody Panic!”

The lovely people at Digital Mums seemed to read my mind. In the first few weeks I was repeatedly told “Don’t panic! Everyone feels overwhelmed. Take it week by week and you’ll be fine.”.

Being introduced to my peer group of 5 other mums taking the same course was a massive relief. We had weekly ‘hangouts’ (group video chats) where we chewed the fat about our worries, fears, successes, thoughts. We laughed and panicked together. And each time I came off the call I felt better. We were all in the same boat. We all had the same worries. And everyone was so nice and genuinely supportive, if we had any small questions we could ask them on the Digital Mums Google+ community or just message one another for reassurance and answers.

Praying for time

So what about finding the time? I won’t lie, it was a challenge. Each Monday when I read over the coursework, tutorials and assignments for the week ahead I felt a renewed surge of panic. “I’m never going to get through this… How will I ever find the time…” Of course I did.

The Digital Mums training is set up specifically for people like me. Mums who have both hands full, but are determined to succeed at this new skill. And we’re mums after all. We’re a resourceful lot.

From grabbing an hour at naptimes, listening to tutorials on bus journeys, getting Dad to do a few hours ‘babysitting’ at weekends, staying up late and even setting my alarm for 5am to grab an hour before the girls woke up. Each week I completed what had to be done. And I felt an amazing sense of achievement “Yes! I am Superwoman!”

Even the weekly hangouts were a juggling act. Most weeks someone turned up a bit late or had to cancel, we were interrupted by hungry, tired and curious children. And you know what? Nobody minded. Nobody judged. We all understood and supported each other.

Fit for the future

I can’t believe how much I have learned and the confidence I have gained over the last 6 months. Above all I am reassured that I can do anything I put my mind to. And the amazing support and encouragement from the Digital Mums community and my peer group have been invaluable.

I think time will always be a challenge, but being a freelance working mum means I will be able to afford some childcare, while still being there for the girls while they’re young. Thanks Digital Mums for giving me the opportunity to gain the perfect work life balance and restoring my confidence!