Learning how to code with baby in tow
I think, as a mom, one skill you get to develop pretty early on (consciously or unconsciously) is how to multi task. I remember during the first few weeks after giving birth, I would take my breakfast in one hand and and use the other to breastfeed and how I maximise the usage of my baby sling (Thank god for those things, literally creates an extra hand for you!), putting my son in it while I do the kitchen chores. And so learning new skills (especially something you totally have no knowledge of), as hard as it already is, is so much harder while taking care of a baby. So how did I do it?
I had an extra hand.
I can’t mention enough how lucky to have a supportive husband. One of the most valuable help that I had in my learning journey was my husband’s help. My husband relieved me of some house duties. During the early stage, my husband and I agreed that certain tasks at home will be handled by him. And regardless of how tired he was from work, he did it. He knew how important this is for me and how building this app makes me feel so he stayed committed to it. It didn’t matter how minimal the task was, his help around the house made a big difference. He gave me time, which was my scarce resource.
Happy Baby, Happy Mommy.
I made one policy throughout this learning journey. My family’s needs always come first. Before I get down on coding or any part of the task, the first order of business is always to finish the house chores. It means, baby & family food are prepared, grocery & cleaning are done. This way, I don’t get interrupted or have the need to rush for things. It also gives me a rough idea on how much time will be available for me to do “extra” stuff. But the greatest benefit I get from doing this, is that it resulted in making my baby settled. Meaning, he is calm then I’m calm. Happy Baby, Happy Mommy!
I love & celebrate small victories!
I remember when I was still in the corporate world and was in charge of setting up a department & operations for large companies, my strategy has always been to breakdown project to small chunks so it’s easier to accomplish. And that’s exactly what I did with this little project. Besides, it helped me not to get overwhelmed of how hard or complicated building an app can be (again, I’m not really a developer, so what takes about few hours of work for an engineer took months for me). Every time I get to learn something new, I would celebrate it. I would show the app to my husband and say, “Let’s open a bottle of wine, I did this!”.
I’m learning with my baby..
While I’m learning new stuff, I make sure I have time to teach my baby a thing or two. (Again, I’m not a parenting expert so what I am about to share is a personal experience and by no means should be taken as a professional advice!) I did turns, I learn one, stop, focus on my baby (teaching him simple things like, how to hold his bottle alone, crawl and other responsive activities) and only then will I move on and learn another thing about coding. I get into this cycle again and again. Oh and when my son learns new thing, that too was celebrated. I would be like, “today Theo did this.. let’s celebrate!”.
That’s probably why my memories of learning how to code don’t feel like long days of chaos, it was manageable. It took awhile, yes, but it was on my own term and I didn’t feel guilty of neglecting my son, or my family in general. The key I guess is that venturing on a learning journey is easier, more fun and more effective when done with family rather than alone, and that’s exactly how I did it!
If you’re a stay-at-home mom thinking of writing your own Children’s story, or a mom/woman in startup willing to share your experience, message me here. And yes, parenting advice is welcome too… I still consider myself a “newbie” mom, so I’m always grateful for any kind words or suggestions. Leave a comment or give me a shout out on Twitter!