My Digital Mums
I’m about to graduate from the Digital Mums November Cohort (hopefully with a pass). I started on this journey a week before my redundancy kicked in — I had been a global communications manager with a whisky company. It was a tough time, leaving behind a job I loved because I was being forced to choose between a new and longer commute (with all the flexibility you’d expect from an old boy’s club industry) and actually being able to see my children.
I’d reached a cross-roads and starting out on the Digital Mums course was the light at the end of the tunnel that I needed. The positive outcome. The fight back. It gave me a focus and took my mind off generally feeling pissed off about the position I had been forced into. I set out on a mission to embrace #workthatworks and find a new way for myself.
There are many aspects of the Digital Mums course that warrant having a blog written about them. But I wanted to focus on Emma, Natalie, Anna and Hayley. My little Wednesday night cohort.
As part of the Digital Mums course you are grouped together with a number of other mums and assigned the task of having weekly calls as you progress through lessons. We considered ourselves the northern contingent — we covered off Birmingham, Manchester, Scotland and Belfast. We were all north of the M25!
The funny thing is we’ve never met in person, but we’ve been in and out of each others lives and houses for the last six months. Come 8pm on a Wednesday night — we’d grab a cuppa, G&T or a glass of wine and jump on our Goggle hangout call. Even my kids now know that Wednesday night means no messing about at bedtime ‘because mummy has her call’. (Who am I going to talk to now?)
At the beginning you don’t realise how important not only the calls are but how important your contact with these mums’ you’ve never met will be. They will keep you sane, reassure you, give you a virtual high five, moan with you and know exactly what it means to keep to those Sunday night deadlines.
Not only do you have the weekly calls but you also have your WhatsApp group. A lifeline when you’re stuck, confused, dealing with a sick child, trying to get stuff done or have a ‘stupid’ question to ask. It makes you feel connected and part of something.
These ladies have really made the course for me. As we’ve moved through the lessons we’ve shared our learns, passed on tips, shared frustrations, supported each other and talked about the future and what to expect. They are uniquely placed to understand the weekly demands of the course and the pressure you sometimes feel trying to get things done. Friends and family asked how the course is going and take an interest, but they don’t really know. It’s pretty intensive and I feel like life has been on hold for the last little while. Spare hours are spent scheduling, doing assignments or reviewing metrics. My Wednesday night call made me stop, catch my breath, relax and have a laugh and it also provided an excellent chance to sense check what you were doing.
It’s been a busy six months for our little group, house moves, temporary relocations, school holiday dramas, job opportunities all mixed up with the normal ups and downs of family life. I’m pretty sure we will all stay in touch and hope we can work on a face to face meet up very soon. I have no doubt that we will continue to call on each other when we go out into the world as fully fledged #DigitalMums.