With 18 mums on our staff, who all work flexibly around family life, it was only a matter of time before we had our first Digital Baby. In fact it’s not one but two of our team, Nina Gordon and Kath Dyer, that add to their families this month. Of course this also means that we are saying a fond (but definitely temporary!) farewell to them both.
Any of you that have done the course or even just made an inquiry with Digital Mums will probably have been in touch with Kath and Nina at some point; they are a crucial part of life at Digital Mums HQ.
As they start this new chapter, we thought it was a good excuse to find out more about two of our wonderful team members. And don’t worry we promise to update with more baby photos as and when there is news!
Nina Gordon, 39, is our Admissions Officer and has three children - Levi, six, Theo, three and the newest arrival little Asher, born just a few days ago! She is married to Richard and lives in Beckenham.
“I went on maternity leave from Digital Mums on Friday February 5th and Asher was born exactly a week later. I was hoping to have some time to put my feet up but he had other ideas! Of course I’m totally in a new born fog right now but I am obviously feeling very blessed.
My two older boys have actually been fighting over who gets to hug Asher and have been desperate to help me change nappies. It probably won’t last!
The work I do at Digital Mums is so flexible that it really made sense for me to work almost right up to my due date. As the Admissions Officer I work remotely and do two and a half days split over seven days. I’m essentially the first point of contact for any mum thinking of doing the course or any Programme Partner who might want to sign up.
When I first graduated from the Digital Mums course last March I worked as a freelance social media manager. Then when I heard about the Admissions Officer role in May, it seemed like a great fit. The fact I could continue to be freelance and combine it with my other work made sense.
My job is very broken up as there are mums contacting us all the time asking to do the course. Some days I'll work in the evening and others I'll do a stretch during the day when the children are in child care; it just really varies. I have no set pattern and that suits me, each week is different. I love being a voice for Digital Mums and being a graduate means I can answer most questions.
I really appreciate working somewhere that genuinely promotes remote working. I’ve actually only ever been to the office once but I still feel very much part of the team. We all communicate daily via an app called Slack and there is great banter. There has been more than one occasion when I have been crying with laughter about what someone, who is at least 50 miles away, has just said.
I’m not sure yet how long I will take off for my maternity leave - my job is genuinely so flexible that I really feel it can fit in around my family. I’m able to claim maternity allowance for 26 weeks but something tells me I’ll be back way before then. The older two are in school and nursery some of the time and I genuinely love what I’m doing. The others were really sleepy babies; I guess we need to see how Asher is going to be first!”
Kath Dyer, 36, is fondly known as the Captain of the Mothership and has a daughter Nell, two. She is married to Joe and lives in East London. She is expecting number two any day now...
“Having a baby completely turns your life around - in that wonderful but also totally chaotic way. After I had Nell, it was tough learning to be a mother for the first time. I was also made redundant from my job at an architecture firm during maternity leave. This was because of financial issues and nothing to do with me having a baby. I wanted another job but was worried about finding something flexible enough to accommodate child pick-ups and all the other things that come with being a parent. Quite honestly I was starting to really doubt how I could do both.
Then back in October 2014 a mutual friend from my NCT group told me about Digital Mums and how they were piloting a course in social media management. I was keen but obviously concerned about the short term pain of no money while training. But the obvious pull of flexible working around family life meant I took the plunge and applied.
The course changed everything for me and at the end I got a job with the business they had matched me with during training. Then in January 2015 when Digital Mums expanded, they asked me to work directly for them too and I jumped at the chance.
I work as a project manager supporting all the Digital Mums students as they go through their training. There have been at least 150 mums on my watch. I understand the challenges (and joy!) of the course and want to be as supportive as possible. Some trainees gave me the nickname Captain of the Mothership and it has just stuck.
I live near to the Digital Mums office so I work there four days a week. But if there is ever a reason that I need to work from home then I can do just that.
As you’d expect the maternity leave here is really good. I’ve been on staff for over a year so I get three months at full pay, three months half pay and then three months statutory.
I can’t quite imagine what it’s going to be like handling two children. One thing is for sure though I’m not in any way daunted by the prospect of coming back to work afterwards. Digital Mums understands the virtues of flexible working and work that works is something we all believe in so much.
Of course right now I’m looking forward to meeting my new baby and spending time together as a family. I’m hoping though that I might get a bit more of my maternity leave than Nina did to just chill out. There is a good chance the little one might have already made plans on that front though!”