Becoming a Digital Mum and finally finding #WorkThatWorks is an incredible experience but it takes determination to get there. Louise Summers, one of our amazing graduates, shares an honest account below on the challenges she faced when completing our Social Media Management Course while working and managing a family.
I’ve just uploaded my final report following six months of 24/7 social media. A constant cycle of “shall I write a blog about…?, stop, let me get a picture, that’s a great article, let me just save that to my ‘pocket’, I’m coming just let me quickly post this, I’m sorry I’m late I just had to post about…” And I’ve loved it and thrived on it but I’ve also become a social media junkie and need to go cold turkey to redress the balance with my life as a mummy, wife and pharmaceutical scientist.
That’s my side of the story but what’s it been like for those around me? For my son, it’s been “Mummy, watch me…mummy, watch me, mummy put your phone down and watch me”. “Mummy why are you on your phone?”, it tugs at my heartstrings just writing it but I knew I was doing this for him. A chance to find a career that provides true flexible working, the chance to find a role that lets me do the school drop off and be at home in the school holidays.
If I think about who’s suffered the most it has to be my long suffering husband. I’ve spent more time with my phone than I have with him. I’ve shared more with my phone than I have with him, in fact he’s found out more about my day from my posts than from me in person. Then there are the late nights studying and the long, alcohol fuelled, giggly hangouts with my fellow students (we share an office, I shout my comments apparently...who knew?!). The tweet chats while I’m cooking, the Sunday night scheduling and Monday night analytics.
He’s considered setting up a Digital Widowers support group. “My name is Darran and my wife is having an affair with her phone!”. He’s not far wrong, I’ve hidden in the bathroom with it, I’ve posted while hiding it behind a cushion, I’ve disappeared to the spare room with it, I’ve forgotten appointments as my brain is so preoccupied with my campaign, I’ve chatted late at night with complete strangers, it may as well have been an affair, all be it with Mr T.Witter and Mr. F.C Book.
I definitely don't want to scare off any budding Digital Mums students but this is a commitment. At the same time though I’ve carved out time in my life for self development (I don’t think I’ve ever done that before), I’ve loved learning again, I’ve met some incredibly inspiring people both online and in real life, I’ve gained a new qualification. I’ve invested in a new career and hopefully a better lifestyle for my whole family.
Since pressing send on my final report I’ve done the park run, I’ve walked the dogs, I treated myself to a manicure and a facial (I needed it, I looked so feral), I’ve prepared a home cooked meal and we finally have an empty laundry basket. I know I am going to sleep so much better tonight having logged off before 10pm for the first time in weeks.
I have so many people to thank (and possibly apologise to!) but all in all it’s been a wonderful adventure. My husband and I are looking to set up a charity called Digital Widowers to support the long suffering husbands.
This post originally appeared on Medium.
We've now launched a new course specifically for mums who are working to be able to do complete our training in a more manageable, less intensive way. Our next cohort starts in June and you can read more about it here - to register your interest please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.