One of my well preserved childhood memories tastes of a hot chocolate and a gaze dreamily attached to the calendar under the old wooden wall clock. It was a relic from my great-grandmother, and as a majestic pillar of time and space reminded of its presence every hour with a ding dong. That morning I dreamt to be older. Under the veil of naivity I was looking for freedom and madness in the perspective of my 16 year old self – magnificent and omnipotent as the beautiful grand-grandma’s clock. Nostalgically, I go back to that morning just to see the reflection of a mature woman in the mirror. One who has embroiled in her image both the freedom and the madness and who is thankful for all the lessons and blessings that life threw at her.

That morning I was rich in time and dreams. Today my time is like a black diamond – rare and expensive. But my soul is still rich in dreams and colors. Sometimes, on the way to tmy daughter’s nursery I see the fiery sunset in its colossal embrace with the city. A moment later, it is a mere fading light barely reminding of its existance.

A real tornado of thoughts invades my mind. I have so many dreams and aspirations, but will the time suffice? By nature I am from these over-ambitious girls who want to put the world in a nice wrapping with a huge pink ribbon under their heels. I want to be the perfect woman, mother, wife, visionary, corporate bitch. I gaze back to the west, but all I can see now are stars. The fiery footprint on the horizon is long gone, even my version of me from a moment ago is all gone. There are only new goals and dreams, new opportunities to create myself. I do not want to find myself. I want to sculture every detail of my habits with a chisel and patience because habits define who I am. And perfection is nothing more than a habit. It simply requires persistence.

So, I consciously invest in myself. In the opportunities that life throws at me and in the ones that I gotta fight for. A real miracle is that fate seeded me on the land of abundance. I often say that Scotland is an oasis with a sacred microclimate for young families with small kids. It is like a step mother for the most defenseless ones. Part of this group, obviously, are the working from home mums of small kids. This role of mine in life got me acquainted with two amazing organizations that are working towards their dream to provide professional development opportunities to these mums and wives who want to build their technological business empire from the comfort of their fluffy slippers and homemade coffee.

If anyone suggested to me five years ago that I would be in such a role, I would have declared them retards. But here I am in the #techmums course, enjoying a great course for blogging, coding, social networks and mechanisms via which to monetize them from the coziness of home. Mothers in Edinburgh are a titanic force and the reason I enrolled in this course is partly my daughter’s partner in mischief mom, Bella. For me, she is one of the brightest examples of a working from home mum who is transitioning from a career in marketing to one of a software developer. As part of the #techmums guild in Edinburgh, she introduced me to one of the organizations aimed at profesionally developing working mums – #Techmums.

#Techmums is a charity organization established to fight the noticeable lack of female representation in the technology industry via providing professional courses for women in technology skills, coding,etc. The aim is to allow them to build a new career and gain confidence in finding work or setting up their own businesses. The charity even launched #techmumsTV in partnership with Facebook with the aim on giving mothers the confidence and resources to embrace digital opportunities. What #techmums aims at is to provide technology skills to one million mum by 2020 via signing partnerships with major corporations. This is a truly noble campaign, the results of which are already visible – highly qualified mums with the potential to provide a better life for their families. As part of this, I would like to quote Frances Duffy, Regional HR Director and Active Inclusion Lead at Capgemini – one of the partnering organizations:

“We are very excited about working with #techmums to help mothers recognise and realise their strengths; together, we will equip them with the digital skills they need to develop bright careers in whatever industry they choose. In turn, we believe they will offer their future employers a greater diversity of thought, which will drive innovation and business profitability.”

Actually, my learning adventure is part of this campaign. It all started with my application for the course and an interview to assess how appropriate I am. Upon approval, I was invited to my first session in Code Clan. Code Clan is co-operating with #Techmums in providing and conducting a unique course for mothers who want to make social media and blogging a career and revenue source. In fact, Code Clan is Scotland’s first and only SQA accredited digital skills academy. Just like #techmums they want to dinimish the digital skills gap in the ever growing technological industry via providing specialized courses and delivering a steady pipeline of talent to their network of employer partners. One of the things that super impressed me is that they are conducting courses for teenagers and if my wee one was older, I would have definitely enrolled her in. But let’s go back to my course.

Incredible women with diverse backgrounds and interests; young and highly motivated instructors; predisposing, informal, high-tech atmosphere overlooking Edinburgh palace are the elements that welcome me at each course session. I’m not sure what I’m enjoying more – the things I learn or the interaction with these magical, super-motivated and brave women.

Every detail of our preparation, every workshop and topics discussed are carefully designed to meet the requirements of the increasingly technological world in which we live in and the possibilities that it offers us. Adequately delivered content, hot latte (each mother knows that “hot” here is key), chocolate biscuits and extra hours that we are entitled to in order to discuss individual questions are completely free. And not because Scots can not afford such a course, but because society recognizes the significant role and challenges that  working mums-housewifes-women face in her everyday life.

Even employers in the country offer flexible working opportunities for working mums so that they can feel fulfilled and successful in the form of part-time work, home-office, etc. It is very difficult to find the golden balance between career development and family and people here take it into account and respect it. In the end, every moment of our existence we either grow, or fall. Applause for everyone who chooses the first one. Nothing in this life is easy, and nothing worth having is coming on a silver plate. But it is nice to know that someone supports you on the way to personal development, dream realization and success.


The Mermaid

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