Bell from Bow tells us how Digital Mums is helping to get it right

Life as a working parent is tough. Attending meetings when you’ve had no sleep because the toddler is teething. Missing Sports Day because it falls on a deadline day. Turning up to a client breakfast with Weetabix on your shoulder. But what’s the alternative? If you want to continue to work, and to raise your family, there are bound to be times that you let some balls drop.

But perhaps there are alternatives. Websites such as timewisejobs.co.uk and 2to3days.com offer jobs that can be flexible, part-time, and work around your hours. And Hackney-based Digital Mums offers social media training to mums, to prep them for successful and sustainable freelance careers.

PHOTO: Ana Cuba

That local pizza place on the Roman Road – ever wondered how they manage their social media accounts as well as perfect the margarita pizza? Could well be a #DigitalMum working on their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook channels behind the scenes. Social media management is flexible, and the digital skills you learn could futureproof your career.

That’s what I’m hoping at least, as I battle with an employer who won’t allow for flexible working and believes that 9 – 5 presenteeism is more important than output and results. I want my children to grow up knowing that hard work is important, and that earning a living takes effort, determination and old-fashioned hard graft. But it doesn’t need to revolve around a dusty desk and archaic communication systems.

So I’ve signed up on their pilot course, designed around full-time working mums. It means my workload is going to be heavier than usual for the next 12 months, as I juggle a job and a course and set up my fledgling social media accounts. But the hope it gives me for the future is more than enough payoff, and when my youngest starts school, I hope to be at the school gates with him, and not at the office.

Watch this space to see how I get on. And in the meantime, if your work-life balance is off kilter, remember that there are alternatives out there. And some of them have their heart and soul in wonderful East London.

Follow Celine Bell on Twitter and Instagram for more adventures in parenting: @bell_from_bow
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