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My husband’s and my love story is the stuff of every little girl’s dreams. (I say this with a hint of sarcasm.)
I first caught my husband’s eye because he saw me writing code.
He’s an elaborate storyteller, and he loves to tell people about how we met. He tells about how his hopes were dashed when he went to college because he was expecting to meet his future wife in one of his computer science classes.
Only there were no girls. You didn’t usually see females in the computer labs, and when you did, it was because it was a required class. They were timid and poked the keyboard keys as if they were going to bite them.
When he caught a glimpse of me, he knew I was different, he says, as I typed with confidence and acted like I “owned” the computer.
After a long series of events that I won’t get into here, he finally got up the nerve to talk to me, and the rest, as we say, is history.
After getting married, we went together to get our Master’s in computer science and then both worked for a couple of years in computer security.
And then we had a baby.
You moms know–having a baby changes things. In so many ways. Unexpected ways. I didn’t know how much mom guilt I would experience.
I didn’t know that this baby would completely invade my heart and my mind.
I didn’t know that it would occupy nearly every waking thought.
Call me naive, but I didn’t even know how much those waking thoughts would increase because I would be awake more in the night. I didn’t know how long it took babies to sleep through the night.
A new role
In the shock of the transition, though I knew I loved this little boy with all the strength I could muster, I momentarily lost my “old” self to my new role.
Programming became too intensive and exhausting. I tried (I really did), but the mental energy it took to think about code absolutely drained me.
I could not think about pursuing mental work AND think about pursuing excellence in being a mother.
And so I made the decision to put it aside and completely focus on being Mom. My husband was disappointed that our shared interest was now so far from my mind.
Two years later, we had a second baby, a girl this time. And there was a sense of redemption in this birth.
Having our son had been a difficult adjustment. But now I had two and a half years of mothering under my belt, and the circumstances were different. My mental and physical health were much better.
The only shocking thing about this baby was how much easier it was to add her to our lives. And somehow, instead of feeling that sense of losing myself, I felt like I was finally getting to rediscover myself.
I’ve started pursuing old passions again and finding new joy in life–both as an individual and as a mother.
I haven’t returned to programming (the mental load would still be exhausting), but I’m delving back into technology.
And I believe that pursuing what I love helps me to be a better mom. Because I’m happier but also because these things I’m learning and doing are vital to my children as well.
Technology Matters to Our Children
They’re growing up in a technology-saturated world.
Everywhere they look people have their faces in their phones. (Their father and I are also guilty.) From an earlier age than I’d like to admit, my son knew how to request truck videos.
They, unlike me, have never known a world without the Internet. Or email. Or social media.
And I want to be sure that the digital world they grow up in is a safe one. One that they know how to navigate safely as I teach them both the benefits and pitfalls of their surroundings.
I want them to understand their surroundings so they’re not naive, so technology doesn’t catch them off guard. I want to teach them to live intentionally in a digital world.
Because every mother wants her children to be safe, right? There is no love quite like a mother’s love.
So I invite you to come along with me as we learn about our digital landscape for our children’s sake.
And I want to make you a promise. I promise to help you become confident with technology–not so that you can become a tech-obsessed “geek,” but so that you can raise your children to be safe, confident, and kind in their digital world.
Let’s do it for us. And let’s do it for them.