Hello, everyone! I’m excited to announce a new sub-series to our It’s Okay to Be New series. We’re calling it It’s Okay To Be New: Parenting in Tech. As you all know, there is no journey I like to take alone, and this time I’m joined by three amazing parents. Would you mind introducing yourselves and telling us a little bit about you?
Happy to be here. I am a single mother of three wonderful children that truly are my driving force. My son is 9, daughter 7, and my youngest daughter is 5. If I thought my body and finances could handle it, I would have many more children because I love seeing all the unique qualities among my three kids.
Even though all of my kids are in school this year, I am grateful to be able to work from home and have a flexible schedule that allows me to walk them to and from the bus stop in the morning. Finding a good work-life balance has been a work in progress. I’d like to continue navigating this and other parenting woes with the help and input of this community.
Hello, folks. My name is Tia, and my perspective is one of reflection. I was new to IT over 20 years ago with two small children. I had to juggle work, studying for certifications, and everything that goes along with managing a household. On top of that, I had a 50+ mile commute to work (one-way) every day. Work-life balance is still important to me, as I want to spend as much time as I can with my grandson. I am happy to be part of a community where I can share my experiences and learn from the experiences of others. So let’s laugh and cry together, help each other, and learn together. Because none of us is taking this journey alone.
Hey, everyone! My name is Chad, the Dad! Haha, just kidding. I am a bit of a goof (hence the dad joke). I have a 2-year-old daughter (her name is Ruby), and we always laugh uncontrollably at each other. It’s mostly me doing the laughing….it’s hilarious some of the stuff she says and the facial expressions she makes.
I feel so lucky to be able to spend so much time with my daughter. I know not everyone is this lucky, so I try my hardest to soak in these moments and be the best dad possible. Prior to working here at Linux Academy, I didn’t get to see her nearly as much, which is perhaps why I value those moments so much.
I look forward to being here for each and every one of you and sharing my thoughts and experiences. I find that community is so important, and it’s so nice to talk to someone about the ups and downs of parenting.
You will be hearing more from each of these wonderful parents in upcoming blog posts where they will share a bit more about their journey as parents working in tech.
I thought long and hard about how to approach this. Originally, my intent was to give you all the statistics about working parents. How many people had one working parent and how many had two, how many families had children under the age of five, etc. But to be honest, I’m not sure that those statistics really provide much help in the end. Working parents know that they are not alone; logically, we know that other parents are out there working, and some of them must also be in the tech field. What many of us want to know is, how do they do it? How do they manage to work the long hours needed when they are new to a field and still be there to help with homework or at least be there by bedtime?
The idea for this series began when I was sitting at the keynote for OpenSource Summit in Vancouver, and I got the call that my daughter, who was in Texas, was missing me and just wanted to talk. It was a simple request, but the guilt spread over me like butter on hot bread. It was one of those moments where I really wanted advice, but I felt the fear of discussing it with someone else. What if people started to think they made a mistake hiring a single mom to be a Technical Evangelist? I thought about turning to my family, but I come from a very traditional Mexican household, so I knew that they would not understand my decision to work in a field that requires travel. It was a very lonely feeling, and it was then that I realized how much we need each other. I thought of how amazing it would be to have a village to turn to, other parents who had walked down this road and might have advice to give. Or maybe just other parents who are traveling this road and can empathize.
What excites me the most about being a part of the Linux Academy family isn’t the training. I’ll be more honest than I should be and say that if all I wanted was training videos, I’d probably be watching conference talks on YouTube. Even though the labs and quizzes are a great resource for me, the strongest asset has been the community. It has amazed me over and over again how many of you are willing to answer questions and offer advice. The community that has developed in the #containers Slack room is beyond words. They continuously accept that just because I work at Linux Academy, that doesn’t mean I’m automatically all-knowing when it comes to containers. They have helped me troubleshoot problems and come up with new ideas for things to break — I mean, learn. They have been amazingly supportive throughout this journey and, in turn, I have tried to do the same for them.
So the question is, why does parenting have to be different? Isn’t this a skill that we can learn by helping each other? Why can’t we troubleshoot bedtime routines, or get advice on dealing with a picky eater, or ask for tips on helping our high schooler apply for college? Will we disagree? Of course! Will there be more than one right answer? Always! But is that so different from what we already do? I don’t think so. After all, if I ask someone what operating system I should use, I’m going to get a whole lot of opinions. None of them are wrong, just different. And it will be up to me to take that advice and proceed.
So we turn to you, Linux Academy community. Will you join us and help create this village? If so, please join our Linux Academy Community Slack, then join our channel at #familymatters. On January 16th at 12:00 PM CDT, we will be sharing a link to a Zoom call in the #familymatters channel so everyone can join as we discuss the struggles of parenting in tech.
However, we can’t pass up the opportunity to give away some swag! So we are also having a bit of a contest. Take some time to share your story with us (in text or video format), and be entered to win a Linux Academy swag pack!
That’s it for this week! Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts from Angela, Chad, and Tia. Until then, remember that (even as a parent), it’s okay to be new.