Hi! I’m Tammy and I’m a student in Ada Developers Academy’s fourth cohort. I have two wonderful young daughters and I’m writing this post to share with you my experience of being a full-time student and mom.
My decision to apply to Ada wasn’t easy. Though it has been my dream to become a software developer, I had many reasons not to do it. It’s not easy to be a mom to two toddlers, go through seven months of intensive full-day studying with no income, or change your career path at 31. Put all of these together and you can see why it wasn’t an easy decision.
At the end of the day, I want to be happy and do something that I love and enjoy, so that made the decision all the much simpler. So I decided to go for it. And I was accepted, which was the best news I had ever received in my whole life.
Plan “Mommy’s Going to Ada” has become a family project in which everyone is expected to contribute and help: Guy, my husband, is in charge of dropping off and picking up the girls from daycare and to be the one that will take care of things if one of the girls is sick or injured during the day. Emily, my eldest, is in charge of helping Guy by making his life easier by playing with her sister, Rona, and being cooperative. Rona’s job is to cheer out loud since she can only say “mom”, “dad”, and “Emi.”
Before the first day I had many concerns:
– Will they expect us to stay after 5 pm?
– Will we have to meet after hours when working in pairs?
– Will there be other moms?
– Will I have enough time to complete my homework?
– How will my daughters accept the fact that they’ll see much less of me?
The first one to contact me personally was the Executive Director of Ada, Cynthia Tee. She introduced herself and told me how excited she was that I’m a mom who’s about to join Ada and explained that the staff will support me however they can so that I could have a good and healthy balance between my family and my studies. It made me feel so welcome; at that point I knew it was going to be just fine.
For my other concerns, the answers are: no, no, yes, yes and amazing. I found out that spending more quality time with their father is one of the best things that happened for my daughters and for the whole family.
When I get home around 6 pm, I spend every minute with my daughters until their bedtime at 8 pm. After a good shower and a cup of coffee, I study between 9 to 11pm by completing the homework and doing extra reading. During the weekends I’m not available to study or do homework before 9pm since it’s precious family time. While it has been challenging when we had bigger weekend projects, I still got everything finished on time.
As of December 1st, I’ve been in Ada for two months and couldn’t be happier. I feel supported by the staff and the students. Ada is much more than a learning place; it’s a community of people who care for one another. Being surrounded by amazing, strong women and learning so many interesting things in such a short period of time… it’s a dream come true. And I know that when the day comes for me to encourage my daughters to chase their dreams no matter what – I can be a role model for them.