Hacker Moms Have The Coolest Worskhop And Concept Ever And It Sucks To Be Me

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There isn’t a Mothership Hackermoms in my area. Yet. But how amazingly cool is the idea of a place where you could go, work on crazy artistic projects, receive free childcare for your kids, and connect with other like-minded moms who want to work on interesting projects and still be creative despite the fact that they are also over-tired and over-stressed mommies? I love this project.


“The lack of safe space or childcare makes traditional hackerspaces unrealistic for mothers to attend,” says founder Sho-Sho Smith. At the same time, young children can be a blow to parents’ creative lives–dominating their schedules and isolating them from friends and projects. “It’s easy for a mother to give up her life for her kids,” says Smith.

That was a path she wanted to avoid, so Smith and a group of nine other moms connected by, in her words, “a mind for ideas, a ‘make-or-die’ hunger to create, and a boredom with the usual moms’ groups,” began meeting in each other’s homes for regular babysitter-supported hack days. “I saw an opportunity to participate in community-based projects, have childcare for my youngest when I wanted to work on a specific project, or have an instant base of supportive, like-minded women,” says co-founder Samantha Matalone Cook.

Members steer the programming together, teaching each other what they know, practicing skills together in learning labs, and inviting experts to teach new things, from will and estate planning to making baby lotion from breast milk. “It’s a mom rescue for lost creative lives and selves put on hold,” says Smith. “Most importantly, it’s where we come to have fun. If we don’t support this playful creative self, we risk burnout, depression, and two-year-old-level temper tantrums. It’s a use it or lose it philosophy to motherhood sanity.”

It sucks to be me, because I don’t have anything like this in my area, and when I read about amazing projects like this it makes me all fired up to start one. The Mothership Hacker Moms have a one-thousand-square-foot space in Berkeley, California and they have a Kickstarter campaign . Their video  is so inspiring and cool.

It’s like Pinterest, but real life! Moms are so busy raising humans. We get so busy raising these humans that we tend to lose the creative sides of ourselves, other than helping make the occasional macaroni art or developing grilled cheese croutons to add to tomato soup. We are all busy with work and just the simple day to day realities of life and if I’m being totally honest, that just sucks. When was the last time you just took the time to work on a project just for you? I know it has been ages for me.

We do hope the title “HackerMom” offers a positive alternative to other female archetypes, like “desperate housewife,” “soccer mom,” “long-suffering martyr“ and “ruthless career girl.” One day, our kids will proudly say, “My mom’s a HackerMom!”

Projects like this are so important for moms, or children and our communities. We need spaces like this to work together, to develop our ideas, to connect with other moms and to have a safe place for our kids. The hacker moms are starting this revolution, and I can’t wait to join them.