[Mindful Mondays #8] Combining science and art to educate and empower children with Thomai Dion – a mum, pharmacist, author & entrepreneur

Hello my lovely friends! I hope you have all had a wonderful week 🙂 I am so excited to have the amazing Thomai Dion (a.k.a TD the science mom!) from Rhode Island on Mindful Mondays this week! I have followed Thomai for a long time on both Twitter and Instagram and I am always so insprired and motivated by her amazing passion and commitment to helping children to learn! I was also so excited to hear that Thomai is a pharmacist as my PhD is focusing on patient safety in UK community pharmacies!

If you are looking to be totally inspired and (I’m not ashamed to admit it!) moved to tears at some points, read on…

My name is Thomai Dion and I’m a pharmacist that never anticipated doing what I do today. I’m an entrepreneur with a passion for children’s S.T.E.M. education that all began when I became a mother. I personally always loved to read. I loved going to school, drawing, playing musical instruments and, as you would guess by my name “td the science mom” (td being me!), I’ve always loved science. I never imagined I would be able to find an avenue to combine a love for both art and science though in such a way that would be so impactful, encouraging and influential to our youngest thinkers. And yet, here I am doing what I do, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

One day several years ago, I became a mother. I had a beautiful healthy little boy and he has been the sun in my sky ever since. As my little one grew he eventually went from baby to walking, talking, decision-making toddler whose curiosity was nothing less than contagious. Being with him brings me back to my own childhood and afternoons in my backyard examining blades of grass and crawling ants. My son’s beautifully incessant “Why’s” sparked a drive within me to revisit that time in one’s life where everything is new again. Seeing the world through his eyes made me appreciate those early moments of learning and discovery, and so I decided to create “td the science mom” which is where I am today. If you had asked me about this venture 10 years ago, I would think you were babbling about some impossible grandeur. And yet, here I am.

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I should take a step back and note that “td the science mom” was an evolution of many concerted efforts to educate my own child. I should also note that before I ever dared to bashfully squeak out the term “entrepreneur” when referring to myself, I managed to muster up the courage to squeak out the word “author” first. Before entering motherhood I worked at a very large healthcare company driving strategy and innovation around products and services to better one’s health. It was fast-paced and challenging and I truly loved what I did. When I started my family though, I found myself with the opportunity to stay at home with my son and I excitedly agreed. It was a big change to go from corporate-strategy-clinician to stay-at-home-mom, although it brought about more opportunity than I could have ever imagined.

While at home with my son, he and I would become engrossed in those simple moments together talking about birds, or a flower, or why nighttime happened. We would have conversations like this every day with one another and I eventually decided to put our talks onto paper. Those papers became a book, and that book started my “Think-A-Lot-Tots” science collection for babies, toddlers and children that I both write and illustrate. This leap from creating something for my family to creating something for all was both exhilarating and admittedly intimidating. Sharing these books would mean my name would be on them. That would mean I would have to “put myself out there” and, sure, this sounds fun. But it also sound scary. And exciting! And at times even terrifying. What am I getting myself into? Am I ready for this?

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Perhaps to some, putting themselves out there does not conjure up so many questions around one’s personal credibility and confidence; however, making the decision whether or not to “dive in” was a very large one for me. I doubted myself for quite some time. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in this sort of thing; not everyone loves the same things I do and it would be presumptuous to think that they would. What actually rattled me the most about this idea though was the underlying passion I realized I had in attempting to do what I was about to embark on. If I chose to go forward, I would do my best to make this a success and that would involve a lot of hard work. Knowing a child out there could be inspired by what I would create though made what I termed as “work” seem like anything but.

I ultimately did decide to move forward with this idea and since doing so I have created 4 books with a 5th and 6th about to be released within the next month.  I took a leap and followed a passion that was ignited by my own child’s drive to learn and I couldn’t be happier about it. My son is still the main motivation for all that I do as I know he and others will be reading what I’ve created. I am also so proud of myself for overcoming those initial fears of “diving in.” I think at times we worry so much about an outcome because we care so much about what we are striving to create, and in truth, that’s an OK thing to feel.

Having faced those initial fears, I’m excited to say I’ve broadened my focus from the “Think-A-Lot-Tots” series to include an entire collection of S.T.E.M.-inspired children’s works called “td the science mom” now currently available on Etsy. Being a woman in science, I have also been motivated to create a line of girls’ apparel empowering their pursuit in S.T.E.M.-related fields and to encourage their ability to accomplish whatever they put their minds to. When it comes down to it, I am a pharmacist that never anticipated doing what I do today. And yet, I am thrilled to say here I am.

A huge thank you to Thomai for her guest post, I was so moved by the way she wrote about her passion to inspire her son that has led to inspiring children all around the world! I can totally relate to the fear of “diving in” that Thomai talks about, and I am so happy to have this post as evidence of the amazing, life changing things that can happen if we only feel the fear and do it anyway!

Love,

Chrissy x

To learn more about the work Thomai is doing, you can find and follow her here:

Website: www.tdthesciencemom.com

Etsy Shop (Just openend!): www.etsy.com/shop/tdthesciencemom

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tdthesciencemom

Contact: tdthesciencemom@gmail.com

 

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