This post is based on a series of photos I shared on Instagram from my experience bringing my newborn to a local networking event past week and launching my child-friendly professional development pilot program.
Another day, another professional development event!
It was September’s Creative Mornings event at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management and the talk theme was ‘Chaos’.
Lots of nuggets of wisdom from guest speaker Komal Minhas, but for now, I’m on the #parentpreneur activism train again and trying to be what you want to see!
That involved: packing my (diaper) bag the night before, calling the venue to check if there is a baby change in the 13-storey Desmarais building (nada), getting up early to park, unpack and wheel the stroller over and grab a coffee and get settled before the talk began.
It’s overwhelming at times to leave the house – did I pack enough diapers? Change of clothes? Breast pads (leaky nips happen to the best of us)? Will there be a parking space? Rush hour traffic jams? Will the baby sleep? Will I get a seat? The list could go on and on…I try to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
When I visited Komal’s website I saw a quote which resonated with me:
“What breaks your heart? That’s who you’re meant to serve.” — Glennon Doyle Melton
And while it doesn’t break my heart to be told I can change my baby on a bench or walk five minutes across campus to find the ‘maternity room’, it irks me. And makes me question why a modern building with ‘cutting edge facilities’ could miss something so basic.
Some people find it extremely daunting to go to non-baby events with a baby. Are we excluding potential event participants and students who also happen to be parents? How can we help ease that transition and make spaces more inclusive? Also, it’s Canada folks! We get minus 20-30 winters here! Let’s not make people leave a warm building to change their baby safely.
I’m developing a checklist for businesses and events who want to adapt and make positive changes to help with accessibility, diversity and inclusion.
If you have any suggestions, please contact me via my website (amymaureenlynch.com) or comment on this post.
My first “Babies, Business + Breakfast” Pop-Up Event + Focus Group takes place on October 11th. It won’t be hosted at the University of Ottawa but maybe future sessions will be! Until then, I’ll be working to get baby change tables installed. 🤘
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