After spending the better part of a decade as a freelance and remote worker in Australia, Ireland, and England, I returned to Canada with a newfound motivation to address the isolation I sometimes faced as a working expat and new parent.
Determined to maintain a sense of self while looking after my first son (2016) and preparing to give birth to my second son (2018), I often sought out networking and professional development opportunities but was surprised by a lack of inclusive spaces with baby change facilities and parent-friendly event times.
I also was spoiled by the opportunity to participate in a Google for Startups program with my first born son from the time he was seven weeks old until four months old. It welcomed us into a part of East London we had never been to, becoming members of Campus London (now called Google for Startups), to participate in a unique program which started in Tel Aviv and doesn’t seem to be operating out of the space in England any more.
We were joined by other parents, their children, Googlers, YouTubers, guest speakers, industry experts and when we visited the cafe and coworking space on site, we gained an insiders’ view into what a startup community looks and feels like in one of the world’s biggest and busiest cities.
As a new parent, I realized I wasn’t the only one who wanted to do what I love, alongside my loved ones.
Since mid-2018, I’ve been working on a pilot program to help other parents invest in themselves alongside their children because I believe everyone deserves to design and create a life that works for them and their family.
Babies, Business + Breakfast™ is the result, with a Mini Mastermind, newsletter and podcast focusing on parent-friendly professional development, aiming to improve parental mental health, create a community, address the accessibility and inclusion issues experienced in traditional business settings and introduce parents to industry experts they otherwise would not have easy access to.
That’s why ‘Community’ is a major part of my upcoming Babies, Business + Breakfast™ Mini Mastermind Program.
Some of the community benefits and experiences I am working to re-create for other parents who are currently feeling a bit isolated when it comes to sharing their ideas and meeting other like-minded people are:
Feedback from complete strangers (who want to see you succeed)!
Meet and hear from inspiring speakers and other mastermind participants who aren’t above speaking to you one-on-one about your elevator pitch, or existing business structure or career change goals.
Your background is just as important as your ideas, so don’t worry if you only have a concept. The peers in the programme are learning alongside you and will help you refine your ideas and overcome challenges.
You’ll be placed in a hot seat during the monthly events to introduce yourself, your background, progress and challenges – but fear not! Everyone has to introduce themselves, it provides clarity and is a nice ice breaker to help find commonalities or ways in which you may help one another.
Bring your pre-school age kid(s) with you, send them off to daycare or if your kids are in school that’s fine too. There’s no pressure to leave your baby, toddler or child at home or leave the room while they cry and a speaker is presenting, the idea is everyone has been there, done that and there’s no judgment here!
When I’ve taken steps to put myself ‘out there’ with my children in tow, in addition to the unexpected (which always happens) I have also been met with reassurance, smiles, applause, offers of help, food, coffee, to hold my baby and always feedback on my ideas, thoughts and kind suggestions. These make a world of difference compared to mulling over things alone at home between nursing my baby or playing with my toddler.
Flexible on-site childcare
If you want to bring your kid(s) but are worried about focusing, having time to speak with others or simply are looking for a bit of a break – we will have optional on-site childcare for you!
Of course we want you to bring your family with you but we understand it’s not always easy to listen to a guest speaker, share your elevator pitch, seek feedback, cut up (and actually eat) your own food and enjoy that hot cup of coffee when your little ones are crawling or running around.
No need to explain or justify why. We get it.
Family-friendly fun (not only for the kids)!
You work hard as the primary caregiver and we know a lot of activities and events are designed for kids’ enjoyment but not always to give parents a boost.
So we will be getting creative to make you feel extra special, help you squash self-doubt, build up your confidence to go into more business settings with kids and most importantly, join a brand-sparkling-new community designed by parents, specifically for parents!
A 90-day ‘sprint’ / 12-week trimester for parents designed to provide:
- Accountability: 12 x weekly email check-ins with prompts will help you set, share and achieve your goals.
- Community: 3 x monthly face-to-face breakfast meetups will help you connect, mingle and collaborate with parents like you.
- Inclusion: Carefully selected venues, with catering, toys and on-site childcare will ensure you access, attend and enjoy child-friendly events.
- Advice: Monthly guest speakers and a 1:1 coaching session will enable you to meet, pitch and ask industry experts for valuable feedback.
Through a mix of online and offline programming, we will focus on motivation and advice you can implement straight away.
Event experiences designed by a parent, for other parents – with yours and your child’s needs at the top of the priority list. Not as an afterthought!
For more details and to register for the upcoming Babies, Business + Breakfast™ Mini Mastermind program, visit amymaureenlynch.com/bbb-mini-mastermind.