I'm new at this
Third Space is a co-working + childcare concept in Omaha, NE, the brainchild of yours truly, Kate White, who is new to all things business, spreadsheets and pro formas. This blog is a documentation of my journey to entrepreneurship.
I'm a designer by trade and am passionate about the concept of starting a co-working space with attached childcare. I would especially like to see this space used by parents transitioning back to work after their parental leave. My baby is two years old now, and I made the transition back to full-time work immediately following a quick 12-week maternity leave. It was UTTERLY HEARTBREAKING, particularly because I worked at a startup and was technically allowed to work remotely. I couldn't realistically get work done at home while taking care of a new baby, though – and who can?! I did what most professional moms do and just sucked it up. I cried after leaving my sweet baby in the morning, pumped throughout the stressful day at work and raced home as soon as the clock struck 5.
For eleven months I did this. The first few months were spent working at a startup. Then I took a contract position at a Fortune 500 company where I lived the same story for another 6 months: I was free to work remotely as I wanted but couldn't realistically work from home. I then transitioned to a software company with a similar policy... and what did I do? Continued to depressingly leave my baby in the morning, pump throughout the day (this time in a technology closet) and headed out right at 5 to race home to her.
The fact that it's 2016 and professional moms simply endure the emotional (and physical) pain of pumping at work away from our babies is strange to me. With all the advancements in technology and amazing things we see going on in the world everyday, why do we just accept this reality? There has to be a better way! I understand there are some women with careers in the medical, retail and service industries, etc., for whom it would be an impossibility to change the location of their workspace. But for those of us who work primarily from a computer, who communicate with our associates typically via internet or phone all day, who work under a company policy of flexibility: why not ask to utilize the flexibility for a brief period in our lives?
I'd love to see Third Space also used for parent entrepreneurs, freelancers, artists and students. Sometimes getting work done at home with young ones around is literally an impossibility, amiright? Having a professional environment free from sticky surfaces and a sink full of dishes can be so valuable – rejuvenating even! – for parents who need to get in focus mode for perhaps just a few hours a week.
I recently found out I'm pregnant again and am due June 2017. I'm working hard under the mentorship of some incredible and generous business minds to get Third Space Coworking + Childcare launched in Omaha by fall of 2017, both for myself and for you, my fellow working parents. Sign up for our newsletter at thirdspacecoworking.com and come back to the blog often to keep tabs on our progress! I hope to meet you soon :)