Before the light of dawn breaks, before I hear the little footsteps heading to our room, before the first breathy “Mummy” is heard, the never-ending list of daily tasks begins ticking in my head. We have three back to back meetings today, Dahlia has swimming, Zoe has show and tell, Ella will only eat mandarins this week. I have a blog post to write.
I’m a mother. The most noble of professions, the one least recognized, least appreciated, and most underpaid. I’m also a Work at Home Mum. I’m launching a business with my husband in an attempt to bind all of the most important aspects of my life into one pretty package sprinkled with cracker crumbs.
After the birth of our third daughter, I struggled to find a balance between home and work. My husband set out to help me find somewhere I could do my work on my schedule. But the more we looked, the less likely it seemed we would find a place that would fill my needs. All of the big portals were geared towards rentals, and there wasn’t much of a focus on smaller, more flexible spaces—especially that would work for someone like me!
We created 99spaces.co, a discovery platform and marketplace exclusively for flexible workspaces, with the simple goal of making it uncomplicated to seek, find, lease, and create beautiful work spaces in which to be successful.
And while we do showcase all flexible workspaces, we are lucky enough to get to work with some incredible spaces geared specifically towards Work from Home Mums and other female entrepreneurs throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia
“It certainly isn’t easy to locate shared workspaces that are designed for women. The majority of co-working spaces are male dominated and catered to men in their function and design whether intentional or not” says Sheree Rubinstein of One Roof Women, which has locations in Melbourne, Sydney and Los Angeles. “We convert unique spaces such as homes into shared workspaces and specifically target the needs, challenges and ambitions of entrepreneurial women.”
Last month, One Roof Women announced it was acquiring Sydney co-working space, The Ventura, Australia’s first co-working office space catering specifically to women-led technology businesses. and run by local entrepreneur Dr Catriona Wallace. The team will now double down on creating industry-first female centric co-working spaces across Australia and the United States.
Did I mention I used to be an executive in the fashion industry? I had an expense account, frequent flier miles, and an assistant. And then I became a Mum.
I felt pulled and pushed, and like no area of my life was what it needed to be. Yes, I could write emails from the park, but I couldn’t bring my baby to a meeting. Yes, I could participate in a video conference call from home (more than once while breastfeeding a newborn), but only until someone inevitably needed something from me. There was no distinction between work and home.
At Happy Hubbub, Melbourne’s first dedicated coworking-with-childcare space, Erin Richards is offering shared office space with open-plan hot-desking, meeting rooms, private offices for half-day-hire, and crucially, an on-site short day care facility. “The time is right for this type of service,” says Richards. Women are starting businesses at almost double the rate of men…and yet, that very same issue (of balancing work and a young family) is often the biggest barrier to women making a success of their business. Today, with Happy Hubbub due to open in just a few short months in Preston, “there are signs the industry is about to take off and, pretty soon, a plethora of options will be available to help working parents better manage their work and childcare needs.”
Believe me, I know the struggle, but it makes me feel a whole lot better to know that I am not alone in it.
“I spent many years trying to work from home while raising a family and spent most of that time frustrated and distracted. I opened a women’s coworking space in Singapore in 2014 to really address this need – to help w’omen find the space and community they need to really focus on their professional dreams” says Michaela Anchan of Woolf Works in Singapore.
Bubs and Boardrooms in NSW wants you to “Love both of your day jobs.” Liz Graham says “We were desperately searching for a solution that allowed us to be there for our kids, but at the same time progress our careers as working professionals. We wanted an office that we could take our kids to.” In addition to a fully equipped working space, Bubs and Boardrooms provide an onsite fully supervised Play Space, so that parents are readily available to children, when they need it. “We are professionals AND we are parents.” Says Graham. “We don’t have to choose between our kids and our careers. We can have our cake and eat it too.”
We want to help you understand what coworking is all about, and what it can offer you as a Work at Home Mum. All of the incredible spaces above have generously offered free one-day trial passes if you mention 99spaces.co when you get in touch with them. To save you (very precious) time, you can follow the links to their listing and contact information.
We are incredibly passionate about creating –and always improving – an exceptional experience for today’s Women entrepreneurs and small businesses.
We at 99spaces.co want to be more than a platform for you to use—we want you to know us, and want to know you. We want to make sure your needs are being met.
And most of all, because we understand, we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help you have it all.
Emily Tamir is a Work-at-Home (and from coworking spaces!) Mummy to three little girls. Emily works alongside her hubby building 99spaces.co. When she’s not working, or playing with her bubs, she can be found cooking, reading, or wishing for a nap. She can be reached at [email protected]