Louise Webster is a mum of two and founder of inspiration-for-parents website, Beyondtheschoolrun.com. In this article, she describes the challenge of finding a professional role for yourself after you become a parent.
Beyondtheschoolrun is about creating a platform for this immense pool of talent and skills drifting away at the schoolgates each day. It is a portal to provide inspiration, opportunities and connections for parents to find their way back into the wider world.
I believe that some of the weaknesses in the current climate are due to the fact that we are lacking female voices. Once you’ve had children you start to see the world in a different way with a far greater sense of empathy, I think that the commercial & economic world would benefit from this wisdom, however, it needs to adapt to allow it to work for both families and businesses.
I used to own and run a PR agency that specialised in the children and parenting sector. However, as the agency grew, I didn’t have the flexibility I had originally intended for both motherhood and work, so I decided to merge with another agency and take some time out.
I took about two years off and had my second child. At that point I felt ready to start getting back to work and back to using my expertise. This was when I started to see the challenges that women/parents faced in returning to work without compromising the time you wish to spend with your children. It was out of this awareness that I started to dream up the Beyondtheschoolrun concept. It took a year of planning and then I officially launched the website in March 2012.
I think childcare and flexible childcare is a challenge for us all I’ve had an au pair now for the last year and a half and I have been very grateful for their help and support. Our generation of women are working through all of the issues around childcare and hopefully we will start to find a solution that works for everyone as individuals with different needs and situations. I think we need to tap into all of the resources available in each community, maybe a retired grandmother who wants to do a couple of hours a week for example. So I think a website like Care.com is fantastic. It’s an easy way to connect with people.