I have two fantastic children, I really do. But, I feel it’s time for another baby. And now I have one...of sorts.
No, I’m not pregnant and no, I haven’t recently given birth (there is no way on this earth that I would’ve been able to have kept that a secret for nine months!).
No, my baby isn’t an animal. I know I wrote about pets not that long ago, but we haven’t been that quick off the mark in getting an animal. That is still all to come...
No, my new baby is a new venture, a new website. This is the secret I've been keeping for the last few months so I'm relieved I can finally talk about it and reveal all!
A bit of background
You might remember that back in January I made a New Year's promise to my children to change the way I work so that I didn't miss out on precious time with them. My plan was to become self employed and set up a communications agency. Unfortunately since then, my husband got cold feet; he is self employed and was worried that there would be too much financial uncertainty with two self employed incomes. I can see his point, especially when I would have had to quit my job because I wouldn't have been allowed to go part-time while I was setting it all up and there would be no guarantee that my business idea would succeed (although I am sure it would have).
So, while I still have aspirations of setting up my own communications agency, that idea had to be put on the back burner. It's still burning away but in the background for now. But then something else happened.
As I prepared to return to work, I began looking online for information, advice and support about particular issues that would affect myself and my family when I re-entered the corporate world. I didn't find what I was looking for.
What I did discover was that websites could generally be put into three categories - formal, general and 'mumpreneur'.
The formal websites are those built by organisations such as Working Families. These appear to have a plentiful supply of information but they tend to be in the format of reports and publications.
The general websites were just that, too general. I'm talking here about sites like Netmums, Mumsnet and BabyCentre, which cover the very broad subject of pregnancy and/or parenting. Websites that fall into this category tend to have forums so that people can talk directly to each other to offer advice and support, but these forums are very large and topics aren't necessarily covered in a very in-depth way.
Then there's the 'mumpreneur' websites. Like the tag suggests, these sites are primarily aimed at mums who want to start out on their own and offers tailored information especially to this audience. Family Friendly Working is an example of this, although it does also include articles about flexible working too.
So, what did I do?
I became frustrated that I couldn't find the information I wanted. And then it hit me - wham! If I couldn't find what I wanted, why not create it myself?
And that's what I've done! So, without further ado, I give you Working Parents United!
My new website aims to be an information resource and support network specifically for working parents in the UK. You'll notice that I say 'parents' and not 'mothers'; that was something else I noticed during my search. That's because while there are some fantastic websites out there specifically for dads (Dadz Club immediately springs to mind), there are still few places online for fathers to visit for information. Fathers shouldn't be an after-thought and I'm pretty sure most men would like to achieve a good work-life balance just as much as the majority of working mothers.
Yes, my new website is aimed at working mothers and fathers in the UK, with children of any age. This was something else that my search highlighted; there there doesn't seem to be a lot of focus put on families with teenagers. It's almost like it's assumed you know what you're doing by that age, even though mothers and fathers will face completely different challenges. I want to address that and help give families with teenagers information and support as well as parents with younger children.
With all that in mind, my new website has:
- Interesting and informative articles of relevance to (primarily) working parents.
- Forums so that parents can chat and support each other directly.
- Case studies of working parents to highlight how they juggle work and home commitments.
- Advertising opportunities for companies to showcase themselves directly to working parents.
- Product reviews - opportunities to write these will be shared with the website's registered users.
- A blog (of course!) which will provide comment and opinion on parenting-related stories in the media as well as other topics. This is open to guest posts by the way so do get in touch if you'd like to be featured.
Working Parents United has been built from scratch by my own fair hand so has been a labour of love that I've toiled over for months. There are still some minor tweaking to do and other developments to work on but I figured that I could spend eternity tweaking little things here and there so though it best to take the plunge and get it online.
I'd love it if you wanted to pay my new website a visit and take a look around. You can also follow
me Working Parents United on Twitter (@Working_Parents) and Facebook (Working Parents United).
Oh, and don't worry, I'm not about to abandon this blog in favour of my new venture. I shall be doing my best balance the two. Here's to a whole new adventure!