“It’s great, but it just doesn’t feel like enough.”
I was sitting on the couch sipping my lactation tea and rocking my four-month-old daughter fretfully.
“Oh honey, it’s only been a few months. It’ll get easier.” My mom sounded far away on the phone. She was far away. 5 hours far away to be exact.
“It’s just... I never even see her. What’s the point? What’s the point of this great flexible work
program where I can “be at home with my daughter” if I have to put her in daycare anyway to get anything done? It’s not enough. And I already feel like my breast milk is drying up. And that’s infuriating because I worked so hard to get to do this. And I’m lonely.” I sucked in a big breath to hold back the tears. “Mom, I’m so lonely. My team... they are great, but they don’t get it. They don’t understand where I’m at right now. I feel like an alien.”
My mom sighed quietly. “Yeah, well, when I was young there was a whole group of us that helped each other. All moms. Most of us working. All going through the same thing. And we picked each other up. We filled in the gaps. You know, there’s a reason they say ‘It takes a village.’ It does. You just need to find yours.”
I shook my head. “I don’t know how to do that,” I said, exhausted.
“You’ll figure it out.” I could hear my mom’s smile through the phone. “You always figure it out. It’s who you are.”
After I put Vivie to bed that night, I sat staring at my computer screen. I tapped my fingers restlessly on the keys.
I had a great, supportive network of friends and family, but once I hit work, that all disappeared. “It takes a village.” But how do you get that? I wanted a way to work and have someone take Vivie for a few hours but not have to give her up for an entire day. Is that too much to ask? Is that even possible? I could quit my job and stay home, but I didn’t want that. I loved working; I always had. I could move closer to home. But I love this city. Why do I have to quit being me in order to be a present mother? How do people do this?! Is this what they mean by “having it all?” Is this why they say it’s impossible?
I rested my head on the table in front of my computer.
Then, I had an idea. I Googled coworking space for parents.
Some spaces in Cali and the Carolinas and a big brand in New York popped up, but nothing local. Of course. I shook my head and rubbed my eyes and let the weight of being a working mom settle in around my shoulders. This sucks.
And then it hit me. I could do this. I could create my own village. I could help people find it. I could support working moms, working parents!
And that’s how this whole thing started.
I still remember telling my husband that I wanted to quit my stellar job and dump our entire life savings into a co-working space for parents. He definitely thought I was crazy, but all he said was, “Are you sure?”
Poor guy. But I was.
That anxiety-filled night was over 6 months ago, and now we are only a couple of short months away from opening the doors to Le Village: A child-centric co-working space for parents.
I created Le Village to try to redefine what it means to be a working parent, to give parents the best of both worlds and more, to give them community. I definitely do not have it all figured out, but I do know that I didn’t feel like what I had was enough, and I heard a lot of other parents saying the same thing.
The working world is changing. People are telecommuting more and more often. Most people in urban areas work from home at least one day a week. What if during that day you could have access to your kids?
Watch them learn a letter.
See their first steps.
Snuggle them down for a nap.
Breastfeed them on demand.
And still take your meetings.
Clean out your inbox (yeah, right).
Have lunch without having food thrown at you!
Squeeze in a workout.
Get your groceries delivered.
Do happy hour with your co-worker (who is also trying to potty train and can sympathize with your struggle).
Le Village doesn’t fix everything for working parents — but it’s a step in the right direction.
So if you are a parent that is trying to make it all work, then check us out. If you feel like you are missing the best years but still need the space to ‘do you’, then check us out. If traditional daycare isn’t creating enough work-life balance, then check us out. We might just be the answer you are looking for.
We don’t know if you can have it all. But you can do it all here.
Come find your village.
– Daniella Cornue
Founder, Le Village