Work that Works For Mothers | Two Birds
by Kelsey Lents, guest contributor
As little girls, I hope most of us were told to dream big and push boundaries. That inner voice has made our generation a force of nature in changing the status quo for women in the workforce. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my son, however, that I understood that creating change for women is not always synonymous with creating change for mothers.
My son was born during my MBA at Georgetown, as was my fellow classmate’s, and now cofounder’s, daughter, thrusting us into the world of childcare just as we were pivoting career paths. I was suddenly working from home with a three-week-old, timing conference calls to coincide with breastfeeding, and sprinting to restrooms between meetings to pull out a pump.
Like many new mothers, I felt I was constantly playing roulette between my professional and parental identities. In reality, I was facing the same challenges as any other entrepreneurial, freelancing or telecommuting mother, yet I struggled to find resources to help navigate the new normal. There simply was very little formalized support for the growing sector of mothers occupying the gray area between stay-at-home parenting and the traditional corporate office.
Our company, Two Birds - a sleek professional coworking space with onsite licensed childcare - was born from our desire to leverage our MBAs for social impact, and provide both the physical and emotional resources for moms (and dads) in that “in between” space. By updating how childcare interacts with professional schedules and environments, we give parents control to define their preferred work-life relationship.
The flagship location opens in DC in March 2019 and has been designed to celebrate work-life integration, not just balance. It provides a one-stop shop for parents, where they can enroll their children in licensed care with a Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum while working uninterruptedly in the stylish lounge and office space upstairs.
Two Birds is not simply daycare next to coworking. It provides isolated parents the opportunity to connect with both fellow working parents and their children. Members can breastfeed onsite, together, in a nursing club lounge while bonding not only with their babies, but also with fellow mothers. Rather than placing the burden on parents to find parent groups, workshops or networking opportunities, Two Birds brings this programming to our members. These enrichment offerings will include lactation consultations, CPR classes and sleep training seminars, alongside happy hour events and business development panels from experts in fields such as law and marketing.
Ultimately, Two Birds is not just a physical space, it is also a community. We’re building cohorts of parents alongside classes of children. In today’s fight for gender equality ,we believe it’s critical to normalize and socialize motherhood in the workplace.
Two Birds creates a world in which mothers are no longer asked to choose between personal and professional identities, and provides the support and resources to build both family and careers concurrently.
What has been your experience with coworking spaces?
Kelsey Lents is a mother to Fitz and co-founder of Two Birds.
Two Birds is currently accepting membership applications from anyone in the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas. But fear not, we’re planning to expand! And in the meantime, we’re building a movement towards work-life integration on our Instagram and Twitter.