A quiet space can be a sounding board

[nido member, Ali, has two kids ages one and four and is starting her own business. In the blog post below she write about the benefits of being able to ask questions and bounce ideas off of other parents in the nido community.]

Most days at nido are quiet. Members sit in front of laptops, textbooks or sketchpads, spending the morning or afternoon focusing on their work. There’s the occasional giggle or the sound of one of us getting up to visit our kids back in the classroom, but usually we all seize the opportunity to focus. This silence is indeed a precious resource for us parents. Those of us who have tried to work from home with little ones under our feet can attest to the value of a few solid hours of concentration. With a toddler and a baby, some days I’m lucky if I find the time to take a shower. I love having a quiet space, knowing my toddler is just in the other room, asking one of her million questions, “What does ‘when’ mean?” or, “How long is seven minutes?” or, “What do you call nine twins?” or, “What do turtles eat?” of a highly-qualified professional.

Despite the overall quietude of nido’s co-working space, I’ve found it to be an excellent sounding board. I’ve been able to troubleshoot all sorts of things using the vast array of skills of my fellow members. I’ve gotten help with spreadsheet formulas, and some really solid advice on how to negotiate. I’m in the infant stages of starting my own business, so having input on my products and services has been a huge help, even within such a small sample. Sometimes it’s nice just to have another set of eyes. Many people are drawn to the community aspect of co-working. It’s nice to get up off your couch, put on some clothes and spend a little time in an office setting, getting to be around people who aren’t necessarily in your field, networking, talking.

But one of the other added benefits to the set up at nido is that we’re all parents of young kids. So in addition to having a professional sounding board, we have a community of people who are going through the same sleep deprivation, nursing, baby-proofing, toddler-negotiating minefield that is parenthood. I used to find myself up late at night googling whether I should be concerned with a cough or a weird bump or something my kid inevitably put in their mouth. And with so many varying opinions, it’s hard not to feel like you’re doing it wrong. It’s hard not to feel alone. It’s supposed to take a village to raise a kid… I never wanted my village to be message boards on the internet. In coming to nido I’ve found one of the biggest benefits to be the ability to ask other parents about their experiences. I’m not always looking for an answer, but sometimes it’s just nice to ask the question “Am I doing okay?” and get a little reaffirmation from another real life human.