Finding it impossible to work at home with the little one underfoot? Here’s a solution.

I was one of those incredibly naïve pregnant women. My child was going to be born in a room with candles, music and cups of tea. Then that baby would be wrapped in a warmed blankie and popped in the plastic cradle and then sleep and sleep. That would enable me to get back to work five minutes after I’d pressed stop on Enya playing in the birthing suite.

The reality was the kid was nearly born in the Mazda while stopped at a red light and the only thing we would have had to wrap our new-born in was a couple of spare MacDonald’s napkins. Always take more napkins than you need — you just never know when you might need to blow your nose or wrap a newborn.

But I’m not unlike most first time, career-driven mothers who assume their baby will be just like the Anne Geddies calendar babies and be perfect. And they are just not.

A friend of mine, Liz Graham from Sydney, discovered the hard way that working from home with a busy baby just wasn’t going to work for her and so with a group of fellow mothers, she came up with Bubs and Boardrooms – a space for working parents to collaborate and create. There’s a dedicated Playspace for the kids, so you can pop in and see your little one whenever you like, and a Workspace for mums, with all the tools and resources you need to get your work done.

I would love to see a space like Bubs and Boardrooms open here in Queensland, so I decided to ask Liz a few questions about how it works.

How did you come up with the idea?
We were sitting having a coffee at a mothers’ group trying to figure out how we were going to go back to work. We decided we could do a shared work from home day where all the mothers would get together and ‘village the kids’ and manage them together. Before we knew it we had mothers ringing up and asking if they could be a part of our mini-working group. We thought maybe there’s something in this and decided to turn it into a little business.

How does it work?
Essentially it’s a workspace for parents and a place that’s safe for kids. It operates like a co-shared office — there are offices and desks to rent and a play space on site where your kids are being looked after by professionals and you can pop in and out as much as you want.

We’ve got dad and mum members with small businesses; parents who are studying and we’ve even got a grandmother. We’re now looking at rolling out Bubs and Boardrooms in other places and Queensland is definitely on the cards!

So how much does it cost to use the service?
Well, we have a couple of different options — the month to month membership starts at as little as $10 an hour, which is cheaper than a nanny or daycare, and then we’ve also got prepaid cards so you can use it as you need to and they work out to be about $50 a session.

Sounds perfect, right? In the meantime, back to work, everyone!