As a mom and a business woman it’s hard to balance both my personal and professional schedules. I get invited to events all the time in which I want to attend but then the issue of childcare arises. I have to find a sitter, then calculate how long I will be out, pack and prepare my son to go to the sitter and so many other details. Just planning out who will be his temporary care giver while I am out is a whole new job and quite frankly a very time consuming process. Then the issue of picking him up and heading home after events was a whole new dilemma especially living in New Jersey and commuting to New York. Then I came up with a simple and pretty obvious solution. This solution was to BYOB (Bring our Own Baby) when attending events. For the last few months I have been bringing my son along with me to all sorts of events. Networking, Tech Meetups, Demo nights, Mastermind Groups, Conferences and more.
Here are 10 Reason why you should also BYOB:
Everyone will remember you
Every time I bring my son to an event people automatically attract to me. Well actually they come for him to compliment him and play with him. I have even had people come up to me at different events to say "Hey I saw you at this other event, I remember you because of the baby"
You will have more time to network
When I use to get a sitter I would have to time out my entire agenda to make sure I had enough time to drop my son off, get to the event on time, attend the event, meet people, transport back to the sitter, get my son, then transport home. Imagine how annoying it would be when public transportation would experience delays
Your schedule becomes more flexible
Having my son with me the whole time cuts down all the running around I have to do and also allows me to maybe chat a few more minutes after an event. Just now I have a lot more times on my hand to work with
Exposing your kids to the world of what you do
a majority of the events I attend are Tech or Entrepreneurship focused. Although my son is only 3 this gives him an introduction to this space. For example at the NYTM there is a boy that attends with his mom every month. I believe he is 9 years old and has been attending for years now. This 9 year old is always asking very interactive and well thought out questions. I am sure that this experience and exposure will work 100% to his advantage in the future
helping to merge mom into work culture
Parenthood is becoming more of a norm in work culture. With more and more companies allowing longer maternity/paternity leaves, having flexible work hours for parents, daycare's at the place of work and much more. BYOB to networking events shows that there doesn't have to be such a thick barrier between family obligations and work obligations
helps you to stay focused
when you know that you have to run and grab your child after an event your mind tends to float. Being in the same place just focuses your mind
I would stress over "Is my son okay?", "How long will the train take?”, "Will I get home in time?" Just many things would add to the stress factor.
More mommy & Me Time.
When you are away from your child all day 9am-5pm then you are away 6pm-10pm how many hours are you getting to have Mommy & Me time with your little one? Having your baby along will help you gain back those mommy and me hours
Your kid will love it.
My son is all about networking. He hones in all the emotions as the rest of the crowd he claps, laughs and interacts just like everyone else.
You will have more fun
Having my son at events is a great ice breaker. Kids don't worry about putting on poker faces till they warm up. Their personalities just radiate around the room. Him being around allows me to just be myself and happy the way he is
Disclaimer: I am not saying that all moms should just start bringing their babies to events. That could get a little crazy. I am just showing parents that they have an option to gain more flexibility in their schedules so they don't have to overly separate work and family. Of course if you have the support of another parent or family/friends that have the time to help you out by all means have them watch over your little one while you go out. But for families who don't have much support this is a great option.
P.S my son started to go to events with me at 3yrs old. Every child is different. You know if your child can handle sitting down for a 1 or 2hrs at an event vs if they get irritated easily. Bringing your child to an event isn't for everyone.