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We know most spaces are designed by men, for men, and the workplace is no exception. Offices have been created forever without considering the needs of working mothers (pump room in the facilities closet, much?) This episode of the Double Shift spotlights Nido, the nation’s first non-profit co-working space with an on-site Montessori preschool.

Based in Durham, NC it's the brainchild of one mother who couldn’t find work that allowed her to care for a young child so she hosted a neighborhood potluck, invited some friends and they all figured it out, co-op style, together. A fantastic byproduct of creating physical spaces for nursing women and new parents is that it also creates safe emotional spaces for women to move through their separation anxiety, fears and challenges. Family-designed work spaces also have the benefit of inspiring women to discuss ideas and ways to go forward, rather than back, to their work.


Nido accomplishes all of the above while also enabling new parents to stay connected to their kids during stages when both may feel most vulnerable. Nido may be a radical outlier but perhaps we are at the onset of a huge paradigm shift where integrated work and family life IS the norm, not the exception.


What a fabulous way to re-engage women who step out of the workplace, often reluctantly or out of sheer necessity rather than desire. Imagine if every city had flexible work spaces where motherhood transitions were welcomed, caregiving was a mark of pride rather than shame and a thriving community could emerge that nurtures working parents and their children. I’m in!

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