Category: Parents

Where everything started

When my daughter was born, I decided to take a 12-month paternity leave. I had spent the previous 12 years working in Brazil, France and the USA. But none of these past experiences were of much help in my new role as a dad.

Jokingly, I changed my LinkedIn professional title to Father on paternity leave Scandinavian-style  a way to recognise to myself and tell everyone else that I had proudly become a stay-at-home dad.

But the end of my paternity leave approached fast and the return to work after such a life-changing experience became less appealing. In addition to being closer to my family, I wanted to create deeper roots in my own community.

While taking care of my daughter I realised that it really does ‘take a village to raise a child’, especially in an urban jungle like London. Old friends and relatives were still very important, but my wife and I longed for a new network of local support.

It took quite some time, effort and luck to find other like-minded parents. These new friends became very important in our new life, since they were all in the same situation, living nearby and with children the same age as ours. They were available to join us for a walk nearby, a coffee next door or a pint in the local pub.

It was within this context that came the idea to develop the first mobile app to connect like-minded parents living nearby, helping new parents to create their own modern-day network of local support. I named the app ParentsNearby and started a quest to find the first parents to join it.

Read to How do I break into the mind of an INTJ? on Quora


Quest to find ParentsNearby

I have a second child due in October and this one’s a boy. His sister and dog are not necessarily in the know, but they will experience it soon enough. Hopefully before that we are also moving to another house in Haverstock, London.

My wife and I know that with a lot of patience and a little bit of luck we could find other parents living near us. But we decided to increase our chances by developing a free iPhone and Android App that can identify and connect like-minded parents living nearby. The App is called ParentsNearby and the pre-launch sign up phase has just started on parentsnearby.com. People from more than 10 countries have already signed up, including some from our new neighbourhood!

We know how much sleep deprivation and baby routines can force us to spend most of our time near home. We have met other parents in antenatal and postnatal activities, but it took much longer and lots of effort to identify and connect with those who turned out to be true friends.

 

The idea of ParentsNearby became clear when I ran into another dad living nearby and with a daughter about the same age as mine. We started to chat and realised that we had gone to the same school and even the same university back in Brazil. Despite having never talked before, we shared many interests and several common contacts on Facebook and LinkedIn. We were lucky to find each other in London, but I realised that a mobile app could help many other like-minded people to meet each other.

Soon after, I started the development of ParentsNearby to allow users to privately search for other like-minded parents, based on their home addresses, their childrens ages, Facebook and LinkedIn networks.

Now Im on an online and offline quest to invite parents and parents-to-be to sign up for ParentsNearby. As a friendly parent on Twitter has put it: #ItTakesAVillage