A frequent complaint of parents is just how significantly parenthood alters the types of conversations you find yourself having – views on politics and musings on cultural pursuits increasingly play second fiddle to more immediate discussions of numbers up to 10, carrots on spoon-shaped aeroplanes, and the contents of a nappy.
Sydney-based mother of two Miriam Raphael wanted a place where parenthood and adulthood could actually co-mingle. So she and co-founder Josie Jones created one.
“We were surprised at the dearth of parent-focused activities in the mid-week morning space,” founder Miriam explains. “As second- and third-time mums, we no longer found rhyme-time and baby gym particularly exciting, but we needed to fill the days because being at home with kids can be a very lonely, isolating time.”
Kin & Kind, her venture that gathers parents for a playgroup-style meeting with much more than toxic-free PlayDoh crafts on offer: not only is childcare well and truly taken care of, no babysitter or awkward post-workday shuffling required, but the activities are actually aimed at adult enjoyment, meaning parents can be people first and foremost.
“We decided to start Kin & Kind to help parents rekindle the interests they once had, but have lost in the fog of babies, kids and home, in a safe and supportive environment,” Miriam adds. “They can learn, connect and feel inspired while their kids are being looked after in the next room (and, most importantly, out of earshot!). We want people to leave feeling energised, with a sense of achievement that’s unrelated to the kids.”
From artist Emily Besser passing on her artistic genius, The Planthunter founder Georgina Reid passing on the wisdom of installing indoor jungalows to the very adult “news hour” with award-winning journalist Sunanda Creagh from The Conversation, Kin & Kind is fiercely focused on parents first.
From first-time parents to those who’ve been around the block, Miriam says Kin & Kind provides not only a connective community of parents within which participants can find common ground, but also a place that has a little more depth than the online offerings new parents find themselves plugged into.
“Most of us rely heavily on social media for a sense of connection – Facebook mother groups, mummy bloggers, Insta mums… and that tends to leave us feeling even more isolated and inadequate,” the founder explains. “We wanted to create an authentic IRL connection, a place where people – who happen to be parents or carers – can engage over something other than child-rearing.”