When Glenda Aguirre, had her first child and transitioned from full-time to part-time work, she found herself working from home a lot.
And it was hard.
"I had this internal struggle of guilt, like, 'OK. I really need to do work.' But if (my daughter) was there, I was giving her more attention and not getting enough done," Aguirre, 35, says.
She wanted a place to work outside of the home where she could bring her daughter without feeling overly conscious about bothering others.
"It was something I kept thinking about throughout my parenting journey," she says. Her daughter is now 4.
When her son, who is now 5 months old, was born, she decided to create the thing she wanted.
Earlier this month, she hosted her first pop-up coworking space with on-site childcare. Raise a Village currently hosts three coworking sessions a month, bouncing between Fountain of Life Lutheran Church, Unity of Tucson and WomanKraft Art Center.
The sessions are usually three to four hours, but parents can choose how long they want to work. The rate of $10 per hour covers on-site childcare for two kids between the ages of 3 months to 8 years old.
Aguirre uses babysitters from Elegant Event Sitters, Inc., a Georgia-based company that specializes in providing childcare for special events such as weddings or social gatherings. Sitters are first aid and CPR certified, receive regular background checks and must go through training about safety and security, abuse and neglect and other topics, according to the company's website. Aguirre met the company's owner Tish Davis in a Facebook group for entrepreneur moms.
Kids have access to age-appropriate toys and do crafts during the time, Aguirre says. Her sister Miriam Tolano, who says she has past experience working at a daycare and preschool, also helps with the kids. They have the capacity to watch eight kids at a time, Aguirre says.
"As a mom, to have one hour of child-free thinking is just priceless." says Tolano, 27. She has two little ones of her own. "You get to relax. You get to really concentrate on whatever you want, and it doesn't have to be work. If you want to watch a Netflix show or do Pinterest that whole hour ... it's child-free time."
Aguirre wants to create a community of like-minded moms (or dads) who work or stay at home with their kids and want to support each other — and get stuff done. And that doesn't just have to be traditional work. Aguirre sees these pop-up coworking times as a chance to pay bills, do school work or scroll Instagram all without interruptions.
Before she had her daughter, Aguirre worked for eight years as an epidemiologist for the Pima County Health Department.
"I didn't realize having a kid was going to impact me so much," she says. "I thought I would be able to transition back to my full-time job like nothing. I really like epidemiology, but something changed internally, and I just couldn't stand the idea of not being with her that much time."
So she transitioned to part-time work for the nonprofit Beads of Courage, Inc., where she previously volunteered. Raising a kid, balancing subsequent part-time jobs and running her custom iron-ons Etsy shop Tatelie kept her busy. When her son was born, she decided to focus her energy on parenting and her Esty store.
She hopes that the community will grow and someday have a permanent space.
"I hope it's the bridge that closes the gap between feeling torn by having your child watched by someone else somewhere else and feeling like you don't have space to yourself any more." she says. "There is somebody in your bubble all the time when you're a mom, so to get a little bit of that relief, that really recharges you."
Upcoming Raise a Village pop-ups
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Unity of Tucson, 3617 N. Camino Blanco
Friday, Nov. 8, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at WomanKraft, 389 S. Stone Ave.
Thursday, Nov. 14, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Fountain of Life Lutheran Church, 710 S. Kolb Road
Go to the Facebook page for more information and how to sign up.