Ep. 26 2018 - Jenny Vanderhoek
In the episode I speak with Jenny Vanderhoek of Mynder.com.au which is an app to help you get a spontaneous babysitter
Tell me about yourself.
I’m wife to Jake who I’ve been with for 12 years and married for 7 years. I’m mum to Mila (4) and Sebby (2), there is a 19 months age gap between them. And earlier this year i quit my 10 year+ corporate job to pursue my dreams of running my own business by acquiring Mynder. Mynder is an on demand child care app (Think uber for babysitting) and I was a customer until recently becoming the owner. I’m super passionate about helping working parents because I am one and I’ve experienced and am experiencing the juggle of work and family life.
Describe for us, a day in the life of you. Do you have any tips or life hacks?
I usually start my day at 5.30am and get a brief 15mins of silence to check my emails and calendar for the day. Its then busy mum mode of getting kids dressed, lunches made and breakfast on the go. If I remember, I might be lucky to have a glass of water. After dropping the kids off at daycare and preschool, I head into my co working space in the city. The first hour is catching up with my team on what they are working on or any new ideas that I’ve come up with in the shower last night. Yes I do a lot of thinking in my shower because it’s the most peaceful place in my home. Its then meetings, emails and hustling to get Mynder in front of places where working parents may be able to learn about us. Around 3.45pm, I start to wrap up my work so I can pick up both my kids from daycare/preschool around 4.30pm. then witchy hour begins at home so its all about feeding, bathing and getting the kids asleep by 7pm. My husband then usually have a little catch up on how our days were and then its bed and bath routine for us. If I can, I’d like to usually watch an episode of some kind of reality tv show because I just need to watch mindless entertainment to switch off my mind from going 1million miles a second. Or I call my mum or a good girlfriend. Nothing like a good dose of nonjudgmental chit chat. I love to be in bed and asleep by 10pm at the latest.
My top tips is to prepare whatever you can the night before with the kids. E.g My daughter chooses her outfit for the next day before bedtime so we can avoid tantrums in the morning. I also prepack all their daycare bags along with any special show and tell items the night before.
Another is sometimes its best to wait until the kids go to sleep to have important conversations with your partner. It’s a much better connection than having kids screaming in between your conversation and then you realise you never actually finished it anyway because kids got in the way.
What was the best advice you have received?
At a recent 9 to thrive event, Emma Isaacs said to the audience that everyone is waiting for something to happen but nothing is coming. If you want something, you have to go out there and work hard to get it. It really resonated with me because there is always a reason why we can’t do something or that it’s not the right time etc. But it is the truth – stop expecting for something to come to you, go out there and grab it. I guess essentially that’s what I did when I decided that I was going back to my corporate job.
What books are you currently reading or do you have a fave Netflix or Stan show?
My latest book that I read was Winging it by Emma Isaacs. Otherwise, my favorite tv shows are either reality tv shows like real housewives, below deck or thrillers like The Sinner.
If you cook, what recipes can you share or meal prep tips?
Roasts are my favourites in winter because you can put everything in one pan and then just pop it in the oven.
If you are cooking for kids – the less complicated the better. I stopped researching amazing lentil casseroles etc and instead give my kids food as close to the source as possible. They love raw cucumber or steamed green beans and pasta and BBQ lamb chops. I find the more time I spend on making them something, the more disappointment there is for them and for me.
What one area of your life would you like to improve?
My relationship with my partner. Don’t get me wrong, my hubby and I have a fantastic every day relationship but I would love to find more ways to spend more one on one time together without it talking about kids or work or life. I think there is so much talk about work and life balance and we forget about our relationship with our partner. I dream about having him all to myself and giving him a big smooch like we did when we were in our twenties.
What’s your greatest fear and how do you deal with it?
Failing. We have obviously invested our personal savings into Mynder. So I have the pressure that it has to work because I’ve put our family savings on the line. My hubby has been so supportive so it really helps. I’ve cried to him on many occasions that maybe I should also go and get a part time job in case it doesn’t work out. And he always said to me that if I’m going to do this in the right way, I need to give it my 100% attention. And its ok if it doesn’t work out.
Being passionate about the business keeps me going. As much as there needs to be a monetary benefit, this is so much more than that for me. I really do want to help working parents and if I can provide a service to lessen the load then I want to keep doing it. That’s why I’m so passionate that Corporates in Australia should be doing more in this space. It needs to be more than just parental policies, there needs to be action like back up childcare for the first year that a parent is back at work. Come on, we’ve all been there. Kids are sick and you have no option to stay home. What I think what people don’t talk about it that sometimes we don’t want to sit out, we want to be at work doing that presentation or we want to be at the work event so we can feel part of the team. That’s what diversity and inclusion needs to be also about, specific benefits that employees can actually use to allow them to have choices!
What website have you signed up to that you actually find value in receiving their emails
Well obviously you should sign up with Mynder because we provide monthly tips that will help you. This month is how to squeeze in exercise as a working mum. Otherwise, the only emails that get my attention are when something is on sale. I love a sale!
What’s one piece of advice you would give your pre baby self
Travel more… travelling with young kids is seriously hard. I wish I spent more time travelling instead of always wanting to be at work and collating months of annual leave because I wanted to have them for the future. What was I thinking?!
What’s the most useful / useless baby item you have?
Baby zen yoyo pram is the best pram ever, we’ve travelled with it, I use it as our daily pram and you can carry a baby and this at the same time.
Most useless baby item were those soft toys you got when the baby was born. We received like 100’s of those as none of our friends have had kids so I donated them all to charity.