How many networking events do you attend where you bring your kids? How often do you get together with other young professionals in a playroom with boisterous toddlers climbing on plastic slides? My professional and personal worlds collided in this environment – a discussion about parenting as a nonprofit professional, part of YNPN’s Scattershot Café event. In the nine months since I’ve been a parent, happy hour has been more of a challenge, but this Saturday morning get-together was just my speed.
Now in its fourth year, Scattershot Cafés are small group discussions held at coffee shops throughout the Twin Cities. It’s YNPN delivered right to your neighborhood in a convenient package – an hour and a half on a relaxed weekend morning, complete with coffee.
This year, Andy Brown and I teamed up to host a discussion for nonprofit parents. We had eight adults, four kids, and one in utero at Sovereign Grounds in South Minneapolis, which has an awesome playroom for kids. We shared tips for negotiating flexible schedules and asking for what you need at work while taking breaks to feed or entertain the kids. At one point, one toddler escaped and almost made it out the door of the coffee shop before his mom caught him. It was an easygoing environment that allowed us to be ourselves – dedicated parents and dedicated professionals.
Small group meet-ups like this are great places to discuss a variety of topics. I would have loved to attend one of the other Scattershot Cafés happening at the same time as this discussion on topics ranging from job transition to fundraising to finding a sense of community. Maybe I’ll have a chance to next year! In the meantime, I’ll be organizing a YNPN Member Meet-up for nonprofit parents to continue the conversation (check www.ynpntwincities.org for the date when announced!).