At a summer picnic, we over-heard our then 5 year olds discuss the worst thing that their parents (us!) had subjected them to that school year. I was reminded, yet again, that I had forgotten to send in £1 for a charity cupcake sale and so my daughter was the ONLY child in class (in school, in London, in the UK, depending on which version of her story you believe) who didn’t get a cupcake that October afternoon. And yes, in 5-year-old land, you can still hold that against your Mum 9 months and countless cupcakes later. Rohan on the other hand, was still scarred from having missed a classmate’s birthday party that his parents forgot about. As an aside, I am in equal parts amused and insulted that forgetting £1 is considered as grievous a crime as forgetting a birthday party. But now you know.
Of course there was no thanks or gratitude for the seemingly hundreds of things we do remember – costumes, charity bake sales, early pick-ups, late drop offs (okay fine, unintended late drop offs and unappreciated by the teachers but still, it happens!).
We wondered how many activities parents actually had to remember over the course of a year, and like all good Harvard MBAs, followed the data. We assumed a family with 2 children in primary school, each child participating in one sport and one other extra-curricular activity. We left out family holidays and summer camps and such like. We picked real school, sports clubs and theatre group calendars. And started counting. We got to 100 easy. Then 200. Then 300…..
We stopped counting when we hit 500. Yes, 500.
So really, I think I should be forgiven for forgetting that £1 last October!!
Shilpa – Co-founder and Chief Parent Officer
(better known as Diya & Lara’s Mum)
A Better Solution
Needless to say, my son outing me in front of our friends for forgetting his best friend’s birthday did not go down well! And I knew this, or something similar, was likely to repeat itself at some point in the next academic year – and the year after – and thereafter. It is simply not possible for parents to remember the hundreds of things, literally, expected of them.
Crumpled papers in book bags, playdates made at school gates, homework diaries, PTA emails, text messages from unrecognisable numbers, massive family kitchen calendars, football rescheduled because of the rain, more emails – the multitude of channels of communication and the volume of communication is designed to cause pain!
Having worked in technology for over 15 years, I also know it doesn’t have to be this way. We use Slack, Facebook, Uber and TripAdvisor for other parts of our lives – why are we limited to last century paper in book bags and post-it notes in our parenting lives?
And so we built Coo. An easy way to bring parents from your children’s classes together, whether inside school or outside. Your village of “elders”, accessible whenever you need them. A shared calendar for every group, aggregated into your personal calendar so that you know what’s on at any given point in time.
Share the work, share the joy. And together, let’s make parenting easy so that we can spend time (and brain-space!) on the things that really matter.
Amit – Co-founder and Chief Product Officer
(better known as Rohan & Esha’s Dad)