Sara Davison worked in corporate business development until the birth of her little one, Isla Grace. And that changed everything.
“Like many new moms, I was trying to navigate my new role and identity as a mom and caring for my baby, with limited support,” Davison tells me. “I felt isolated and overwhelmed with information overload (Dr Google, anyone?).”
The experience prompted Davison, who lives in Raleigh with her daughter and husband, to leave her corporate career and reimagine a way for modern parents to access their own villages of support. The result is Kinly, an online parenting platform aimed at expecting parents and parents of young children. It’s been an important resource for Triangle families during the pandemic.
I checked in with Davison to find out more about Kinly and how it’s helping. Here’s a Q&A.
Go Ask Mom: We’re parenting during incredibly challenging times, and a lot of families need support. But it can be so hard to find. How can Kinly help?
Sarah Davison: This last year has been so challenging for families. So many in our community, myself included, were seeking support and resources to help navigate through this uncharted territory. Let’s face it, none of us were prepared to parent in a pandemic!
One way I knew I was able help was to bring local experts from the Kinly platform (licensed therapists, counselors, occupational therapists, registered dietitians and more) to provide FREE support to help families parent in a pandemic. Via live interviews and webinars in a free Facebook group we created, we’ve covered topics ranging from Parenting A Child With Anxiety to Maternal Mental Health During A Pandemic. This group has organically grown to almost 2,000 Triangle parents seeking resources, community and support. Some have described these interviews as “a lifeline” during an incredibly tough time and that it has helped them “…so much to feel heard and know they are not alone in this.”
GAM: What does Kinly offer?
SD: We like to say Kinly is where parenting meets access to family services experts + meaningful, evidence-based information + community care—from preconception to early parenthood. We offer:
Access To Experts: It’s free for parents to be and parents of littles to search and book local experts who offer more than 200 wellness and supportive services. It includes everybody from doulas to lactation consultants to registered dietitians, chiropractors, pediatric and pelvic PTs and beyond. Our network is growing weekly. All the services you need, all in one place—because who has time to endlessly search the internet?!
Evidence-Based Parenting Information: One of the unique challenges of being a modern parent in the digital age is the information overload all over the internet! We are launching a FREE parenting resource library this month for parents to access meaningful, ‘bite-sized information’ from vetted experts on our network, the Kinly Collective, on the common questions that arise as a new parent or parent of little.
Parents can add their email to be notified when it is launched to access this library for free and access other benefits such as exclusive discounts on classes, services and events.
Community Care: For parents who are seeking community and access to resources beyond our free Facebook group, we are working on a number of our own socially distanced events with various community partners. We are also working with a number of other partners and brands on initiatives and benefits for local parents that we hope to announce soon. Our community, followers and email subscribers will be the first to know!
Our belief is that #EveryHomeEveryChild deserves to have access to the resources that support their wellbeing and help them thrive, so we try to make our resources accessible to all parents. Our priced services with providers allow us to donate to support and feed vulnerable children and families through our various charity partnerships. I’m proud to have supported thousands through our work at Kinly so far!
GAM: What are the biggest questions or needs that you’re hearing from parents right now?
SD: Definitely, the most common thing we’re hearing from parents is how much they are missing community and how overwhelmed and confused they feel not knowing where to turn for resources and support. Parents to be and new parents, especially, are more apprehensive navigating their new roles during a pandemic with the added complexity of limited social structures at a time when it matters the most.
We’re hoping we can bridge that gap for so many in our communities through our work here at Kinly – through a pandemic and beyond.
GAM: How do you hope to create a community through Kinly and its various resources?
SD: In addition to our own community and resources, we’re continually creating at Kinly. We recognize that it really does take a village and that we can support more families at a larger scale by partnering with some amazing moms doing great work in our community.
Triangle Area Parenting Support (TAPSNC), run by Monica Richardson, has been serving parents with infants through their newborn program for over five years and often seeks to connect families with experts to help them learn and grow. Partnering with TAPS allows us to reach more parents by bringing in vetted experts from our network, the Kinly Collective, to guide them through all things from maternal mental health with a licensed therapist to baby-led weaning sessions with a registered dietitian in virtual, interactive seminars to compliment their programming. Our partnership with TAPS includes all of their programs and I’m particularly excited about their new alumni program which they’re calling the TAPS Village Hub. We’ve already set up experts to come speak at a fun interactive seminar later this month and we can’t wait to set up more.
We’ve also partnered with Thrive Motherhood, run by Allison Creagh, to bring local, social distanced events to help moms thrive with the support of the Kinly Collective panel of experts – our first Kinly x Thrive Motherhood event “Thriving During A Pandemic” will be presented by our Kinly Collective panelists and was sold out in under four hours!! Our second social distanced event is in the works right now!
We are in the process of launching a few more community based initiatives, online and socially distanced so parents can be kept up to date by sharing their email on our site.
GAM: You’re a mom too. What’s making things easier for you right now?
SD: Leaning in on the community we’ve created and the resources we’ve made available for parents has helped me too. Like probably most moms right now, I’ve realized the importance of reaching out for support whether it’s from trusted experts, peers or just our broader community just to know and feel that I’m not going through this alone. Like we say at Kinly, when it comes to parenting, we were never meant to do this alone!
For more information, head over to Kinly’s website, Facebook page and Instagram.
Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.