Portland mom creates shared workspace

Portland mom creates shared workspace


by Cathy Marshall

Bio | Email | Follow: @CathyMarshall8


Posted on November 28, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 28 at 6:00 PM

PORTLAND - A new Portland business caters to moms struggling with working at home while raising an infant or toddler. It’s called Motherfields.

“The vision I had when I started was just a field of flowers,” said owner Kathryn Bereman-Skelly.

Her field is a simple office space on Northeast Sacramento Avenue and what she’s grown is a place where Moms are making friends and meeting deadlines.

“I wanted a place where Moms could drop in and get some work done and know their child is safe.”

For $4 an hour, moms rent a desk and for $6 an hour, their children under the age of 3 are supervised.

“I don’t know why someone didn’t think of this before,” said Summer Collier. She’s an acupuncturist with an active daughter. “She checks on me but then goes back with the other kids because that’s way more fun than watching mom work.”

Zoe is the mother of an almost 2-year-old who is building a career as an artist. “With the child care here this has just been invaluable,” she said.

For Jami, who’s a counselor, it’s about avoiding distractions. “I could do this paperwork at home but I won’t. I would find something else to do.”

The owner came up with the concept after 10 years as a therapist specializing in the mental well being of women.

“Being a mom is really isolating at times especially when you have a very young child or if you’re working from home,” she explained.

It’s why along with the workspace, Motherfields also offers support groups including one for moms with infants.

“Probably the best thing is seeing I’m not the only one who doesn’t know what I’m doing and that eventually it comes,” remarked Katie Mansfield.

Mom Tara Lilley agreed

“I look forward to coming here every week and getting a break.” It’s what the owner had in mind. “I wanted to create a living room for moms to come together.”

She believes it’s the only co-working space of its kind in the country and hopes to create more.

“This is the dream,” she said looking around her first location, “I would love to be able to provide this to any mom who feels isolated and needs it.”