We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Craig and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rachel, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had my first baby in April of 2022 and although the process was beautiful, I felt very alone. When I finally reached out to other new parents, I realized they felt the same way too! I searched for support within my area and found a lot for “moms”, during the middle of the day, costing upwards of $200.

I knew lots of parents who didn’t identify as a “mom” and still needed support. And lots of parents who worked a full time job during the middle of the day, but still needed options for groups or support.

Being a postpartum/baby registered nurse for most of my career as well as a lactation educator helped me in the first few days of my daughters life. But after that I felt so lost and alone—I decided one day that I would create the community I craved. And then ‘The Parent Pad’ was born.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started ‘The Parent Pad’ during my toughest days as a brand new mother. I was tired, overwhelmed, and very very lonely.

In the preparation for the birth of my daughter I didn’t really do much. After all, I had 5 years of experience as a Labor & Delivery/Postpartum/Baby Nurse. As well as 12+ years of experience babysitting children (some of which are my own younger siblings)! I was always around babies AND I knew what to do in the event of an emergency–so needless to say, I felt very prepared.

Well, turns out I was really only prepared for the first few days. That was my expertise. I dealt with babies during their first breaths of life to maybe their second or third day. After that? I really had no clue.

I gave birth to my daughter, Jamie, in April of 2022. I remember bringing her home, and in my head wondered ‘now what?’. The anxiety that hits you as a new parent can be overwhelming. There were constant tears about ‘cluster feeding’ and ‘not sleeping’ and ‘why is your poop green’??

Finally, about 2 weeks into being a new mother I started the google searching….’parent classes in san diego’….’no results’. I found a few ‘mommy and me’ classes but the times didn’t work for me, and revolved more around talking about our worries–not feeding the baby and things the pediatrician brushes off as ‘normal’.

I also noticed NONE of the language was inclusive. I saw ‘breast’ and ‘mama’ and ‘mom group only’…..what about the people that don’t identify as mom? The ones that still need the support while caring for a young baby?

Within my searching I noticed something was severely lacking. Everyone prepares you for the labor/birth of a child, but what about when you bring them home?? There’s no manual. Every single baby is different.

The Parent Pad was born in that exact moment. To support and nurture these relationships we so greatly long for. And to bring that sense of ‘community’ back to raising children,

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Having grown up in San Diego myself you would think I could answer this question easily! But it’s hard actually.

My favorite part of San Diego used to be Ocean Beach, the old OB. The one with the huge thrift store where the Target is now. The unique Ocean Beach. So, we would start there. It’s Wednesday and the Farmers Market is happening. We get there early, grab an Acai Bowl from the Smoothie place on Newport and walk around.

The next day we would head to Liberty Station, do a nice walk and then head to Little Italy for dinner.

My favorite little spot for a fun family Friday is a walk and dinner in South Park. The homes are so cute & charming.

On Saturday we would take the dogs to Coronado Dog Beach and then have a bite & drink at The Hotel Del.

Sunday we would head out on my parents ocean boat and tour San Diego from the water.

Monday would be a fun beach day and Wind N Sea and some burritos down the street.

And Tuesday would be a nice long hike at Cowles Mountain (with the dogs again of course).

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband deserves all the credit in the world! I never would have left my full time job to pursue this business of mine if he hadn’t pushed me to do so. His constant encouragement and praise are the reason I’m so passionate about helping other parents and building this community.

Website: www.theparentpad.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theparentpad/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theparentpad

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0BM14WwQmUb7OdfvC2yWVA

Image Credits
Vanessa Melendez

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