MyWhanau: Recognising and outsourcing the family organisation mental-load to close the gender gap.

MyWhanau, (pronounced myfarno) is the exciting new Australian start-up, founded by entrepreneur Michelle Forster, offering affordable virtual home assistance in order to help reduce household stress and give valuable time back to parents. 

After recognising the common and severe imbalance within homes when it comes to managing and monitoring family tasks, Michelle set out to create a standardised solution that takes the weight of responsibility off parents shoulders. 

Based at Fishburners, Australia’s biggest start-up coworking community, MyWhanau offers families virtual assistance in managing family events, activities and tasks by creating and managing a fully integrated shareable calendar.  

“Time after time I have seen this extra weight of responsibility play out in families causing huge frustration and overwhelming challenges. More often than not, it is the mother or mother-figure who takes on this seemingly invisible role of  ‘manager’ or ‘head of logistics’ without recognition. According to MyWhanau research, in 84% of Australian households, it is the mother that has taken on 100% of this responsible role” says Michelle. 

“These ‘manager’ parents are awe-inspiring, dedicated and generous. But it comes at a huge personal cost. The weight of this responsibility and the fact that often this parent is often juggling another full-time job, compounds exhaustion and drives parents either out of the workforce entirely, or edges them out of feeling empowered to rise to their full potential.” 

MyWhanau has been launched to address this very issue and recognise the time-consuming task that is managing the household diary. 

The tech-based service sources directly events from individual school or activity portals, apps and emails, then enters the children’s events into the family’s calendar. Powered by a real person, each entry has just the right level of detail giving parents all the information they need in one place.

Priced at only four dollars a week, uptake has already been huge with clients recommendations going through the roof.

Antoinette Rutherford, a parent of 2 high school children says, “I originally heard about MyWhanau on a night out with other mums and thought what a great idea.  As the year went on and things got busy and I missed 2 very important emails, one of which was notification for parent teacher interviews. I missed them this year. I didn’t have time to read all about MyWhanau on the website but I went ahead and joined anyway – I needed it so much. Since then I have not missed a thing, over the last month I have been very busy with unexpected family health issues.  My children’s schedules did not suffer and I am getting all the action notifications, newsletters and relevant information. When I had forgotten to register for Term 4 sports, I was sent a reminder because MyWhanau had worked out that it hadn’t been done. Amazing. I love using MyWhanau and enjoy the feeling of control it provides.”

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