A lack of practical support for transitioning to the new role of ‘mum’, drove Hannah Hardy-Jones to develop the world’s first personal development app for mums.
Aware of the importance of personal and professional development in any role, Christchurch mother of two and human resources professional Hannah Hardy-Jones became aware of the lack of options in this area for mums. This was the push she needed to launch a mum development app, ‘The Kite Program’.
“A kite is a perfect and beautiful analogy for life. People need help and support to fly their kites high and live a truly fulfilled and happy life. This is especially true for mums who spend so much time helping fly the kites of others, that often their own kite is forgotten. ‘The Kite Program’ gives mums the tools to fly their kite high,” says Hardy-Jones.
The use-led app is based on the concept of micro-learning and is designed to provide mothers, at all stages of their mum journey, with all important support, solutions and coping techniques to face the everyday challenges that being a mother presents.
“Having suffered some mental health issues after the birth of my daughter five years ago, I started seeking practical solutions to address some of the feelings I was having and struggled to find any. I soon realised how few options there are for the personal development of mothers. My career in human resources made me acutely aware of how vital personal and professional development is and so I began wondering why the role of a ‘mum’ doesn’t come with the same level of development opportunities as seen in traditional employment?
“Being a new mum is just like starting a new job – you have to learn as you go, but you also need to hit the ground running. However, in the workplace we build in support networks and programs for managing the health and safety of our workers, but what are we doing in the home for our mothers? Mums deserve personal development at all stages of their parenting journey – it doesn’t matter whether they are working, stay at home or their children have left home. Personal growth is an investment at any stage,” says Hardy-Jones.
Initial research during the concept phase of the app’s development provided Hardy-Jones with the impetus to continue. The research confirmed what she instinctively knew, that many mothers felt they were missing out on personal development and were searching for something more.
“An incredible 65% of mothers interviewed wanted to know how to make more time for themselves and to do more of the things they love. That’s pretty powerful and says a lot. On the flipside 70% of mums interviewed said they sometimes felt mum guilt. This was over anything from not spending enough quality time with their children, to their kids eating too much junk food. It was also interesting to note that 49% of mothers surveyed felt less connected to their partners after having children. This highlights how stretched mothers often feel and our inner monologue…we want time for ourselves, we want to be there for our kids and we want to be connected with our partners. It’s a lot.
“To me, this was an obvious place to start – to create a program that would support mothers in everything from improving relationships, organising their busy lives, through to reducing mum-guilt and ultimately their stress levels,” says Hardy-Jones.
Once downloaded, ‘The Kite Program’ asks the user three questions so the app can create a tailored program based on their needs. There are 14 mini programs, called Kites, and these Kites contain between 14-30 tasks that users can work through at their own pace. The app will deliver activities daily, but there is no pressure to complete a task.
Along with the 14 Kites there is also an on-the-go mindfulness button and a Kite Journal for users to save favourite activities. Tasks can be scheduled to arrive at appropriate times, for example after children have gone to bed, and users can change mini programs depending on their needs.
“I am very aware that a lot of mums want to be more present, not spending more time on their devices. For this reason, I designed the app so users spend very little time interacting with the app itself, instead it is all about implementing the activities into real life situations. They are small tasks that fit into a busy life,” says Hardy-Jones.