My new project: an e-course and Instagram community for parents

Guys, I’m really excited to share a new personal project I’ve been working on! After two years of mushy baby brain (no joke — I honestly thought my brain might never work properly again!), I’m excited to be back in entrepreneurial shoes — with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Back in February, just before Wilkie’s 2nd birthday, a friend sparked an idea. And, before I knew it, I was finding myself on my computer well past my bedtime every night, working with excitement to get this idea off the ground. I’ve spent the last few months eagerly working, writing, filming and planning, and I’m really excited to share this new project with you.

I’m launching a 5-week collaborative e-course on family lifestyle, covering a different topic each week: Family, Home, Food, Travel and Lifestyle. I’ll be sharing thoughts, lessons I’ve learned, tips & tricks, insightful interviews, and fun tutorials in both written, video and live formats. I’ve never before done live videos on Instagram, so this is all new territory for me, but I’m super excited to be pushing myself a bit out of my comfort zone and connecting with people in this new way!

Through the course content — both written and video — I’ll be sharing thoughts and inspiration for families: ideas for cooking (including lunch box ideas!), getting children involved in food prep, organising your home, decorating your space, travelling with children, packing a suitcase, organising your wardrobe, shopping for babies and children, shopping for YOU, finding balance between work and family, and slowing down as a family. I’ve also interviewed other women who will be sharing their wisdom and the lessons they’ve learned: my friend, Melanie Deefholts, who specialises in childhood development, Natalie Walton, who will chat to us about styling and decorating our homes, Magdalena Roze on cooking nutritious meals for babies and mothers,  Julia Ashwood on family travel and Chloe Brookman on growing a successful business and juggling family and a career. Each interview has left me feeling so inspired and empowered — I can’t wait to share them with everyone.

In addition to the course content, each week I’ll be expanding on the different topics on a new subscriber-only Instagram feed, as a way to build a community of engaged parents and to share and learn from people around the world. I’ll be raising topics, sharing interesting podcasts, asking questions and encouraging feedback and conversation amongst subscribers. I think this is the aspect I am most excited about! I’m so looking forward to connecting with people from all over the world.

I would love for you to join, and really look forward to connecting with you all.

In the meantime, I’ll still be here in this space writing and sharing as usual. Babyccino is my first work ‘baby’, shared with Esther and Emilie, and I’m so proud of all that we’ve accomplished in the (nearly) 12 years since we began. (And Esther, Emilie and I are still wonderful friends and love and support each other as always!) I’ve learned so much from Babyccino and the community here, and feel so fortunate to have grown as a parent alongside you all. It feels exciting to take the experience I’ve gained and to be forging a new path in a world I still love.

Thanks, as always, for your support.

Courtney x

p.s. I just wanted to clarify that there’s nothing wrong with baby brain. 🙂 It’s actually a wonderful thing, and forces you to be more in touch with yourself and your family, and it should actually be embraced! (I was just happy when, after nearly two years, my brain started to feel a bit more focused again.)


Comments (23)

Annie from Brimful
May 7, 2019

After a season of laying down new roots in a new homeland, it makes me so happy to see you now blooming and growing in fresh ways. Go you! ❤️

May 7, 2019

I am struggling to understand the concept of this course and the price attached to it. Isn’t this the kind of advice that’s given on Babyccino kids? As much as I love Babyccino and think that Courtney, with her privilege, has carved a beautiful life in Byron Bay, but she has not raised children out of their adolescence nor is she a qualified educator. The whole concept feels off to me. It’s like creating an “in gang” that those with less money cannot afford to be a part of. I’m sure the topics are interesting but adding a price tag to it does not sit well with me when there are many qualified, interesting and inclusive women on Instagram who do not charge for anecdotal advice.

May 7, 2019

I wish every fellow mother and strong, smart, business woman like Courtney much luck! However, there are informative blogs and forums for free, books created by specialists that spend years of their lives researching for far cheaper than this course. I, personally, would not and could not spend this much money. I admit, I would love to be able to see little tid-bits from the course and wish the IG account was public. But, bottom line, women should be lifting women up and not tearing them down so, again, I wish you only the best, Courtney.

May 8, 2019

I wonder how this initiative fits within the context of the Babyccino blog, which is all about tips on raising kids, products, lifestyle, recipes, and the like, which is what ‘the loop’ is expected to focus on.

Having said that, all the best in this new endeavor!

May 8, 2019

We live in the age of “Influencers.” I too struggle with the concept, but more power to those who have an idea that can make money.

May 8, 2019

I follow Babyccino and Courtney for years and the blog and your IG accounts have always been a source of inspiration, but I have sincerely felt a bit disappointed and confused with this initiative.
I understand that Courtney is free to monetize her thousands of followers, but this project seems like a forced way to do it.
I make this comment from the respect and admiration for what Babyccino has built, a community interested in childhood, style, food, home, travel … pay now to belong to another community I find it shocking, but sending my best wishes.

May 8, 2019

I’ve been struggling as well. I also enjoy the blog and Instagram feed. But this does feel like a mix of privilege and exclusiveness, I’m having a hard feeling good about.

May 8, 2019

I got soo excited…..until I read it’s paid content. I have also been following Babyccino for years now and thanks to its founders’ great personalities and the genuine content of their blog I feel a member of this community, for which I am truly grateful. Unfortunately, I cannot afford Courtney’s e-course and it does feel a little bit disappointing. As if suddently I do not belong to that ‘club’. I can only hope that Esther and Emily will keep posting their insightful advice and delicious recipes for free for those of us who live ‘a little bit’ different reality.

May 8, 2019

Clearly you are a great Mum, housekeeper and business woman but it feels slightly like you are sharing the helpful tips and advice that we should give one another for free. I struggle with idea of a community you have to pay to belong to. It seems alienating. I think as a generation we have become accustomed to the monetisation of child rearing. It’s almost like a faux friend offering the advice a real friend would give for free and that sits uncomfortably.
Obviously you need to make a living though so maybe we are all being a bit too critical? Good luck and I hope all your followers who participate feel a real connection.

May 9, 2019

I am very excited to join your course Courtney and it excites me that you have created it. I have joined a few online e courses in the past, for varying subjects, and I adore the way the facilitators bring all the content together in a way that is engaging, has context, cohesion and flow. A very different space to reading blog posts or scouring the webs. Bring on the 20th! Cheers Mandy

May 10, 2019

I find the exclusive nature of this program to be very problematic. And, frankly, to address your recent advert: if my husband bought me an ecourse to be more like another woman and another family (for Mother’s Day, nonetheless!) I’d be insulted.

May 10, 2019

I’m thrilled to join this course, Courtney. Haters gonna hate! I’m astounded at comments here and on social media. You have created an incredible community, you’ve put so much work into this course, and of course you’re going to charge for it! It baffles me that people somehow think none of this stuff takes time. Thanks again for doing this.

May 10, 2019

I think it is unfair to call haters those people who are not fully on board with Courtney’s initiative. They have expressed very balanced comments and most of them wished Courtney’s course much success. We cannot just define as haters people who disagree with us!

May 22, 2019

Many comments on social media HAVE been incredibly hateful. Of course, everyone can have an opinion- then just don’t sign up for the course? For all of this movement towards women supporting women, there is still so much jealousy and vitriol (especially for successful, happy women) and it drives me crazy.

May 10, 2019

I find it sad that Courtney hasn’t even attempted to respond to any of the comments here. It seems she is only happy to ‘connect’ with like-minded mama’s who fork out the $250 required for her e-course. A course which is being partly sold on giving an exclusive look inside her wardrobe(…?). I find it all baffling really. Along with supporting Mango which is the least ethical clothing company (implicated in the rana plaza disaster). I don’t understand why you would treat your followers like this? So many of us have supported Babyccino and the Shop Up over the years, bought the 9 months book etc. Time for me to say goodbye I think. I appreciated the earlier years and used to love this space but this is a step too far and is not empowering or inspiring women at all.

May 15, 2019

Totalmente de acuerdo.

May 12, 2019

As much as I love pretty images that are shown on social, and not just here or over at Courtney’s own feeds, I am always quite aware that those images are just a front and a way to ‘sell’ stuff. As an outsider you just need to know this and not fall for it. By now marketing what is basically just pretty images of and tips about an unattainable lifestyle for the vast majority of followers as an paid ‘e-course’ is very misleading and one step too far. Unfortunately, there will be women lured into this, seduced to spend money on what is not an actual course in any way, in the hopes of what….learning how to lead a charmed life far away from reality? Yes everyone is enttitled to make a living and so is Courtney. But by not acknowledging the many negative AND still sincere comments she shows just how far removed she is from her fans.

May 13, 2019

I’m really looking forward to doing the course as well. I’ve done other e-courses and have had to pay so why should Courtney’s be any different? I don’t understand the backlash Courtney is receiving for charging for her course. I don’t expect that my life will be just like Courtney’s after doing the course. However I am interested and excited to connect with her and the other women from all over the globe who are also doing the course.

Emilie in Paris
May 13, 2019

Hey, thanks you everyone for your thoughts and comments – we always appreciate that there are genuine discussions on our feed. I feel that everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if it is not the same as mine. I also feel that I can have an opinion, so here are some of my thoughts.

I have to say that I am proud of Courtney to test something new and working hard on a new project. We all evolve, especially in our careers, and try to do the best for us and our families.

I think the course can be a lot of fun and very inspirational for some, while others might prefer to find there inspiration elsewhere. Both are totally valid.
I also ponder what being a « professional » constitutes.. Does a certification give us the qualification to give advice? Or do 14 years of child raising, a journalism training, 12 years of writing and researching mean for Babyccino mean that Courtney has acquired a lot of knowledge that could be beneficial to others, if they choose to sign up for it?

Courtney also does not present herself as a qualified professional in all areas – she has contacted women who are experts and with whom she has worked with on this course. I think it is super interesting!

All of these women have taken time out of their lives to share their knowledge and will need to be remunerated for this. Courtney also needed to develop a website, buy equipment and work for months to put this together. This means a lot of time and investment and so it feels quite logical to charge for this.

I also have a few thoughts about social media and the way people present themselves. Some of us choose to present a curated window of our lives for inspiration, others are show everything warts and all. Some of us are good photographers and have an eye for details, other concentrate on the human aspect. Not one or the other is better or worse. Courtney has never claimed her life is perfect. She has made a specific choice to curate her feed and that is as valid as anything else.

We are going to continue Babyccino as we always have, it is our passion project and has been in our lives for 12 years, but to keep Babyccino moving and evolving we also need other things in our lives and I feel like we should supporting one another in our endeavors, even if they do not seem applicable to us. x

May 13, 2019

After reading all these comments I felt the need to add something after realising I didn’t want to, from the very beginning, be a part or add to any negativity regarding Courtney’s project. And if I ever let myself feel disappointed or left out because of somebody’s great work it is my own responsibility. I let myself feel this way for a reason I should probably figure out (for my own sake). It is nobody’s fault but mine. We are responsible for our own emotions. I admire Courtney for her courage and passion for life. Somebody’s success it not our failure! Let us all remember that. All the best Courtney. I am grateful that I could enjoy the fruits of your work here on Babyccino for so long!

May 13, 2019

I must admit I am struggling to see what this course will offer that the Babyccino blog already doesn’t. I drop in here from time to time to read about lifestyle, recipes and rearing children and gain insight from not only the three founders but from the comments written by your followers. I feel there already is a community of sorts here already. What doesn’t sit well with me is that all of the ‘experts’ over on the Loop have been deemed so only by Courtney and appear to be all Byron based rather than have any real worldwide notoriety, that doesn’t mean their advice isn’t valid and certificates aren’t necessary but I would hesitate to part with so much money when it is not readily apparent that they are actually so successful in their chosen fields, we only really have Instagram to base their worth on which as we all know is a place of smoke and mirrors. I genuinely wish Courtney the best with her endeavours. If you do read this Courtney I personally would like to see a lifestyle book with your travels and tips on slow living, I’d buy that! Good luck ! x

May 15, 2019

Although this course isn’t my budget, I really admire Courtney’s entrepreneurial spirit. And, while I understand that this isn’t the intent of other commenters, it does feel like spheres deemed as traditionally “women’s work” continue to be undervalued in society and most certainly in our economy. I am excited to see a mother explore a new way to support her family and hope it is a successful venture. As for the unattainability, I think my perspective is colored by raising a (brilliant & wonderful) child with a disability—nearly all of the internet’s parenting resources seem very far out of reach to me, but I still love to visit.

July 8, 2019

I actually find this course completely exploiting the vulnerability that comes from motherhood. Courtney says ‘people crave connection’ and is offering her ‘circle’ of friends but how predatory to do so for a fee. A very high fee at that. She has already made money from us by the brands we buy through this portal, now she wants us to pay to see inside her wardrobe, no doubt full of ethical brands that have a high carbon footprint…and give her more content by providing advice through ‘sharing, learning, growing’ The level of ego along with the highly curated lifestyle she keeps peddling, the dishonesty about the amount of help she has had and does currently receive not to mention deleting and blocking people that call her out on any of these things, has put me completely off Babyccino.

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