Helping You Navigate Your Parenting Journey


Emma Beaven is a registered Social Worker with extensive experience working with children, families and professionals across New Zealand, Guernsey & the UK. Over this time, she has developed a broad knowledge base and skillset which she brings into her CuedIn mission. A parent herself, she developed CuedIn whilst taking a career break following the birth of her first child. Experiencing firsthand the changes and challenges women go through as they enter motherhood, it highlighted for her some gaps within the current support system available for parents and caregivers, which reignited her passion for working with families. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind what she does, her biggest breakthrough, and her hopes and dreams for the future.

The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

It all started when I was pregnant with my first child. I was living in Guernsey, a small island between England and France, having worked with children and families for many years as a social worker. Unlike New Zealand, Guernsey doesn’t have any laws regarding parental leave or flexible working and when it came time to discuss arrangements with my employer, I couldn’t reconcile what they were requesting of me and what I wanted for my family. So I made the difficult but privileged decision to resign to become a full-time parent.

I was also experiencing services as a client for the first time and I was struck by the lack of support for parents and young families once their children were born. There appeared to be a lot of conflicting and outdated advice every which way you turned. This wasn’t only from professionals, but also on social media/the internet. Plus, all the unsolicited advice from family, friends and even strangers! A lot of this also just seemed to focus on arbitrary “musts and shoulds and need tos” but seemed to miss the real crux of the changes that happen as you enter parenthood.

From discussions with other parents, I could see this was often causing a lot of stress and anxiety. This was combined with my own experiences with people close to me which were quite challenging and at times had me questioning my own parenting choices.

I was left feeling quite frustrated, that as a society, we seem to be doing families a disservice.

Ultimately, whilst I loved being a parent, I missed working with clients. I also felt there was something I could offer the parenting space, an area that has been a major part of my career prior to also becoming a parent myself. A big part of this was wanting to provide an evidence based, non-judgmental service, which aligned with families’ own individual needs and values instead of the ones placed on them by others.

The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

I decided to call my business CuedIn, based on the idea of responding to your child’s individual cues. Often this is talked about in terms of babies, but my service goes across the ages. So, what I think it comes down to for me is, as a parent, you’re learning all the time to identify and respond to each child’s individual needs, flexibly, and adapting with them throughout the ages. Which is no mean feat!

It was quite slow to begin with. As a full-time parent, I’ve had to manage setting everything up in between busy family life, often using the times when my son has been asleep – it’s been quite handy that he has high sleep needs!

Initially, I did lots of networking with other parents, both informally and through specific focus groups, as well as discussions with other professionals.

I also wanted to make sure I was offering up-to-date advice, based on current evidence. So I chose specific areas to focus further training on that I was especially interested in. This has included Neuroprotective Developmental Care (NDC) of infants, infant mental health, Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) for trauma and birth trauma therapy. It’s been hard sometimes to focus my training as there are so many areas I’m interested in and I have a bit of an obsession with learning!

The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

There has been a lot of interest in the birth trauma therapy element, which has been really interesting. Trauma has been a key area I’ve worked with throughout my career; particularly with children and adults who have experienced complex or developmental trauma. So it felt like a nice fit as it’s something I already have extensive experience in.

But I became especially interested in birth trauma following complications in my own pregnancy. I was really struck that at no point during or following some very difficult experiences did any of the professionals ask how we were managing with everything that was happening, how the birth experience was for us or at any time if we needed any additional support. It became even more apparent to me when I recently experienced a miscarriage and the emotional rollercoaster that accompanied it.

I know the impact that trauma can have, especially if left unprocessed, so on both occasions I sought out other trusted professionals to get support from, which I am lucky to have the knowledge of and access to. I believe accessing this support has made a huge difference to not only me personally but also me as a mum.

Thankfully, things have ended up being OK, but we know that the outcome doesn’t mean the trauma experienced just disappears or didn’t have an impact. And it can be really challenging with those often-well-meaning comments from others which can ultimately invalidate your experience and can add another layer to everything.

When I reached out for a volunteer for my case study whilst qualifying, I was inundated with people sharing their experiences with me. It became very apparent that I certainly wasn’t alone in my experience. And it seems that it’s sometimes not until the dust settles, much later down the line, that we start to realise just how difficult or traumatic those experiences were. Especially when we have a newborn baby to take care of and our own needs can easily get lost at the bottom of the pile.

I wanted to offer this service as a way of honouring all of those parents who have gone through traumatic experiences, at any point in their journey, who could have valued someone asking, “are you OK?”, and having support made available to them if they needed it.

Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?

I was quite lucky when I first started as my husband owned his own business so had a degree of flexibility to be able to cover childcare between us and our son’s daycare once he started kindy. We’ve often tag teamed between meetings, somehow making things work. I’ve also been able to call on other people in our village, which has been invaluable.

One of the main reasons for starting this business was to give me the flexibility to both be with my family and to work. I wanted to be able to do this in a creative way that I’ve not seen any traditional employer in my sector demonstrate. I love working with clients but I never wanted to sacrifice my family for it and I have been lucky enough to give both a go. I guess it’s my attempt at getting the best of both worlds. I also love that doing remote work as well can also provide greater flexibility if I need to be around home.

There’s always a bit of a push and pull both ways, wanting to spend more time with my son and needing to get certain things done with the business. Especially when it comes to keeping up on socials, I always feel like I’m not doing enough!

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