Supporting working moms

Denver-based Tula helps those doubling as a parent and a professional

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Making sure the kids arrive to school on time. Grocery shopping, running other necessary errands and keeping the house tidy. Driving the kids to their extracurricular or afterschool activities and helping with homework. Scheduling a repair person if something in the home stops working properly. Cooking and getting dinner on the table. Bath time, reading a bedtime story and tucking the children in for the night.

Moms do a lot to keep their household running smoothly. And on top of all those tasks, some mothers go to work every day.

South Denver residents Cody Galloway and Megan Trask took notice of all that mothers do — in part because they themselves are working moms. They launched their small business, Tula, which is an app-based personal assistant service, about a year ago.

By dispatching vetted personal assistants to help people with tasks on their to-do lists, Tula helps people “prioritize with purpose,” Galloway said. Not just working moms, she added, but anyone. Tula’s clients come from diverse backgrounds and a variety of circumstances, Galloway said.

As momtrepreneurs, Galloway and Trask believe women shouldn’t have to choose between a career and raising a family. But it is not uncommon for moms to feel that balancing their career and running the home can become an overburdening pressure.

Especially today, moms may see posts on social media and think they have to live up to an additional expectation — everything has to be, or at least appear to be, perfect, Galloway said.

“That’s a lot of pressure,” Galloway said, adding that it’s OK to ask for help. “You shouldn’t have to feel that you have to do everything, while balancing a career and a family.”

Tula aims to destigmatize asking for help, Galloway said.

“It’s all about letting go of things that don’t serve you,” Galloway said, “and being OK with that.”

More than just a mom

Sophia Piraino of Parker loves being a mom and everything that comes with it, she said. She is raising two children — Addison, 7, and Asher, 5.

“My kids always come first,” she said, adding that she enjoys volunteering at her children’s school, attending their activities and, in general, simply being a part of their experiences.

But as much as Piraino enjoys being a mom, she wanted something that would provide some self-fulfillment outside of taking care of her family’s needs.

Mothers “are strong, independent people,” Piraino said. “We can still contribute to the world outside of our family.”

Once both of her children started school, Piraino had intended to go back to work, but she is unable to work regular full-time hours because her husband’s job requires travel, and he is sometimes gone three or four nights a week.

After about two years of searching for a job that would be a good fit, Piraino heard about Tula through a friend. Piraino thought it would also be a good fit for her — one reason being that her mother raised her to believe that kindness was No. 1, so helping people was something Piraino had been hoping for with a job.

“Women helping women is a huge deal,” Piraino said. “We have so many things going on all the time, and accepting the fact that you can’t do it all is OK. It doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s going to help you have a better day, that’s great.”

As one of Tula’s personal assistants, Piraino has done many different tasks for people, ranging from repotting house plants to doing research on the internet.

“It’s rewarding because it’s helping others,” Piraino said. “But I have also found myself again, as a professional woman instead of being just a mom.”

Supporting busy lives

Sarah Staples has always liked the idea of outsourcing tasks that may take her a long time or those that she’s not very good at, but said Tula has “been a lifesaver sometimes.”

When Staples’ in-laws were coming to stay with her for the first time, the dryer in her new home went out. She called Tula with the emergency, and the personal assistant took all the stress out of finding a service that could launder the clothes that day, and helped arrange a repair person to come out, so Staples could concentrate on the other tasks she had to accomplish prior to her in-laws’ visit.

Staples moved to Denver’s Country Club neighborhood from out-of-state in the fall of 2020. She was starting a new job and didn’t yet know anyone in the city. She learned about Tula shortly after the company launched.

“It’s been so nice (to have Tula) after moving to a new city and not knowing anything,” Staples said. “Having a trusted source for references or help has been so valuable.”

Staples works a full-time job that can be quite demanding — she is the director of a tech company. So she particularly enjoys having Tula’s assistants help her with tasks such as running errands, which saves her time during the workweek and allows her to spend her weekends doing activities she wants to do.

Staples is expecting her first child in January, and anticipates that she’ll be using Tula’s services more once the baby comes, she said.

“I really like what they’re all about,” Staples said. “Women helping women. But not just women — everyone, by supporting lives and trying to give time back.”

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