Being a parent is one of the hardest things ever (so I've heard... LOL)! Juggling kids, work, family, friends and still having a life is difficult! One of the many reasons why my dad and I developed the AirFort was not only because kids LOVE it, but because mamas and dadas LOVE it also!!
The AirFort provides a secret hideaway for your little ones to escape and let their magical imaginations run wild. It's a fort that provides hours of entertainment so parents can have some time to themselves, knowing the kids are safe and having fun!
We interviewed Cherise Henry, an amazing mama entrepreneur who does it all!!! She has 2 little boys, a husband, is a freelance writer, started a FIT4MOM franchise (which you will learn about and love down below), is a workout instructor, makes time for friends and the list goes on!! She has some awesome mama advice on what she does to keep sane through it all!
You are an amazing entrepreneur and a mom of 2 boys. Balancing work life and mom life is NOT easy! What are some of your tricks for other mommy's out there going through the same thing?
Balance of work life and mom life. That's a joke, right? Kidding, kidding. Finding that unfiltered and dream-worthy balance is definitely challenging, to say the least. One day you've got the mom thing figured out and the next it is just crazy town. One day you may be just rocking it in the work world, and the next you second guess yourself in all of the above. It happens to the best of us.
I'm constantly trying to find the balance between work life and mom life - because I, from the bottom of my heart, absolutely love both. I consider both to be a strong part of what makes me me, and I don't want to give any of it up.
I've only been doing the mom thing for a few years so far, but my best advice to find some sanity (and balance) in mom-work life would be to:
1.) Schedule set work hours that are dedicated to only work - meetings or emails, admin or billing, you name it - and have childcare lined up for that time (relying ONLY on naps is rough and downright unpredictable). If you know you have from 10 AM - 1 PM tomorrow to knock out some work tasks, you'll be less stressed today about getting it done.
If you are working in traditional work hours, like a 9-5, focus on work during that time so that when you get home you can refocus back on the kiddo(s) and not worry about any undone tasks.
2.) On the other side of things, schedule non-work hours. Yep, I said it. Schedule time in your calendar (let's face it, you probably are like me and have 2-3 calendars, print and online) where you choose to NOT check email or social media, and focus that time on your kiddo(s). Choose something fun to do that is not work-related and purely for the enjoyment of you and your munchkin(s). Movie. Backyard picnic. Library story time. FIT4MOM class or playgroup. Schedule it, do it.
3.) Back to #1. We all know childcare can be super challenging, in many ways. If it's not in the budget or if the sitter cancelled last minute or if your kiddo is sick and you can't take them to daycare, stick to what you know: DISTRACTION and FUN! Bust out the AirFort in the living room for hours of playtime while you check things off your work to-do list. It's a win-win!
I know you've been a yoga instructor for many years... How did you heart about the FIT4MOM franchise and decide to just go for it?
When I had my first kiddo, I was itching to get back into a fitness routine postpartum but quickly realized how challenging it was to find childcare ... and at the same time I wasn't ready to leave my newborn baby. So I Googled something like "stroller fitness" and up popped FIT4MOM. But no location in my community. I immediately thought: Ding, ding, ding! I have to bring FIT4MOM to MY community. I was busy with my freelance writing and marketing consulting business at the time, and had a newborn baby, so timing just wasn't right.
Fast forward to two years later and one more baby added to the family lineup, and I couldn't stop thinking about FIT4MOM and wondering WHY it wasn't here in my neighborhood filled with moms just like me: needing FITNESS, COMMUNITY and pre and postnatal SUPPORT.
So I figured out how to balance my freelance career and being a work-at-home mom to my two little dudes, and just went for it! Sometimes you just have to follow your gut and take the leap. Well, I leaped.
What types of classes do you offer at FIT4MOM and what kind of reaction have you been getting from moms so far?
We offer Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre - stroller-based fitness programs designed for mamas to get a full-body workout with their kiddo(s) in tow. We are launching Run Club (a stroller-friendly 5k/10k/half marathon training program), Fit4Baby (a prenatal program designed to strengthen the body for all the changes it will experience during pregnancy) and Body Back (a results-based workout designed for mamas who are ready to take their fitness and vitality to the next level) this summer and fall!
So far the reaction from our mamas have been INCREDIBLE. INSPIRING. LIFE CHANGING. I could go on and on about the amazing community of moms we have, and am so grateful for all the positive response. We're all in this motherhood gig together, experiencing similar highs and lows day in and day out. Having a community like FIT4MOM to offer high intensity interval training workouts FOR pre and postnatal women ... AND have a group of fun and real mamas to support one another ... it's just incredible.
How does FIT4MOM benefit both working and stay-at-home moms?
FIT4MOM is for all moms. ALL. MOMS. We offer our programs at various times throughout the day and week (and weekend) so that we can reach ALL THE MOMS (hashtag #allthemoms) through our pre and postnatal fitness programs AND Our Village community. Our goal is to offer all moms the opportunity to enjoy, and benefit from, any of our fitness programs offered, and the connection with our supportive and strong mamas.
FIT4MOM is, at the heart of what we do, all about helping moms to find STRENGTH IN MOTHERHOOD. Join our village, Mamas!