She Works Hard for the Mommy v. 6

I’m Caitlin; wife to Matt (a helicopter pilot in the Navy), mom to Grace (9), Anderson (7) and Lucy (4), and owner and instructor at FIT4MOM Norfolk.
Shortly after we moved to Norfolk 10 years ago, I had our daughter, Grace.  We had moved to a town where I knew a few friends, but we were starting in a new city in a new neighborhood with a new baby girl while I worked remotely from home.  So, when a friend asked if I wanted to try Stroller Strides, I thought it would be a good way to meet other moms in the area.  Looking back, it’s easy to see that it was one of the best decisions I made as a mom.  Not only was it a great workout (I was a distance runner until this point and never did any sort of strength training), but I quickly met some of my closest friends to this day and it has set a wonderful example of the importance of fitness (and friendship) for our kids.
Fast forward to a year and a half later and we had our second baby, Andy.  The Stroller Strides community was amazing!  They delivered meals and we were fed for months (literally!) and the support I felt was incredible.  I began teaching Stroller Strides classes when Andy was 4 months old and was empowered and strengthened by the other moms in the group.  I would leave each class feeling energized and happy (which is saying a lot when you have two kids under two with you!).

Then we moved to San Diego where we had our little Lucy, then to Maryland, and back to Norfolk.  When we moved back, I was ecstatic!  We were moving back to a city where I still had close friends and FIT4MOM was there to welcome me once again.  A friend planted a seed about the opportunity to lead this group of mamas and after some thought, I quickly decided to go for it.  That was 10 months ago and what a blast it’s been!

I honestly wake up every morning excited about the FIT4MOM village.  I LOVE my job!  I love that it’s a way I can combine my love for my family, friends, and fitness.  I love seeing other moms benefit from our classes the same way I have for the past 9 years.  I love being a part of the local community in this capacity.  I love that the kids create their own Stroller Strides and Body Back workouts at home and that they themselves love fitness too.
How do I balance being a mom and working?  It helps that I can teach with Lucy in the stroller or bring Andy to the park to play with friends while we have class over the summer or have Grace participate in Run Club.  I find myself doing the majority of the organizational work while Lucy’s napping and late at night when the kids are in bed.  It’s a lot of early mornings and late nights, but I truly feel rewarded and honored to be a part of this village when I see the sense of community it gives our moms.

My biggest challenge is balancing family time and FIT4MOM time.  I want to be present with my kids during the time I have with them.  I truly feel like I blinked and now have a 9 year old.  I don’t want to miss any of the time I have with these sweet (well, most of the time they’re sweet) kiddos.  I love what I do so I find it easy to pour myself into emails and teaching and organizing.  My goal is always to find time for a few date nights a month with Matt, one on one time (and family time) with the kids, and time where I can just focus on FIT4MOM.
My absolute favorite thing about this job is watching two moms connect in class and smiling to myself, hoping they are finding some of their greatest and most meaningful relationships in that moment.  I hope my kids find the same friendship and happiness I have through FIT4MOM and reap the rewards of physical activity – the same rewards I’ve enjoyed over the past 9 years!

Thanks Caitlin! Check out my posts on Fit4Baby, Stroller Strides, and Body Back 8 week transformation.  The first class is always free, let me know if you're interested in trying one!

If you're interested in being featured in She Works Hard for the Mommy, contact me! :)