Even though they are not really school age yet, the combo of having kids and the fall season just screams ‘Moms do it all!’ to me. There’s just something about that Back to School time even though I am well aware that moms never really get an off season!
Before I had kids, I thought being a writer and fitness instructor would be the perfect job combo to have as a mom. I still think having one or both of these are great options when you’re also raising a family but I’ve come to realize (surprise, surprise 😉 ) nothing is perfect. Here are a few tips to balance teaching and being a mom:
- Look for gyms that offer childcare. This might be an obvious one unless your gym doesn’t offer childcare! If that’s the case, start searching for other local options because it is very common at large health clubs, chain gyms and boutique studios alike.
- Make sure you’re comfortable with the childcare set-up before you commit. Just because the gyms has childcare doesn’t mean it’s amazing or a great option for your child(ren). Observe the scene before you accept a class and drop off your kids.
- Even better, seek out gyms and studios that offer FREE childcare during class. Believe it or not, this does exist! Some facilities will only cover one child or only cover childcare at certain times of day so research your options. Again, it might not be the ideal setting for your family but, if it is, that is a major score!
- Factor in your child’s schedule. Before I had kids, I thought all moms just wanted to teach mid-day. During my current season of parenting, mid-day would be my last choice! The mid-morning is prime time for toddlers and toddler activities so I am in full mom mode at that time but I could see lobbying for these teaching slots down the road, when my kids are in school.
- Consider the ‘worst’ time slots. Again, things are so different before and after babies! I used to sub evenings and weekends only when absolutely necessary and now, those are my top preferences! It’s easier to coordinate with my husband’s schedule so I don’t even have to worry about childcare and, these days, it’s not like we have super exciting plans most evenings.
- Plan ahead! At times I’ve been guilty of planning my classes last-minute (who hasn’t?) but, with kids, there are so many more things that can pop up last-minute so try to be on top of your game and your stress will be so much less.
- Keep a class notebook. I’ve done this since day one but now that I’ve been teaching yoga for almost ten years, I can ‘plan’ a class without it completely documented. However, ‘mom brain’ is no joke. I am so much better off (aka I am less stressed and provide a much better class), no matter the format, if I have my notebook to reference. An extra bonus? If you run out of planning time or you’re able to sub last-minute, you have plans ready to go!
- Involve your kids in the planning! Sure, it takes way longer but test out your playlist on your kids. Assuming you’re looking for clean songs, your kids will likely love to dance around and give their opinions!
- Give yourself a break! You might need to lighten your class load at times and you might need subs more than you used to before you were a mom (this still makes me cringe!). Make sure you take care of yourself or you won’t be able to take care of your kids or your classes!
I hope that helps! I know it will always be a balancing act but both jobs are so rewarding so, in my opinion, it’s totally worth putting in a little more work and having a little more patience to make it work!