Some girls come into this world knowing exactly what they were meant to do with their lives. From the moment my daughter could speak, she has been telling me she is going to be a teacher some day. She is so sure of herself that I believe this will probably happen. But for many of us, the path ahead is only made clear with time. School years are spent in a variety of classes and subjects, then our jobs in the “real world” lead us here and there, all the while wondering what we want to be when we finally “grow up.” Somewhere in the midst of all this, many of us start a family. Adding babies to the mix is amazing, but also complicating. As we survey our increasingly full and multi-faceted lives, we are often overwhelmed by the sense that we can’t possibly “do it all,” and that we, like so many women before us, must choose between the twin priorities of work and family.
A Mother’s Work: An Introduction
“A Mother’s Work” is a blog series challenging the traditional concept that women can’t prioritize both their careers and their children. Featuring female entrepreneurs who are also mothers, “A Mother’s Work” showcases women who are passionate about running their business while also raising a family, each with interesting and inspirational stories to tell about their continuing journeys through career and motherhood, and their own challenges and victories in the age-old quest to balance work and family.
Born of my own winding journey through years in the finance industry, starting a photography business on the side, and finally making the leap to follow my heart and launch a full-time career as a professional family photographer, all with children in tow, “A Mother’s Work” is inspired by the countless women I have met along the way who are managing the same balancing act as me, and my effort to share stories of entrepreneurship, of motherhood, and of hard work, each of them unique in their details yet uplifting and energizing in the familiar passion for work and family.
A Mother’s Work is baby raising, but it is also risk taking, dream chasing, business owning and choice making. And yes, it’s cliche to say it, but a Mother’s Work is never done.
I hope my readers will find inspiration in these stories of courage and determination and hard work. For me, it was so scary making the leap to entrepreneurship because I had two kids ( and one of the way! ) and I wasn’t sure how I would manage it all. My hope is that “A Mother’s Work” encourages others to persevere in finding what they were put on the earth to do, and reminds them that, though it might look like a hot mess at times, we really can “do it all”.
A Mother’s Work: Antoinette Hemphill | Owner, Mamabeasts
Meet Antoinette Hemphill. She is the founder of Mamabeasts — exercise classes and a fitness community for mothers. She has been inspiring Boston area Moms to ‘get it done with their little ones’ since 2011. Antoinette is also a mother to three boys and is an inspiration to so many. She suffered severe post part depression and anxiety after the birth of her third son and she credits exercise for contributing to her recovery and the success of Mamabeasts! Personally, I have been taking classes at Mamabeasts for a little over a year now and I can tell you first hand that it is ah-ma-zing. I don’t need to pay for childcare while I exercise, the workouts are challenging, and the community is welcoming and kind (and it doesn’t hurt that the tank tops are super cute!) But by far, one of the best things about Mamabeasts, is that the kids get to see their moms exercising, being awesome role models — demonstrating how important it is to take care of themselves!
The person who first introduced me to Mamabeasts told me that it ‘saved her life’ after the birth of her first son and I believe it! I remember exactly how lonely and isolating it can be when you have your first baby and I only wish I had had Mamabeasts when my first son was born. It is not enough to be motivated to work out, you need a tribe of people to cheer you on when you aren’t feeling motivated to work out. And Antoinette has created just that. Read on to find out more about Antoinette’s journey and find out how you can try out Mamabeasts for free!!
- Tell me the inspiration behind Mama Beasts
Mama Beasts really came from wanting to create a community and workout during a season of life that I personally found incredibly confusing and difficult – motherhood. As a new mom, I had an experience with exercise where it truly saved me on an emotional level. It made me see a stronger and more capable version of myself at a time in life when I needed it. There are plenty of Mommy and Me classes out there, but I created Mama Beasts for the moms. You can take your babies and young children – and they benefit immensely. But I wanted moms to have an empowering and challenging workout that was something they looked forward to and gave them a spark for the rest of the day. It is an hour they give to themselves – but in a way that they can actually do it. I also wanted to create an environment that was equally challenging and supportive. The classes itself, the community, the eventual challenges and play-dates – I wanted it to be a celebration of motherhood, of women, and friendship – and an antidote to the struggles that often come along with this season. After I had my third son, I got to test out my creation first hand as I experienced a pretty severe postpartum depression and anxiety. Mama Beasts – both the workouts and sense of community – were a huge part of my recovery.
- What is your favorite part about being your own boss?
I think it’s the ability to be creative and the opportunity to constantly (more…)