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Moms Matter!

Moms Matter and Moms Matter Now! 

Have you ever stopped to think about how easy it is to set aside your own needs since you became a mom and put everyone else first? Have you ever questioned why the needs of others matter and yours don’t?

Maybe it is as simple as wondering why your kids have new things and your gear is 20 years old or why you are the taxi driver to all their activities and cancel every opportunity you have been offered to play or socialize with friends, with your partner or even solo.  Or why your partner (if you have one) can “more easily” plan getaways with their friends than you can?

These exact questions and the disproportionate effect on motherhood through the pandemic have been the catalyst for bringing an idea to fruition that both Holly Brooks, LPC/PMH-C and I have had for many years.   

moms matter now co founders announcing launch
Moms Matter Now Co-founders Calisa Kastning and Holly Brooks

What is Moms Matter Now?

Moms Matter Now was launched with the mission to focus on proactive and preventative Maternal Mental Health for both expectant moms and moms of young children. Our goal is to empower, educate and support women from pregnancy to early motherhood so they don’t lose their minds, selves, and relationships. 

Moms Matter Now Membership

With those goals in mind and a passion for maternal mental health, we can proudly say that on March 14th, 2022, the Moms Matter Now Membership will be open to you!  It includes 4 parts: our signature course, “Expectant Moms, Empowered Moms”, a private community with other like-minded moms and moms to be, LIVE group coaching and special bonuses throughout the year from outside experts.

Expectant moms and moms with young children can join anytime and from anywhere. Sign up before March 14th as kick off prices end that day.

moms matter now membership described in graphic

MMN Membership includes 4 parts

Course is taken at your own pace, while the private community is ongoing and LIVE coaching is pre planned.  Come for the course and stay for the coaching, community, and bonuses throughout the year! We developed this membership based on everything we wished we had when we first became moms.

We know that moms don’t often seek out help until crisis hits, giving us purpose to offer tangible tools, resources and support for this very important chapter in your life.

More information about Moms Matter Now and the membership can be found on our website www.momsmatternow.com

author on spring backcountry ski with friends and no kids
Spring skiing in Alaska with mom friends! Pure bliss!

My own motherhood journey and becoming “interesting” again

I wanted to share a little about my own motherhood journey and how I was able to “resurface” as an interesting person outside of being a mom and “find the time” to go after my own sport goals. 

Unintentional “martyrdom”

I have always been an active person and, when I became a mom for the first time in 2011, I found ways to stay active. But those workouts were either with my daughter in tow or coaching/working out alongside others in my work and personal life helping them towards their own goals. 

None of this was for me or fulfilling my own needs and I know I am not alone in this, often unintentional, “martyrdom” lifestyle. It wears on you as a person in the inability to feel your best and, if you are like me, you find that just “going through the motions” of motherhood is unfulfilling AND truly unnecessary. 

Fast forward to 2017 and now the mother of 3 daughters, I found plenty of time to adventure and recreate as a family but found it harder and harder to find time for my own goals and interests. 

author carrying two of her children across a creek
This chapter of motherhood was often filled with carrying the literal weight of two kids and enjoying many adventures as a family, but longing for some adventure without kids too!

Finding ways to “fill my own cup” as well

When my youngest daughter turned one, I realized that something had to change. I was finding less joy in being a mom, because, like many of you, I was everything to everyone and nothing to myself.

I needed to flip the coin and begin focusing on my own needs, because as the saying goes… “you cannot pour from an empty cup” and mine was bone dry! 

Who will watch the kids while I play?

The first project I had was to figure out who would watch my daughters when I wanted to get out and get self-care (which for me is physical activity)? 

Finding other families for playdate trades, trading off adventure time with my husband, and finally reaching a point in our lives where hiring a babysitter so parents could play together, were three of the ways that exponentially changed my ability to focus on myself. 

moms on run on steep road with sign that says retain speed
Long run on a mountain road with positive friends and motivating signs to get you to the top!

Surround yourself with positive, active friends

My next goal was to surround myself with positive women friends that had their own goals. Even though our pace and goals were very different, we found joy in finding adventures where different paces worked well, everyone got the workout they needed, and the scheduled après time was more time to catch up, celebrate each other, and enjoy post adventure treats.  

author at mountain top picnic mid adventure
Sometimes it is après drinks and snacks, sometimes it is mid adventure drinks and snacks and sometimes it is BOTH!

Sign up for a race…potentially with lower expectations!

I also had the realization, with some nudging from friends, that if I signed up for a race, I would prioritize training that much more.  Signing up for races also took a lot of self-coaching and lowering of my expectations.

Upon reflection, I realize that I hesitated to sign up for races the past few years, because I feared I could not perform like I did before children.

Surrounding myself with inspirational friends allowed me to care less what other people thought about my performance and instead work within my own goals, which became signing up for as many races as feasible while meeting progress goals throughout the season.  And I bet most people are delighted just to see a mom prioritize herself and get to the start line more than where you land on the results list. 

author and friend with winter triathlon gear
Way out of my comfort zone doing a winter triathlon race! SO much gear for a 3-sport race… but moms are pros at schlepping gear!

How to “find the time” to train as a mom

Finding time to train as a mom is challenging.  I got creative with how and when I fit in my workouts.  If my family was all going somewhere in our vehicle, I often figured out a way I could run or ski to meet them (depending on the season) or run/ski home from a destination. 

Sometimes I would ski/run home from where my car was parked, and my husband would be delighted for the opportunity for his workout time and do the reverse.  Point-to-point workouts are my favorite and seem to work well for me, but of course they are not the only way.

These point-to-point workouts work best for my long-distance days.  Interval sessions or shorter workouts definitely are easier to leave straight from the house when the training window is shorter! 

author running point to point back home
Favorite kind of workout… point-to-point. Getting dropped off by husband and family and running home!

Prioritizing YOUR fitness is a win-win for all!

There’s this misnomer that working out will make you more tired as a mom, but I found that the opposite is true. I found that not only was I happier (hello endorphins!), I had more energy and patience with my kids and partner afterwards and felt more present with all of them. 

Plus, prioritizing fitness inevitably makes you stronger for those kiddo carrying/lifting needs we all endure as moms. It turns out it is a win-win for you, your partner (if you have one) and your kids! 

author enjoying time in mountains
Mom adventure and training time on a sunny summer day in AK? Yes please!

Taking care of yourself IS taking care of your children

Additionally, we work hard to model good behavior choices for our kids so that they grow up with the tools to live a healthy life. Finding ways to fit physical activity and your own goals into your life is modeling good behavior. Your kids see firsthand positive behaviors they potentially will carry with them for life.

A mantra that I LOVE and one we live by at Moms Matter Now is “taking care of yourself IS taking care of your children.”  We believe that a happy healthy mom lends the best chance to raise happy healthy children! 

Taking care of yourself IS taking care of your children.

Moms Matter Now
author and friends on mom adventure running in the mountains
Mom adventure time! Fitness, smiles, laughter and rejuvenation!

Physical activity is shown to enhance overall wellbeing

There is research upon research showing how participation in physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. Physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety. It also plays a role in preventing future mental health problems. 

All smiles filling our "mom" cups as we enjoy the Alaska backcountry on mountain bikes!
All smiles as we experience adventure and camaraderie with mom friends on mountain bike adventure in Alaska!

A challenge from one momma to the next.. that’s YOU!

My challenge to you mommas, is to find ways to also fill YOUR cup, whatever that may look like. Maybe for you it doesn’t involve signing up for a race, but instead it is finding time to walk in your favorite woods with no interruptions or going with friends for an overnight camping trip. 

Either way remember that MOMS MATTER and we need to intentionally normalize sustainable self-care in motherhood! If you are in the stage of your life where you are mothering young kids or expecting a baby or babies, I encourage you to check out the Moms Matter Now Membership

Moms don’t have to go down the motherhood road alone! 

moms matter now cofounders and friends
Moms Matter Now!

Calisa Kastning: Co-founder Moms Matter Now ` 

Calisa is the mother of three young daughters. Her newfound love for training and racing towards her own goals these past few years has created some surprise goals achieved including her first marathon in 20 years, first endurance ski race in 15 years and many fun outings with friends all working together towards their own goals.  In addition to working out with friends, there is never a missed opportunity for delicious après drinks and food post-adventure! And as a result many more joyful moments of being a mom along the way!

author running marathon in arizona
First marathon in 20 years! And a destination one in Arizona, made it even more motivating to find the time to get the miles in leading up to race day!

References:

Creative ways for moms to find time to play outside (sans kids), get their own workout in and chase their own sport goals, because YOU MATTER MOMMA!

© 2022, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author. 

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