To kick off 2018, we’ve partnered with full-time mama and co-founder of Expecting and Empowered, Amy Kiefer. With years of fitness training under her belt, Amy and her sister saw a lack of exercise programs dedicated to expecting and new moms. Seeing a need in the market to cater to and empower women during a physically and emotionally challenging time, they decided to answer the call themselves! We can’t think of a more perfect fit than Amy to guide our Motherhood mamas on a fitness journey this month. We’ll be coming to you with perinatal workouts, activewear and new mom/nursing style posts, Facebook live interviews and much more! To start, read on to find out how Amy balances this crazy life we call motherhood!
Motherhood: Congratulations; we heard you just had your baby! Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you do?
Amy: Thank you and first let me say that I am really honored to be January’s featured contributor for Motherhood Maternity. My husband Drew and I just welcomed our second little boy, Trey, on November 11th. Maxwell, our firstborn, was seventeen and a half months old when Trey arrived. Our hearts and hands are full.
I was born and raised in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. I moved around a little bit after college, but landed in Madison, Wisconsin. My husband and I absolutely love it here and enjoy raising our babies in this beautiful Midwestern city. I work at the Carbone Cancer Center, one of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics. I am a registered nurse and work three days a week. I also launched a pregnancy fitness business with my sister called Expecting and Empowered. Finally, I blog about mamahood, positivity and fitness over at BalancedAmes.com.
Motherhood: What inspired your fitness journey? What road(s) did you take to pursue your passion?
Amy: I grew up playing outside and participating in sports. In high school I became interested in improving my performance through nutrition and strength training. Additionally, I wanted to help other people become healthier. That led me to pursue a degree in exercise science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where I also ran cross country and track. After graduating, I worked as a personal trainer in Chicago for 2 years.
While training clients one-on-one, I noticed that there were a lot of women that needed guidance through pregnancy. I decided to take a specialty course in perinatal fitness (fitness before, during and after pregnancy) through a company called Healthy Moms. There I learned an enormous amount about what women go through during their pregnancy and postpartum journey. My mind was pretty blown, and I wanted to help spread the knowledge to expecting mamas.
Motherhood: As a nurse, mom and blogger… can you walk us through a “typical” day?
Amy: I will return to my nursing job in February from my maternity leave. First, I will run through what a typical two-parent work day looks like in our household. My husband wakes up at 4:30am to workout. I wake up as he is leaving for the gym at 5am. I work on my blog or business until one of our little ones wakes up. We have learned to get ourselves as ready as possible the night before including packing pumping parts, setting our clothes out and making lunches. We get both the little guys ready for daycare. My husband does daycare drop off because it works better with his schedule. I LOVE my nursing job, but I work at a busy, busy clinic. I make sure I get two pump breaks in, no matter how busy the day is.
After work, we all meet back at home. It is really important to Drew and I that we all eat dinner together. Sometimes we both have a baby in our lap, but it is our time to connect as a family. Next is bath time. Our very favorite part of the day is from 7-8pm because our toddler Max is in the best mood ever and we all play until it is his bedtime. I take the nighttime workout slot and will head straight into the basement to do that once Max is down. This really works to de-stress me and boost my mood before bed. Blogging and managing Expecting and Empowered are squeezed somewhere in all that too. If everyone is well fed, loved and alive at the end of the day I consider it a great success. If they nap at the same time, that is my window to work on my blog or business.
Motherhood: Can you tell us a little bit about how you fit fitness into your daily life – before kids, after your first child and now with your second?
Amy: Before children, I figured out the time that worked best for me and STUCK to it. When I was a nightshift nurse, working out when I first woke up worked best. “Morning” to a nightshift nurse is in the afternoon. I thought of it as a non-negotiable meeting with myself and was disciplined about sticking to my plan.
After we had our first babe Maxwell, we quickly learned that we had to be more flexible
Here are some of my suggestions for working out after becoming first time parents:
- I have had stretches of morning workouts, naptime workouts and after bedtime workouts, instead of nixing it from my schedule.
- If you are using naptime, workout as soon as you put the little person down. This way, you are more likely to be able to get it in and not be interrupted.
After our second baby, it seems easiest for me to work out after toddler bedtime. This means I am heading to the basement at 8pm. I am the type of gal that can go to sleep right after working out and showering. I always tell myself I am better for getting it in and it always rings true.
Stay tuned tomorrow to find out more about Amy’s fitness program designed specifically for moms-to-be and new moms! Tell us [and show us] how you work out with #thisisgoingtobefun @motherhoodmaternity.