2 In motherhood

Mompreneur: Robin Long of The Balanced Life

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Robin is one of those people I instantly connected with. Just like Mary Beth, she’s one of those “internet friends” of mine who I call “my friend Robin” even though we haven’t met face to face (yet!). She’s warm and kind and smart and helpful—and she’s a Pilates master who works miracles!! I’ve done her online programs before and seen major results in terms of my core strength and also just overall confidence.

Below Robin shares how she balances running her Pilates business while raising two little ones with her husband in Colorado. Be sure to scroll down to see how you can win a free spot in her new Summer Sculpt online Pilates program, which starts June 20th and is worth $249 [Update: GIVEAWAY CLOSED]

First things first, tell us a little bit about your family and where you live.

I’ve been married to my husband for 7 years and we have 2 little ones at home – a 3-year old girl and a 9-month-old boy. We currently live in Colorado.

Which came first, the babies or the business?

The business! I quit my corporate job to teach Pilates during my first year of marriage. I built an in-person Pilates business and eventually took my work online – but much of my business has grown and developed while also getting pregnant and having babies. It’s been a whirlwind. :)

IMG_4325Mompreneur: Robin Long of The Balanced Life | Thoughts by Natalie

What made you decide to be an entrepreneur?

I’m a very independent person and have always loved the idea of having control over my schedule and how much or how little I work. I also knew that I wanted to have kids some day and desired flexibility to be home with them while also pursuing my passions. I wouldn’t say that I always dreamed of being an entrepreneur, it just kind of happened thanks to being a little bit stubborn and very optimistic. :)

Are you a morning person or a night person?

Morning! I love the morning. I don’t like the physical act of waking up (does anybody?) but I do love the feeling of a new day and a fresh start.

Mompreneur: Robin Long of The Balanced Life | Thoughts by Natalie

Coffee or tea? (Or are you a unicorn who does not need caffeine?!)

Coffee! But I actually drink decaf. I’ve dealt with anxiety in the past and I found that caffeine makes me feel restless and stressed. But the ritual of coffee in the morning is one of my favorite things.

What does your morning routine look like? What time do you get up? What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

The first thing I do every morning is drink a big glass of water to start the day on a healthy note. When my kids are sleeping well, I like to get up before they do (5:30 am) to check email, do Pilates or shower (one or the other, ha!), mediate for 5 minutes and get ready for the day. However, lately they’ve been waking up super early so I check email and feed the baby while my daughter watches Daniel Tiger, then we all head out for a walk to the local coffee shop.

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Balance—we can’t do this interview and not talk about it! Mostly because I’m desperate to know all of your secrets. How do you make it work?

I always say that being a work-from-home mom is the best of both worlds and the worst of both worlds. It’s the best in that I get to be home with my kids, I have complete flexibility and I don’t have to work in a stuffy office. It’s the worst because I don’t get to interact with co-workers, have lunch breaks to run errands or the ability to compartmentalize work and home life.

I’ve made it work by staying flexible and and focused.

I’ve worked every nap time since my daughter was born. There are a lot of days where I would rather relax or take a nap – but in order to make it work I have to make wise use of my time. I am constantly reminding myself that it’s all about tradeoffs. I get to go to the pool at 10:00 am on Wednesday, but I also have to work a lot of nights after the kids go to bed. Ultimately, it’s SO worth it to me.

I’ve tried really hard over the years to focus on work when I’m working and focus on my kids when I’m with them, rather than trying to do both at the same time. Now that I have 2 kids, I don’t really have a choice, haha! It’s impossible to work while they’re both awake so it’s a good thing for all of us. :)

Childcare is a big factor—what’s been working for you? Nanny, daycare or the stay-at-home/work-at-home life? Or do your kids go to school now?

Childcare is so hard! I had no idea what a challenge it would be. A friend that I really admire gave me wise advice a few years ago. She said – your childcare needs will always be changing so you’ll never have it officially “figured out” and to remember that hiring help also takes work (to manage them, coordinate, set them up for success, etc.)

We re-evaluate our schedule and childcare set up every few months. For the past few months my daughter has gone to pre-school one full day a week. On those days I work from home while taking care of the baby. We also have a nanny come to the house one day per week while I work from my bedroom. She comes at 8:00 and stays until 2:00. She puts my daughter down for nap at 1:00 (I do the baby since I’m breastfeeding), then helps with laundry, light housekeeping and errands. It’s been great.

But now that we’ve hit summer everything is changing again and we are back to the drawing board to figure out how this next season will work.

Mompreneur: Robin Long of The Balanced Life | Thoughts by Natalie

How do you make room for personal time for yourself? When you do get down time, what do you do to relax, refresh and/or get inspired?

I have a monthly supper club with girlfriends that has been such a gift to me. We get together once a month for a laid back night of dinner and drinks. The host of the month cooks and cleans  – the rest of us just show up, chat, eat, drink and relax! It has been great to have this monthly outing to look forward to.

I also try my hardest to not work on the weekends so I can just spend time with my family. A long run by myself inspires and energizes me. An a massage and a morning at the spa does the trick when I’m really run-down.

Mompreneur: Robin Long of The Balanced Life | Thoughts by Natalie

What one bit of advice would you give to a fellow mompreneur trying to make it all work

There is no way I could do what I do if I didn’t have my kids on a predictable routine and sleep schedule. Sleep is SO important (for everyone, not just the kids) so I’d recommend doing your best to make sleep and routine a priority.

And also – stay flexible. The seasons and stages change so frequently with small kids. Just when you think you have it figured out things change! So stay flexible, adapt, adjust and take it one month at a time.

And now, the GIVEAWAY DETAILS!!! Today, Robin and I have partnered to give away a spot in her new summer Pilates program, a $249 value. For a chance to win, please visit @natalieborton on Instagram to see entry rules. The giveaway is now closed—thanks all for participating!

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jaci
    June 13, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Such great advice! Thanks Robin!

  • Reply
    Ashli
    June 13, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Love all of this! Go motherhood. Inspiring.

    http://www.backwardsnhighheels.com

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