What has been one of your greatest challenges in motherhood? What did you do to overcome it?
Jamie: Patience with both myself and my child. Being able to take a deep breath at the right time.
I learned a technique from a parenting podcast to repeat and teach your child that it is my job as their mom to keep them safe. That is my reason behind disciplining or correcting them in those tough moments where it is hard to have patience. I also know the days I make time for myself and my health (devotion, gratitude, workout, eat nutrient dense foods), I show up with more patience and understanding.
Julie: I have found it challenging to find different ways to communicate, especially as they grow. I try to remember how toddlers communicate and try different techniques to help them understand. For example, since they don't exactly have a grasp on time, and we have appointments or places we need to be, I know I can’t rush my son out the door. I have learned to use “prep talks” which is prepping him on what is coming up in our day or what is coming next in terms of time or sequence of events we have planned. We have found success with timers and have made it fun by "gamifying" clean up time or we time ourselves and see how fast we can do a task. This has helped me be more patient and prepared so we can manage meltdowns and avoid feeling rushed or anxious.
What was one of your greatest joys?
Jamie: My daughter Reese has watched and joined me during my at-home workouts since she was a baby. It brings me so much joy and pride to know she will never know a time her mommy didn't take care of herself. She cheers me on and she imitates exercises and poses from my workouts too. We have also worked on breathing, and her preschool has started to do daily breathing too. I am looking forward to sharing these moments with my other daughter, Sloan in the future. I'm confident I'm giving my girls the tools to lead a healthy and happy life.
Julie: My greatest joy is very similar to Jamie's around healthy habits. I love when Finn asks me to do stretching with him before bed. I also find a lot of joy and pride when Finn repeats back to me things I have taught and communicated to him. For example "Because it keeps me safe," or when I was sad or having a moment of frustration he said, "It's okay mommy, you don't have to be sad, you just have to take a deep breath." It brings me joy to see him use those tools and be empowered to respond in a healthy way.
Tell us about your postpartum journeys. What caught you by surprise?
Jamie: With both girls (Reese- 3.5 and Sloan- 1 month) I have been blessed to take a full 12 weeks of maternity leave. It is always a bit of a blur these first couple weeks with the physical, mental, and emotional demands placed on your body. It can be overwhelming and so dang beautiful at the same time. What caught me by surprise is managing my energy and expectations. In regards to energy, I am very intentional about moving my body whether that be a walk or some stretching (poor postpartum posture is real!). Once cleared from the doctor, I make time for a daily workout because I know the benefit it has on my mood and energy, not to mention it helps me move better functionally getting up and down from the floor with the baby. Another tool I am using this time to help manage my energy is 21 days of meditation. I am a huge advocate of strengthening our mental muscles, just as much as our physical ones.
In regards to expectations I often default to this need of being productive. Managing my expectations of what I can get done is something I'm always improving, and I am constantly trying to remind myself that rest is productive. The last thing I would say is that so many other moms are going through the same thing as you, you just don't hear them talk about it. That is my why behind showing up on social media and sharing my journey so that it either inspires another mama, or at the very least helps her feel less alone. I have shared way more this second time around both through pregnancy and now postpartum, and I can't tell you how many messages of encouragement and support I get each day, it has been such an unexpected blessing.
Julie: Going into postpartum, I had a fear of how my body would respond and continue to change. As I did my research, I was surprised to find that postpartum is not just the 4th trimester, it is really forever. My body wasn’t meant to “bounce back” or go back to what it was because it is not the same. It is ever evolving and adapting with every season and stage of life.
My son is 3 and a half now and I’m 26 weeks pregnant with our second, and the experience has really taught me to slow down and appreciate how widely capable and strong our bodies truly are. I think both Jamie and I were surprised that strengthening our physical muscles was not enough and we needed to prioritize our mental muscles. As I prepare to transition from one kid to two, I will definitely be using the same meditations and better managing my energy and expectations. It’s a work in progress and I’m grateful I’m not alone in the journey!
What led you to your career as a health and fitness coach? How do you support moms with this business?
Jamie: Through navigating 2 ACL injuries while playing basketball, I was introduced to my amazing orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist. Their passion and drive to help me rehab and recover showed me that I wanted to be on the preventative side of health and help others feel their best. I ended up graduating with a degree in Health Promotion Wellness. I've served a variety of roles in this industry, but in the last 6 years I have been a Health Fitness Specialist teaching group fitness classes, facilitating health promotion programs, and supporting our members in their health journey. I then decided I wanted to grow my impact beyond the 4 walls that I worked in.
My sister and I decided to take our fitness backgrounds and partner with Beachbody to help women win in their health and fitness journey from wherever they are located. We run a virtual membership community called the Positive on Purpose Community. We support women, many of them moms, with workout programs, nutritional resources, and most importantly mindset tools. Our goal is to help them find the courage to try something new, the confidence to be their authentic self, and the consistency to show up even when life gets hard. Making moves to create healthy habits that support our best selves.
Julie: Like Jamie, the obstacles of injury led me to the opportunity to study Exercise Science and get my Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology. I was passionate about movement and making a difference. Over the past 10 years, I've instructed a variety of Group Fitness class formats serving members and mentored team members as the Group Fitness and Program Manager of an athletic club. When the pandemic hit, I realized I had a gift worth giving far beyond a brick and mortar place and was inspired to open my own virtual space.
Tell us about your podcast and what led you to create it.
We launched the "Positive on Purpose" podcast in September of 2020. Our mission is to teach women how to navigate the plot twists and pressures of life. We share tools and techniques based on research and real-life experiences.
We created the podcast as a way to use our voices to give other women the courage to use theirs. We want our listeners to feel encouraged and inspired to get uncomfortable by continuing to learn and grow with us. The title of our podcast was decided based on the many interactions we have with people telling us how positive Jules and I are, and we are often asked how we stay so positive. Therefore, we share the real-life experiences and resources we learned to live more positive on purpose to help them do the same!
If you could give new moms one piece of advice, what would it be?
Jamie: You are capable of hard things. Navigating those hard plot twists and pressures of life gets easier when you have tools, a positive mindset, and support system. Ask for help, resist the guilt and reframe with grace.
Julie: Bad moments don’t make bad moms. When you mess up, apologize and tell your kids “I’m still learning” because that’s part of the human experience. Sometimes you win the dinner or bedtime battle, and sometimes you learn. You have to lead yourself before you can lead others and the same goes for the home. You have to keep growing and keep taking care of yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.
You can follow Jamie on Instagram where she shares her day to day routine including workouts and inspiration. Julie can be found sharing her day to day routine here. You can check out their podcast here. I love that the episodes are short and sweet, so they can be listened to while getting ready. It's a great way to start your day with a new outlook and positive mindset! If you're interested in joining their community of women or learning more about it, I encourage you to reach out to either of them.