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Little Otter Press - An Interview with Lindsay Madsen

A new interview in the Mommin' It Business Series is here! Featuring mom owned businesses that support pregnant and new moms.

Today I’m speaking with Lindsay Madsen, owner of Little Otter Press. Madsen is a writer, business developer, and mother to four young children. She recently funded a Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign for approx. $9k USD for the first print run of her book, The Lovely Haze of Baby Days. 

Tell us about your business. How do you help expecting or new moms?

In January 2021, I launched my first board book, The Lovely Haze of Baby Days - to show love and support for a new & expectant moms. The Lovely Haze of Baby Days is a playful tribute to the chaos of motherhood and life with babies.

I wrote it to remind moms they aren't alone using soothing rhymes and relatable moments, that are sure to entertain little eyes and ears too! I wanted to create a beautifully illustrated board book that would truly captures the tender love and messy reality of mom-life.

This honest, funny, and sweet little book is a symbol of solidarity for overwhelmed moms with babies and toddlers. As a twin mom who knows that every mom experiences many of the same pressures/stress points, I made sure this book celebrates diversity, twins/multiples, and the importance of the motherhood community from baby's bookshelf. The Lovely Haze of Baby Days launched on Kindle January 13th, 2021. Hard copies are also in stock. 

What makes you unique as a mom & business owner?

I am a Canadian mom living abroad with my 4 little ones, including 16 month old identical twin girls, all born within 5 year.

I am a Business Developer focused on Health Innovation, and I've rediscovered the power of words in my post partum struggles. I hope that the publications I make will be a support for maternal mental health, and put something beautiful into the world.

What's the hardest part of running your business and being a mom?

Juggling the demands of a busy household and small kids while pursing my passions in the publishing space.

What is one "messy" thing about being a mom/biz owner that you would never share in public?

How frequently I look like a DISASTER (messy hair, sweatpants, various food spills...) while trying to be professional in my business.

What's your favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner?

The independence and flexibility to pursue meaningful initiatives in my work.

What advice and words of encouragement would you give to expecting or new moms? 

When you find something in this world that lights you up, and that you'd rather be working on MORE than watching Netflix, cling to it. Nurture it. Never let it go.

How has motherhood changed you?

I am a different human. My priorities have changed, and I realize how much of my decisions were made with a self-centered focus. Having children made me more sensitive and vulnerable, while simultaneously becoming invincible. It has been a magical paradox of change that I have loved.

What is one toy, item, product, book, resource, podcast that you would recommend to a new or expecting mom? 

Podcast: The Birth Hour (this was especially useful for me as a twin mom, feeling lost and alone), Dear Mama Project (a beautiful tribute to motherhood and matrescence… this has been eye opening for me about the changes that happen in a woman as she shifts through motherhood).

About Lindsay Madsen

Lindsay Madsen is originally from southwestern Ontario. She currently lives with her family in the Danish countryside where they explore, go on adventures, and thrive in their everyday chaos.

Find Lindsay Madsen:

Website: www.lindsaykmadsen.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the.madsen.littles/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindsaykmadsen

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Maike Mancuso Coaching - An Interview with Maike Mancuso

A new interview in the Mommin' It Business Series is here! Featuring mom owned businesses that support pregnant and new moms.

Today I’m speaking with Maike Mancuso, owner of Maike Mancuso Coaching. Maike is a Certified Health Coach, Fitness and Yoga Instructor and Speaker. Her passion is to help individuals to create a healthy balanced lifestyle and elevate their quality of life.

Over the last few years she started focusing on Mamas-to-be and New Moms to support women in this unique transition with fitness, health and wellness programs. Maike is a mom of a little boy and gave birth to her second baby in January.

Tell us about your business. How do you help expecting or new moms?

I love to work one-on-one (in-person and now mainly virtually due to COVID) and offer a mix of personal training, health coaching, yoga and meditation for my mama-clients. All of the above have shown to be valuable components in the transition into motherhood and all carry their own power. I am very passionate about educating moms about core engagement, the importance of proper alignment in every day life and during workouts and much more, to empower women to feel confident and strong on a daily basis.

Every mom (to-be) can adjust her program with my support based on those components and find the right mix for each stage of pregnancy and postpartum recovery.

As an addition to my one-on-one session I also run weekly group classes stretching from Mindful Mama MeetUps, to pre and postnatal fitness classes and yoga sessions. 

To support and reach more Mamas, I am currently working on offering more on-demand services and well researched information that I share on my blog and social media.

Overall I am aiming to build a community of confident Moms and Moms-to-be, who feel good and healthy in their bodies and ready to take on motherhood and so much more.

What makes you unique as a mom & business owner?

Aren't we all beautifully different and unique? I honestly don't know how to answer that question. What comes to mind are all things I hope are not just unique to me: like wanting the best for my family and clients, hoping to thrive in all of my rolls and responsibilities, and being able to raise respectful and loving children all while building a vibrant business. Again, I dearly hope I am not alone with that approach.

What's the hardest part of running your business and being a mom?

Finding the right balance, I would say. My family is my #1 priority, yet following my passion and doing what I love gives me energy and purpose and fills me with joy. In the last months during COVID it was tricky to find the balance between working from home and continuing to offer services, being their for my family and taking care of myself during my own pregnancy.

Also, I have high expectations towards myself and my work. It can be a stretch. Luckily I've learned to put boundaries and structures into place that help me recover that balance whenever my schedule gets too crazy. This remains a working progress - balance is something I sometimes have to lose to than reset and regain.

What is one "messy" thing about being a mom/biz owner that you would never share in public?

That is a trick question. You are asking me to share something publicly that I 'would never share in public'? Well, I am not sure there is a piece of information that would fit this criteria.

Being open and honest about the 'messy' stuff often is what connects us with others and what makes us human and relatable. My best answer (and I would totally share this in public), is that I create a lot of content for my own sake, because I need structure and community to stay accountable. I need reminders and I certainly fall of the wagon.

If I could follow all of the great advice and tips I put out there, that would be amazing. But just like everyone else, I fall in and out of 'good routines', life gets 'messy', and I slack on my meals or workouts or simply don't feel like meditating.  As a result, I feel agitated and overwhelmed, till my husband reminds me to do what he just read in my last post on IG.

We often have a laugh and I feel more encourage to get back on track and take care of myself. This all ties back in with an earlier questions of finding balance and setting boundaries and building structures. I want people to know that 'knowing better' doesn't always mean we 'do better'. I too need support and reminders and that is perfectly fine.

What's your favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner?

Both of those roles very effortlessly capture my attention. Being a mom is amazing and I absolutely love how it has changed my life and myself - even on the messy days. And it has been a similar experience in my business.

Working for myself has been the best motivation and natural fuel to my creativity and productivity. It has been so rewarding to connect with my clients (many of who I now call friends and my community) and I am grateful for all I was able to learn in the process of moving to the US, starting from 0 and building up my business while growing my family.

In both positions I have a urge to step up and that feels good. It gives me so much energy in return for hard work, which is priceless

What advice and words of encouragement would you give to expecting or new moms? 

Where to start? My biggest tip would be to 'seek out community'. While we might be able to manage on our own, I believe it to be a relief to simple connect with other moms and build connections. Yes, there are great books and online resources and doctors, but sharing some thoughts or experiences with other women in a similar state of their life can be a blessing.

Building social connections for anyone has been proven to be beneficial for stress relief and so much more. During pregnancy and postpartum it can do the same and so much more.

How has motherhood changed you?

Massively. It is somewhat hard to put into words as it feels like a internal shift more than 'change'. Here are a few ways how I can describe the experience or shift. I feel more present on a daily basis, more excited about the little things in life. I often have a warm feeling of gratitude vibrating in my heart and at the same time I have more worries. It also feels much easier for me to focus and prioritize on what's really important.

On a personal level, it made me feel strong in a totally new way! The appreciation for my body and the beauty of the process has given me a new perspective on 'beauty' or on my 'body image' overall.

What is one toy, item, product, book, resource, podcast that you would recommend to a new or expecting mom? 

In short, meditation.

It is a great tool and go-to practice to center yourself and stay calm during overwhelming times. This is something I would recommend to anyone. Yet, as a mom and during pregnancy it can be a powerful tool to recharge your energy, patients and focus.

I am a big fan of short sessions (5 min) rather than long ones. I enjoyed my meditation practice during those stages, especially as many physical sensations felt foreign and my body felt foreign a times: hormones would take over and everything was 'new' and that's totally fine and absolutely expected, which didn't make it easier to cope with.

Meditation was like coming home. Reminding myself that inside, I am still myself and I can return to that comforting place at any time.

About Maike Mancuso

Maike Mancuso is originally from Germany, where postnatal care for mom and baby is extensive and organized. When she moved to the US and started teaching yoga and fitness classes Maike learned that the pre and postnatal care here was far from what is ideal.  She decided to fill that gap and build safe and fun programs for pregnant clients and new moms.

Find Maike Mancuso:

Website: https://www.maikemancuso.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maike_mancuso/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaikeMancusoCoaching/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maike-mancuso/
              

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There's a Monster in My Closet - An Interview with Denise Gassner

A new interview in the Mommin' It Business Series is here! Featuring mom owned businesses that support pregnant and new moms.

Today I’m speaking with Denise Gassner, owner of There's a Monster in My Closet. Denise is a child sleep specialist and educator, that helps new or soon-to-be mamas understand sleep and how it develops over the first 5 years of life.

She is a scientist first and a sleep professional second, allowing her to disentangle the most trusted, most evidence-based information when it comes to developing sleep. This lets Denise focus on the most important aspects of each family’s values and environment and tailor a more proactive approach to sleep behaviour.

Tell us about your business? And how do you help expecting or new moms?

I offer a wide variety of resources and services that help new or soon to be mamas understand sleep and how it develops over the first 5 years of life. I focus on building trusted resources for moms (both free and paid) and offering education packages to help moms understand sleep developments (think of it like the wonder weeks of sleep). This lets moms know what to expect and also how to cope in a way that is both empowering and informed. 

I have one-on-one consulting packages targeted to parents ranging from expecting to having children up to 5 years of age. I also offer a series of educational workshops to provide the most foundational information regarding childhood sleep development. I have quick reference downloads, an active blog, and a website full of the most up-to-date Pediatric sleep science. And, I have a series of lovable sleepy time plush pals that represent the 5 stages of sleep development and come with my comprehensive eBook - Healthy Sleep, Healthy Start - to help new moms get off on the right foot.

What makes you unique as a mom & business owner?

I am a scientist, an entrepreneur, and a mama of two. I have a PhD in Biology and Anthropology, teach at the University of British Columbia, and have been studying and teaching on various aspect of behaviour for nearly two decades. Upon becoming a mom myself, I became privy to the discombobulating world that is baby sleep. Like many others, I sifted through all the “how tos” to get myself and my family a few more zzzzzs, but I wanted more. I wanted to know “why”. I wanted to truly understand sleep and how such a natural state can feel anything but natural in the early years. It has been my mission to help families understand sleep from its core - how it functions, how it develops, and how we can help our children and ourselves to get the healthiest most restorative sleep possible, without rigid or prescriptive methods.

What's the hardest part of running your business and being a mom?

Time. Always time. I’m an educator, a mom of two and an entrepreneur. I wear all the hats in both my business and my household. I have big dreams that I feel like I’m just scraping away at half the time without major traction because there are not enough hours in the day. I’m also a workaholic so balance can be a challenge - I want to be my best self no matter what hat I’m wearing.

What is one "messy" thing about being a mom/biz owner that you would never share in public?

Sometimes I feel like a major poser because my kids are not perfect and their sleep I’m not perfect. And I’m super awkward and uncomfortable when it comes to posing Instagram images/videos (though maybe I’d share that because I feel like I’m definitely not alone on that front).

What's your favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner?

The two are so intertwined and I looooove learning. My background is in primatology and I see my kids as my little primates that I love to try and deconstruct - Their behaviour, their development, their thoughts and feelings and ways of viewing the world. It’s fascinating and it energizes me. I can’t help but look at them as a scientist and I adore finding creative ways to communicate everything I see to other mamas.

What advice and words of encouragement would you give to expecting or new moms? 

Sleep is not something that your baby can do well or poorly. It’s a behaviour like all other behaviours that takes time to learn, practice to hone, and patience as it develops. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s a “right” or a “wrong” to it, but if you’re struggling to find your sleep groove you do not just have to grin and bear it

How has motherhood changed you?

Motherhood hit me like a ton of bricks. I have always excelled at academics and work life. When I was on maternity leave, I felt like I lost my sense of self. I didn’t know how to be “good” at being a mom. Now I realize that I’m the best mom that I know how to be, and that may not look like how anyone else does it, but I have happy, healthy, loving children that are going to take this world by storm. And that’s something I can be proud of.

What is one toy, item, product, book, resource, podcast that you would recommend to a new or expecting mom? 

My Sleep Monster plushies! Eco-friendly, fair trade, sleepy time pals for the littles with access to jam packed, evidence informed sleep info for parents - a “what to expect” and “how to cope” gift to ease the transition and improve mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

About Denise Gassner

Denise Gassner has been researching aspects of behaviour for nearly two decades. She turned her attention to sleep after having her own little humans and becoming fascinated by how unnatural sleep can feel in those early years. Denise is driven to help make sleep less of a mystery for new parents and empower them to make informed decisions that adhere to their unique parenting styles. When not spilling about all things sleep, you can find her heading undergraduate classrooms at the University of British Columbia or hanging out with her husband, two kids, and their pup in beautiful Squamish BC.

Find Denise Gassner here:

Website: https://theresamonsterinmycloset.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sleep.monster/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theresamonsterinmycloset

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denise-gassner-75405030/

 

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Teaching Mums - An Interview with Lulu Lincoln

A new interview in the Mommin' It Business Series is here! Featuring mom owned businesses that support pregnant and new moms.

Today I’m speaking with Lulu Lincoln, owner of Teaching Mums, Ltd. Lulu provides support, coaching, and resources to mothers through pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Her motto of "Each Mum, Teach Mum, Reach Mum "alone shows her desire to reach every mother through every part of their journey.  Her main purpose is to fill each mother with confidence and support to create balance in business, motherhood, and connection.

Tell us about your business? And how do you help expecting or new moms?

I offer Professional 1:1 Coaching for mothers and I focus on motherhood, business, and education. I am passionate about connecting mums (expectant incl.) with their purpose and passion, whilst still enjoying being a full-time mum. For some mothers this could be returning to work or staying at home and building an income around that. Some mums want to upskill and retrain. This is where I come in. My coaching sessions help mothers to understand how to manage their priorities without negatively impacting their commitment to their homes. I offer resources and support...I work with each family until they no longer need me...then I know my job is done. 

What makes you unique as a mom & business owner?

I am a qualified teacher, coach and pregnancy counselor, as well as a mum, so my business is evidence and experience based. More than a third of mothers are having to give up work because of the cost of childcare. It is a privilege to be able to care for your family, but support has to be provided for mothers that would like the best of both worlds.

What's the hardest part of running your business and being a mom?

Time management, juggling priorities (well) - that's why I have created resources that work, but do not overwhelm.

What is one "messy" thing about being a mom/biz owner that you would never share in public?

The short-comings of my husband or children. I don't mind sharing my own, but not theirs, it's just not fair.

What's your favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner?

My favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner is being able to serve my family each (with joy) and help other  families, via online resources, tools and apps.

What advice and words of encouragement would you give to expecting or new moms? 

The best piece of advice that I was NEVER given is to be kind to yourself... your body, sleep as often as possible, journal, speak out loud about your desires, dreams, and issues. You are loved and powerful. This power is not stolen by our children, but it increases as we adapt to having a brand-new life. There will be  difficult days, but nothing compares to the joy you will feel when your child arrives, says your name, says thank you, I love you…the list is endless. My point is the good days do eventually outweigh the bad days. Decide before it gets tricky that you will never give up.

How has motherhood changed you?

Yes, I was so selfish before I became a mother. It has completely humbled me and made me grateful for everything that I have. I take it a day at a time. I live by my values, to the best of my ability, and teach my family to do the same. What a gift! 

What is one toy, item, product, book, resource, podcast that you would recommend to a new or expecting mom? 

(1) A journal. (2) A soft toy for baby. (3)A breast pump (if you decide to breast feed). (4) A memory box for keepsakes.(5) Re:Vitalise Podcast. (6) Pregnancy Birth and Beyond. (7) The 6-Figure Mompreneur. (8) Teaching Mums Ltd time block weekly calendar. 

About Lulu Lincoln

Lulu Lincoln is a mumpreneur (former teacher) and now homeschooling. Lulu is happily married, has 1 daughter and desires to expand her family. She has worked in education for almost 20 years. Lulu is a Christian, a keen linguist (German & Italian), bibliophile, writer and loves to spend time with her family. Motherhood can often be accompanied by loneliness and low confidence. Lulu support mothers through pregnancy, birth and beyond through coaching and resourcing. Her motto is Each Mum | Teach Mum | Reach Mum. From her experience and education, Lulu offers training, tailored coaching, and resources for mothers, as well as educational resources and coaching for children.

Find Lulu Lincoln here:

Website: www.teachingmums.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/officialteachingmums/

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Making Memories with Photography by Tabatha Hartman

Today I’m speaking with Tabatha Hartmana personal brand photography coach, that focuses on teaching others how to utilize the one thing we use most...our phones...to capture those beautiful moments of life, work, and especially our children.

Her passion for photography and her experience gives insight to new moms on how to capture those little moments that you will treasure for life.

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