Motherhood by Anna Holvey Franchise Owner – Sweaty Mama Salford West, Lymm

Hello, my name is Anna, I am a Pre & Post Natal Fitness Specialist and I own the Sweaty Mama Salford West, Lymm and Culcheth franchise. We help pre & post-natal women of all fitness levels, enjoy a fun and effective workout to music both mother and child or mother and bump will love, in a relaxed and safe all female environments. We build communities of women, who socialise and make friends throughout our sessions, having those all-important ‘mum chats’ with one another over a coffee after the session each week. So, it’s not just about the exercise at Sweaty Mama, it’s the well-being of the mother and the social support.

I am a first-time mum to one incredible little girl whose personality is infectious even at 14 months old. She was a lockdown baby; I fell pregnant in December 2019, and she was born in September 2020.

How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?

I am still trying too! You think you have it sussed, then as children do, they change your routine up and don’t nap when they were napping, and you planned to get those jobs done in that hour or two! I think it’s a constant battle, but thinking ahead, writing things down, doing a little of everything and at the best times for you and baby is the way I am heading with my new business along side being a mum. I underestimated juggling studying for 3 qualifications over 12 weeks, whilst working an evening job 4 nights a week to pay my bills and be a mum to my daughter has been tough in the run up to starting my business! But I somehow managed it – as we women always do. Women are incredible at finding a way. I am guilty as we all are of not making time for a little self-care and me time in the past few months, but I am finding that just 5 minutes is better than none.

What top tips would you give to any working mum?

Trust the journey, even when it gets hard, if you have had the determination to do what you do, and you are doing it, remember to give yourself credit for what you do and know that you are incredible at what you do and you are an incredible mother. And remember to drink water and eat!

What do you love most about Manchester? Do you have a favourite spot with your children?

That there is always something new to discover, and there is something for everyone. I love Transcend Studios in the Bridgewater Mill in Eccles. We spent a lot of time here through my daughters 14 months, we joined Baby Wren Yoga & Massage class when she was 3 months old, and it saved us! It normalised our experience and allowed my baby to meet other babies finally. I then met a lovely group of mothers including the instructor whom I know class as friends, and we have a community of mothers at Transcend Studios whom all love to attend classes and stay for a coffee in the Soul Shakes café – their latte’s are amazing!!! It really is a hidden gem in Manchester, as soon as you walk in you just feel comfortable, you could there on your own for a coffee and not feel out of place. Its full of beautiful plants and the vibe is so calm.

How do you define quality ‘me-time’?

Quality ‘me-time’ to me is truly being able to switch off from everything and anything around you other than the one thing you are choosing to do for that time. For me it has always been home yoga with Adriene on YouTube WHICH IS FREE! I have done this for 6 years now and counting. Not always every day, not always for the same amount of time. I do it when I can get that sweet spot of ‘me-time’ in, and I feel so light mentally after it. I feel like it resets me, I shed something mentally, it lightens the load. And physically I feel relaxed, less tense and sleep so much better when I have done it. It doesn’t matter what you do for your ‘you-time’ I think what its really about is mentally focusing on one thing and one thing only that gives you that satisfaction and fulfilment. We are constantly multitasking a mental load, the housework, our job, our children, their routine, food shopping, appointments – EVERYTHING in life that needs to be done, we are pre-thinking ahead and processing the task whilst doing 20 other tasks. Our brains are working this way daily, I’m doing it now typing this! To just think of one thing and nothing else – which takes practice and sometimes I don’t always achieve it until the end of my me time, but the value of it is incredibly important.

What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

My favourite thing is knowing you have a little person who is part of you and watching them develop and grow, seeing the little daily moments that warm your heart and feeling a love you have never felt until they came along. My least favourite is the mum guilt we feel, and the feeling sometimes we lose ourselves as an individual because we dedicate so much of ourselves to our family and all the tasks that come along with daily life that we have to put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list to achieve everything.

What advice would you give a first time Mum?

Knowledge is power, read up on everything so you know your choices, so you know what to expect, what happens, what you will go through, what your body will go through and how to cope and handle things, where to get help and support from so your are armed with a wealth of knowledge to empower yourself, and make you confident about the amazing journey and transformation you are about to go on. I joined The Mum Space on facebook 4 months into my pregnancy set up by Lauren Pope from TOWIE for all the lockdown mums and it honestly equipped me with the tools and knowledge to experience pregnancy and motherhood for the first time confidently and made me feel so prepared for everything I was about to go through. You felt part of something and connected as we couldn’t attend any pregnancy groups as we were in lockdown most of the time. It has connected thousands of mothers, mothers who lost children, all supporting one another and offering advice to one another so you could relate to someone going through the same thing as you. There were lives on FB about every single topic you would need to prepare you for motherhood. It is a community of mums sharing experiences, supporting one another and cheering one another one. Find your community, wherever or however that may be, so you feel part of something and you can speak to other women feeling the same as you and not feel alone in what you are going through, because being a mother is the hardest but most rewarding job in the world.

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