The end of January/start of February always signals the end of school holidays for most families. In light of this, the team at North of Here reached out on Instagram in search of Mums to share their story of living a healthy lifestyle and juggling a family/work etc.
Holly runs her own communications consultancy and has two school aged children, and shows us that there certainly are many ways to incorporate into your life to live a healthier one! Thank you Holly!
Hi, I’m Holly Cardamone. I’m 42 years old, and live in Melbourne with my husband and my two school-aged daughters. I have a communications consultancy, Blue51 Communications. Last year, completely over the working mum/school mum/fit mum juggle, I decided to work strictly within school hours, much to my cherubs’ chagrin- the little ingrates regularly ask to go to after-school care!
I’m awake by 5.30am most mornings, at the gym by 6am, and then home again by 7am. I train six days a week, and I love my early morning training sessions. I don’t think about it- I get up, put on my training gear and walk out the door. There’s no time to talk myself out of it, there’s no internal debate, it just happens. There’s nothing else competing for my attention- the time is purely my own, and it’s such a fantastic way to start my day. I join a functional high intensity interval training class five days a week, and I do a solo strength-based program once a week. I train with some of my gorgeous girl friends, fit, fabulous and funny women, and whilst it’s never particularly easy, it’s always positive, uplifting and empowering.
When I get home from training I switch into mum-mode. My girls usually make their own breakfasts, and I always make my cherubs’ school lunches the night before so our mornings are relatively calm and unhurried. This means my exercise-induced warm and fuzzies don’t depart the second I walk in the door when the constant chorus of ‘muuuummmmm’ commences! I do the school run, then I’m usually at my desk by 9.15am. I really love my work- I have a diverse mix of clients, from health and fitness businesses, design businesses and corporate clients, and any given day might see me ghostwriting editorials for the national daily papers, writing blog posts for my clients, writing website copy, planning communications and PR strategies or managing social media accounts for my clients. The common theme,however, is I spend a good part of the day sitting on my butt, and so I have permanent alarms set on my iPhone to remind me to get up and move. I also have an alarm set for 3pm reminding me to switch back into mum-mode, and pick up my kids! After school pick up, the cherubs and I will have a fruit platter, then in summer we’re in the pool, or they have a jump around on the trampoline. Then it’s dinner, and the usual homework, bath and bed routine. My husband is equally active, and while I’m an early bird, he loves to train in the evenings; this tag teaming means neither of us have our training time compromised.
On Sunday mornings I do a weekly fruit and veggie shop, usually with one or both cherubs in tow. I make a massive bowl of raw salad; cabbage, lettuce, raw beans, celery, shredded carrot- if it’s crunchy, it’s chucked in the bowl. My husband and I use the salad as the base of our lunches throughout the first part of the week, adding protein each day. I love to throw a chicken thigh fillet on the BBQ, shred it, then toss it through the salad with an asian-style dressing. My standard breakfast is a protein-boosted smoothy bowl with a sprinkle of nutty granola. I really love Jamie Oliver recipes for our dinners- there aren’t many JO recipes that the cherubs don’t love, and they’re usually nutrient-dense, veggie-packed and delicious.
Whilst I was never ever sporty- as a word nerd, I was actually the polar opposite- I’ve always had an active, healthy lifestyle. Becoming a mother made me more consciously aware of the importance of eating well, living well, and being a good role model to my girls. We have very little processed food, and I love baking and cooking, so make my girls’ school lunchbox treats with their ‘help.’ They eat bucketloads of fresh fruit and veggies and love a Sunday morning pancakes with Nutella session. They’re both active kids- in summer holidays the second the sun comes out they swim until they wrinkle, and they will chase each other around the trampoline for what seems like hours- seriously, the trampoline was possibly the best gift Santa could ever give them. They love it when I haul myself onto the trampoline with them and it’s a really good workout for the pelvic floor too- switch on that core, Holly!
Like most busy mums and business owners, I live by my routines, by my lists and by my calendars. I’m not much of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants gal, I never have been, and I think it’s the structures I’ve created that allows me to achieve that balance between my working life, my family life and my me time- which training, being fit and active is a massive part of.
You can follow Holly’s wellbeing journey on instagram.