Meet Sally Wood, a busy Mornington Peninsula mama of two and founder of The Mindful Mum, an online sanctuary made up of classes specially designed to make health, happiness and motherhood feel easier (hallelujah to that!). A place where busy mums can go for information, inspiration and invigoration with online classes in Yoga, Meditation, Pilates, Fitness, Massage, Mindful Parenting, Nutrition and more…all within the comfort of your own home! Genius!
We here at Mama loves to share just love the concept of The Mindful Mum as it ties in perfectly with our May is for Me campaign. We recently had a lovely chat with Sally about The Mindful Mum and just how this busy #bosslady balances her busy life.
MLTS: Thanks so much for chatting with us Sally. Tell us a little about yourself and your family. Did you grow up on the Peninsula?
Sally: My husband, Ryan and I moved to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula two weeks after having our second child to be closer to my parents and have a sea change after living in the city for ten years. In hindsight, moving house so soon after having a baby was a crazy idea – all our wardrobes have been in a permanent state of chaos ever since! In the long run though, the move was the best thing we ever did. We live in a really friendly neighbourhood where our little ones ride and play with kids on the street while we get to know their lovely parents. I don’t think we’ll ever want to live anywhere else now!
MLTS – I know the feeling! It’s such a relief when you find lovely neighbours! Where’s your favourite place on the Peninsula to visit with your family on the weekend?
Sally: There are just so many incredible places to explore on the Peninsula. We try to to go on new adventures every weekend, but one of our go to spots is Moondah Beach in Mt Eliza with our dog, Wilson. We love how quiet it is and how the bay changes so much depending on the weather. The sunsets also never get old. It always reminds us of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
MLTS: So you’re a busy working mama of two (three if we count your fur baby!) Tell us about The Mindful Mum, how does it work?
Sally: We’ve collaborated with yoga, mindfulness, meditation, pilates, nutrition, fitness and holistic wellbeing practitioners to create a wealth of online classes exclusively tailored to the needs of mums. Our talented teachers (many who hail from the Mornington Peninsula), are all mums who have been carefully chosen based on their passion for women’s health and wellbeing. Whether through a guided meditation during nap time, a simple breathing exercise when the day (or night!) is getting the better of you, or a restorative yoga class to wind down after the kids are in bed, The Mindful Mum is all about helping mums develop the skill of mindfulness and learn to nurture their health and happiness, for EVERYONE’S benefit. Mums can access our classes from the comfort of their home for less than the cost of a single yoga class each month. No need to even take off your pyjamas, ladies!
MLTS: We just love this concept, we know all too well how hard it can be as busy women/mums to find the time to dash off to various classes, as much as we would love to! Lol! So what inspired you to start The Mindful Mum?
Sally: Soon after giving birth to my first baby, I hit rock bottom with ongoing mastitis which left me in and out of hospital managing a painful breast abscess, all the while being extremely sleep deprived and learning to adjust to my new role as a mum. I felt completely overwhelmed with all the conflicting advice and struck by how hard it was to take good care of myself while being SO consumed with taking care of my daughter. As I was getting ready to transition back to work, I was feeling increasingly anxious at the thought of juggling my career on top of everything else. I kept thinking if only there was a place where mums could go to practice self-care in their precious spare moments, wherever and whenever they wanted. From that moment, I set out to create an online sanctuary where mums could go to get professional guidance from a range of health and well being experts, along with the support of a loving sisterhood. A couple of years on after another pregnancy, birth and many late nights creating our offering, The Mindful Mum was officially born.
MLTS: Isn’t it great how our worse experiences can often end up being our best, inspiring us to make a difference! Good on you for taking it to the next level. So tell us, what’s the secret to managing a work/life balance being a working mama?
Sally: There’s no doubt, managing life as a working mama has its moments. One lesson I’ve learnt over the last few years is the importance of knowing your limits and accepting there is only so much we can achieve in one day, while juggling so much. We put an immense amount of pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone, so it’s really helpful to cultivate mindful awareness and compassion. I know it’s easier said than done! I try and get help where we can, but I’ve also got better at being present by dealing with what’s in front of me, instead of worrying about something I need to do for work the next day while getting the kids ready for bed, for example. When we’re constantly on the go, it’s so important to lighten up a little and have some fun along the way too. Kids are such a great reminder of this. Overall, I feel we can get closer to achieving that ever elusive sense of balance if we learn to manage our state of mind, which is a daily practice of course!
MLTS: And of course, balancing kids, a household and a business leaves little time to yourself! How do you spend your “me time” when you get a chance?
Sally: Well yes, I couldn’t agree more about it leaving little time for myself! Juggling two young children, a demanding full time job and our business on the side, has proven particularly challenging of late! I’ve had to get rather creative to fit it in and take any opportunity I can get. Sometimes it’s sneaking in a half an hour foot massage while doing the weekly shop at Bayside and other times, it’s heading out the door for a walk with the dog while listening to an inspiring podcast. One constant I try my best to maintain, is a 10 minute meditation at the start of every day to help me stay calm amidst all the chaos!
MLTS: Gotta love a sneaky foot massage! And with the business, do you have any tips for other mums who are thinking about starting their own business but are not sure where to start?
Sally: It’s amazing how many awesome resources are out there now for people trying to start their own businesses. We found the Victorian Government’s Small Business Mentoring Program really helpful where you can meet with someone for a small fee to get help with your business strategy and map out goals for success. I’d also recommend joining a community such as Business Chicks which hosts some fantastic events and is made up of a really inspiring community of women. Podcasts are also super helpful when running around juggling so much as a mum! I’m loving Nikki Elledge Brown’s ‘Naptime Empires’ where she talks candidly about the realities of parenthood and entrepreneurship, and The Marie Forleo Podcast where she provides all sorts of wisdom to help people create a business and life they love. Overall, surround yourself with like-minded people who can motivate and inspire you to pursue your idea. It takes a lot of determination and persistence to get something off the ground, so it’s really important to get as much support as possible and that includes taking care of yourself in the process (something I’ve ironically had to learn time and time again, throughout my own journey)!
MLTS: Couldn’t agree more about surrounding yourself with like-minded people who can motivate and inspire… so so true…and lastly, what is your favourite quote?
Sally: ‘Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful.’ This is a constant work in progress!
MLTS: We love it! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us Sally.
To learn more about The Mindful Mum visit www.themindfulmum.com