NOVEMBER #MAMACRUSH: CLIO
November, 1 2018
Having a baby changes everything, the cliche is true. The sleepless nights, the constant worrying, the physical changes to our bodies, we could go on. But one of the things Mamas (and Dads!) tell us they miss the most is travel. Or more specifically, the freedom to travel. A huge milestone in any new parent journey is taking that first long(er) trip with baby in tow. The logistics seem endless and the worry unsurmountable. How will I stick to the baby’s (somewhat) efficient routine? What will the baby eat on the go? Will it be too hot / too cold? Do I pack more or will that be too cumbersome? Stroller? Carrier? Ahh...we’re stressing ourselves out just writing about it. But what if you could take that family vacation and focus on that amazing first experience rather than freak out about it? Meet our November #MamaCrush, Clio. She is the founder of &Breathe, a family wellbeing company that runs retreats all over the world that do exactly that: allow families to enjoy time with their loved ones while relaxing, rejuvenating - and especially, not stressing. The kind of vacation that doesn’t leave you feeling like you need another vacation! We sat down with Clio to chat about &Breathe, mom guilt (oh, it’s real!) and some super-handy travel hacks.
Where do you live?
Hertfordshire in the UK
What is your child/children’s name(s) and ages?
Delphi, aged 4
Describe each child in a few words:
Full of life, joy and independence!
What kind of work do you do?
I run &Breathe - a family wellbeing company focusing on helping new parents get fit, eat well and feel good with little ones in tow. We run fitness retreats in France, the UK, Morocco and the USA.
What inspired you to start this business?
When I had my daughter, Delphi, I really wanted to go on a retreat to reset mind and body, and adjust to my new identity, but I didn’t want to leave my baby! I just couldn’t find a retreat that welcomed both babies and husbands/partners as well as new mums. Most importantly none of the fitness retreats I found were at all focused on the right kind of exercise for new parents to help rehabilitate and restore rather than power through millions of burpees.
What is your favorite part about working with new moms and their families?
The genuine transformation that we see in them over the course of a week. It’s really life-changing for some of our guests and we help them to relax and look after themselves, and understand that self-care is at the heart of being a good parent - rather than putting themselves last! It’s so wonderful!
Obviously this kind of getaway comes at a price, what do you say to moms/parents who are worried or feel guilty about investing in themselves at this stage in their lives?
Don’t be! If you aren’t looking after yourself, how can you look after anyone else properly? Always put on your own oxygen mask first - it will pay dividends when you have a happy you and a happy family unit.
What are the benefits of traveling like this as a family?
Our retreats are the perfect first family holiday - we introduce you to domestic or international travel in a safe and easy way. We know what you need and worry about as a new parent and provide everything you need for that getaway - what could be easier? Plus you’ll experience warmth, new friendship and a fantastic vibe which both you and your kids will love - and you don’t get that at a normal resort.
What are some of your new mom travel hacks?
Imagine the worst and it can only be better than that!
- Bring spares of everything
- Breast or bottle-feed during flight take off
- Don’t be afraid of what everyone else thinks, and don’t apologise for your very presence - you are allowed on vacation too!
- Take the easy option, this is not the time to get a 5hour, $10 bus when a $100 taxi could have you there in half the time, your stress levels will thank you for it
- Travel with a sling or tiny stroller that will fit in the cabin, it will make the airport much easier to navigate.
Seriously - just do it, it’s worth it.
How do you balance managing (and traveling for) a business and having young kids at home?
My husband and I are co-parents, so we try to be as equal as we can, jobs/travel allowing. He picks up the slack when I’m away and vice versa. We have family who can travel to us to help too, which is a bonus, but childcare is also a must. We are lucky to be in a position to afford this. It doesn’t often make the emotional side of being away any easier, but I am proud to be a strong role model for my daughter and we appreciate each other all the more when I’m not travelling.
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
The sheer, unadulterated rush of love that I feel when I look at my daughter sleeping.
How has motherhood changed you?
In SO many ways!! I never knew how my mother felt about me until I understood how much I love Delphi. I never knew how hard it could be but how rewarding. I never knew the pressures it would put on our marriage and how hard we’d have to work to make it work (which it still does). I am much more sympathetic and non-judgemental now than I used to be, and I want to help others through what can be a very tough time. I just didn’t know before, but I’m stronger now, both physically and mentally, because I’m a mother.
Words to live by?
JUST BE NICE!
Thank you, Clio!