We know that being a mom is much more than a job. It’s a full-time-never-get-a-break-don’t-put-that-in-your-mouth-no-means-no-lifestyle filled with ups and downs, laughs and tears and memories by the minute. Sure, it can be confusing and completely overwhelming at times, but hey, that’s why we’re here.
The two Jen’s originally created this site, and now a team of moms with different views will add to this daily blog. Our goal is to make this the ultimate resource for Charlotte moms and moms-to-be on a variety of activities, events and motherhood-related topics (best deals on hip new products, navigating the school systems, kids eat free, etc). This is a place for us to share as well as our readers, and we don’t pretend to know everything here. But, we’ll try our best to provide you with plenty of info we’ve learned through research, trial and, unfortunately, error.
What’s Courtenay’s story? I want to know more about Jen. I think I know Krista from somewhere, but where? Find out everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you didn’t) about our talented and insightful bloggers who know an awful lot about kids’ stuff and the latest goings on around town. We’re moms, wives, co-workers, friends, people in the know and, best of all, your guides on this crazy little thing we call Charlotte Smarty Pants.
I’m here to introduce you to the PERFECT Smarty Mom to kick off 2013 – Amity Whalen! If you don’t already know her, I’m sure you’ve seen her cute face around town. She’s one of those women who seems to be everywhere doing everything – she’s one amazing mama!
I’ve known of Amity for years from the Harris Y, but have only recently become friends with her through Pure Barre where she (along with the rest of the awesome instructors) whips my butt into shape in such a sweet way. She’s also a Pilates instructor at the Harris Y, and has tons of fans over at YogaFlex where she’s an amazing yoga instructor (she’s known at all three places to give the best stretches in all the land – seriously – if you talk to anyone who’s lucky enough to take her classes, everyone will say the same thing).
She has an unbelievable way about her that makes you get every ounce out of every class. You leave feeling like you’ve really accomplished something – love that about her. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get back into shape or regain some pre-baby confidence, head directly to one of Amity’s classes. She’s that good.
Oh, and did I mention she’s a certified lactation consultant? And the mother of three (including twins)? You would never know this girl has so much going on because of her cool demeanor and sunny smile, but maybe that’s what a lot of Pure Barre, yoga, and Pilates do for you.
Well, without further ado, meet our first Smarty Mom of 2013, Amity Whalen!
Mom of: Saidey, 16; Spencer and Mills, 10.5, 10.5
Married to: Duncan Whalen, 18.5 years
Years in Charlotte: 12
‘Hood: Quail View
Hometown: Eaton Rapids, MI
Occupation: Yoga, Pilates and Pure Barre instructor & International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
How did you get into teaching fitness? I was living in Durham and taking cycling classes….. one day the instructor told me that she thought I would make a great teacher, so, I took a Johnny G. SPINNING certification shortly thereafter. I started teaching right away and loved it. When I moved to Charlotte, I taught at both Bally and the YMCA. At the Y I met Beth Campbell who also taught cycle and was getting certified to teach pilots…. she encouraged me to do the same, so I did. I started taking yoga sporadically, and with the encouragement of two great friends and yogis (DeAnna Chiovera and Johnna Smith, I trained to teach yoga as well. A few years ago, I was introduced to Pure Barre—- and LOVED it. It was a great way to meld everything I loved into 1 class. I’ve been teaching it for just over 2 years.
What do you love most about yoga, Pilates, and Pure Barre? I love the core strengthening in all 3. I love CORE!!!
What inspires you to get up and exercise every day? My fat butt. LOL
What’s your favorite yoga pose? If you ask anyone who takes my class, they would say my favorite is SPIDER! I do love it because it engages your whole body. In my own body I love frog.
What’s on your workout playlist? Eminem — “Lose Yourself,” Beastie Boys — “Brass Monkey” and Fat Boy Slim — “Praise You.”
What advice would you give people who are just starting out in yoga, Pilates or barre classes? Listen to your body. I can’t feel what is going on inside you, so you have to trust yourself. I tell people that I am just their guide, they are in charge of their practice and doing what is right for them. I am a huge fan of Pleasant Discomfort, but never Stabbing Pain. If you ever experience stabbing pain, it is time to back off……
You are also a certified lactation consultant (is there anything you DON’T do??). How did you get into this field and what do you love about it? I loved nursing my children. I nursed my oldest for almost a year and my twins for 18 months. It came very natural to me. I was never uncomfortable with my body or the process. I was lucky enough to learn about and enroll in a program at Presbyterian Hospital a few years back. I took the class and went through the intern process. I had some of the best LCs in the city at the Nursing Mother’s Place teaching me, I am so grateful to them. I passed my Boards and became a certified LC in Oct 2011. I am not working at the hospital now, but have done some at home consultations and mostly just help my friends when they need it. I get a lot of texts with questions from new moms that I am always happy to answer if I can.
What advice would you give new moms who are learning to breastfeed? What resources would you recommend? Moms need to know that it isn’t easy for everyone. Every mom and every baby are different. Some mom’s get frustrated because ‘last time it was so easy” or “last time I hard a hard time making milk”…etc. The same mom with a different pregnancy/baby poses a different set of variables and they can’t expect it to be ‘the same’.
Now for the fun stuff!
Celebrity crush? Embarrassing to say, Nick Lachey—- and Shemar Moore
Favorite thing to do in your “down” time (um, do you have any?)? If I can, I love to catch a 30 min. nap in my bed before carpool. It might happen twice a month, but it is heavenly!!!!!
Family’s favorite homemade dinner? Steak, shrimp, marinated asparagus and roasted root vegetables
Favorite weekend excursion from Charlotte? I love to ski with my family at Snowshoe
Favorite place to take the family to dinner? I’d say Cantina 1511 or Paco’s Tacos. You can never go wrong with good Mexican food.
Favorite place to dine alone as a couple? Sullivan’s or Capital Grille….. any place with good calamari!!!!!
Could not live without… My eyelash curler and lip gloss…. My Blue Ridge Relay team teased me…….. apparently it is not standard to freshen up in this fashion after you run your legs of the race…… I’m not high maintenance at all, but these items ARE standard!!!!!
Thank you, Amity, for sharing your family with us!