If you are a couch potato and haven't broken a sweat since high school, avert your eyes. We would like to introduce you to Kristen Horler, the uber-fit founder and CEO of Baby Boot Camp. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Baby Boot Camp is an innovative stroller-fitness program that helps moms regain or enhance pre-pregnancy fitness levels and meet the physical challenges of parenting by emphasizing strength training in a supportive environment.
In addition to running Baby Boot Camp, Kristen is a triathlete, a certified Spinning instructor, an ACE certified personal trainer, a Balanced Body Pilates instructor and a certified pre- and post-natal fitness instructor. She is also a regular presenter on body mechanics, the impact of pregnancy on exercise and how to safely exercise through bedrest. She lives in Florida with her husband and 2 preschool age kids.
Do you work exclusively in an office, exclusively from home or some combination? What are the pros and cons of your schedule?
I primarily work at the office, which is located 1/2 mile from my home. The pros of my schedule are that I have the flexibility to take my kids to school, pick them up and attend special school events. The cons are that there is always more work to do, but this is the curse of the entrepreneur.
Would you work if you could afford to stay home? If so, why?
Yes. Since college, I have always had the mentality that I work because I want to, not because I have to. And I love what I do.
My career is ever-evolving.
Of your female friends with kids, what percentage work outside the home?
Describe your childcare set up.
Now that we are in Sarasota, we have no childcare. Our children are in school full-time until 5:00 p.m. and my husband and I coordinate our schedules to be with the kids before and after school.
Does your husband work? What does he do?
My husband left his corporate career when we moved from California to Florida at the end of 2005. He is now my COO and business partner. Most people I know cannot understand how we make it work. We actually complement each other very well, each bringing different perspectives and different skills to the business.
How do you divide up the household responsibilities?
My husband does the dishes; I do the laundry.
Do you have a formal or informal support group of working moms that you rely on for advice and support?
I have a corporate team, most of whom are working moms. I turn to them for professional advice and support. I have an informal group of working moms with whom I discuss more personal issues.
Do you have a date night with your spouse or partner?
We usually have a lunch date once a month, where we escape the office and we have a dinner date once a month where we escape the house and kids.
Forgive us for asking, but how often are you and your husband how should we say . . intimate?
My husband's answer: We had sex when we got pregnant with the last baby.
My answer: About 3 to 4 times a week.
Describe your worst working mom moment.
My worst working mom moment was when my husband and I forgot who was picking up the kids. I was stuck in an off-site meeting and he was at the office on a conference call. The school couldn't get a hold of either of us. I rushed from my meeting to the preschool hoping that they would tell me that my husband picked them up 1/2 an hour ago. He was not there, the kids looked so sad, the teachers were not happy and the school fined us for being late.
Do you ever take your kids to work with you?
The kids come to the office once a week. They have coloring books in the conference room and an entire wall that is a white board. They love to draw on the board, erase important meeting notes and tear apart our co-workers' desks and invade our office fridge looking for candy and special treats. They love to see where mommy and daddy work and feel that it is a special treat to come to the office. They always color a picture when they are visiting and pin it on our bulletin board.
Okay fitness guru, how often do you exercise?
I exercise 6 to 7 days a week. I teach 3 Baby Boot Camp classes a week, swim 2 to 3 times a week and bike 1 to 2 times a week. I try to get up by 6 am so that I can be home in time to take the kids to school or hug and kiss them before their dad takes them.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received about balancing work and family?
That you can't get it all done all the time. So, I leave my laptop at the office and have hired someone to clean our house so I can enjoy my time swimming and reading to the kids after school instead of trying to catch up on work and cleaning.
What do you think makes a good mother?
Who am I to judge? I love my children. I love my husband. We respect each member of our family and our children can see that.
What is your guiltiest pleasure? Do you ever have time for it?
Chocolate. No, mint ice cream sandwiches. No, Starbucks Chai Lattes. Oh, then there's a trashy magazine like US Weekly. Do I have to pick just one? I hav time every day for at least one of my guilty pleasures.
The best thing about being a working mom is ___________________.
Showing my kids that it can be done. You can have work, family, love and happiness.
The worst thing about being a working mom is __________________.
I can't think of anything.
What inspires you?
Making a difference in other women's lives.