Toni Durbin is the owner of Mommies in Motion, which provides “mommy and me” style fitness classes for moms and their babies in Vancouver, BC. This Vancouver mom profile originally appeared in Go Go Mama Go.
1. What or who inspired you to start your business?
My daughter! I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and until I had my first child I didn’t really think about the hurdles you face simply getting out of the door with a little one, never mind fitting in an exercise class. Not everyone has access to child care. My family is in the U.K. so we don’t have grandparents or aunts and uncles that can come and watch the kids for an hour whilst Mommy goes for a run or to the gym.
2. What motivates you?
Initially providing moms with the opportunity to get outside and exercise was my motivation. However, over the years, I have realized that the moms who attend my classes really motivate me. They are such strong, intelligent, supportive women. We laugh together and sometimes cry together! I might be the instructor at class, but we are all moms. I have learned so much from my moms and continue to do so.
3. How do you balance being a mom and an entrepreneur?
It is really difficult because there isn’t a minute in the day when I am are not feeling guilty for concentrating on the business instead of my kids. Finding that balance is like a juggling act. However, I know that being successful at what I do makes me a better mom in many ways. I schedule my days around the kids and make use of evenings and nap times. My Blackberry is also a key feature when trying to respond to e-mails, etc. I have also leaned to say no. Stretching yourself too thinly isn’t good for you, your family or your business. You have to know your limitations.
4. What do you love most about what you do?
I love the fact that I am responsible for providing support, health and humor to my moms. Initially, I was all about the work out, but now I cherish the moms nights out we have, the picnics in the park after class and watching the moms and children form bonds with other moms and children that will probably be there even after they stop attending my stroller fitness classes.
5. What single piece of advice would you give someone who is starting out?
Don’t beat yourself up! As mothers and entrepreneurs we are under an enormous amount of pressure to be good at everything we do. We also have to make it look effortless. We are able to handle 101 things at the same time and sometimes this doesn’t seem to be enough. Give yourself a pat on the back for even thinking about starting your own business. Starting out is never easy but don’t underestimate the wisdom of a mother!
To find out more about Toni, check out Mommies in Motion.