It’s the February edition of our new series, “Poppins Parents”! Last month, we met fitness dad, Ryan T. Debin. This time, we’re featuring funny gal, brand marketer, and yoga studio owner, Kristin Quinn (KQ). When she’s not playing with her toddler, she helps local families achieve peace and good health through yoga at her studio, Charlestown Yoga. She also writes a blog, “Misadventures in Mommyhood”, where she uses laughter as the best medicine for new parents who are feeling isolated and overwhelmed.
Read on to find out the secrets to Kristin’s success, which of her jobs has proven most challenging (it wasn’t when she worked for Martha Stewart), and the reason her daughter has a stuffed dog named Marchand.
MP: You’re the owner of Charlestown Yoga, a blogger, and a mom. Please tell us, how do you it all?
KQ: Up until December I was also working two days a week as a Marketing Consultant for a baby products company. It sounds nuts, but when I’m doing a lot is when I’m thriving. I love to multi-task and I hate to sit (unless I’m playing guard to my daughter’s fort.) I think this drives my husband a little crazy. It will be 9 o’clock at night and I’ll decide the refrigerator could use some re-arranging.
MP: Why did you start your blog, Misadventures in Mommyhood?
KQ: I was nursing my daughter every 2 hours and kept having these crazy thoughts go in and out of my head from lack of sleep. I started writing all of them down and “Tales From The Boob” was created. It starts as my stream of consciousness and ends up being a mini documentary of a woman’s journey through breastfeeding; the shear panic turns to acceptance, which turns to love. After I published that I got such a great response that I just kept writing and to this day my posts are very much a stream of consciousness. I think that’s what people are drawn to – the brutal honesty of it all. There is very little editing!
MP: Has writing your blog changed the way you parent or the way you view mommyhood?
KQ: It hasn’t changed the way I parent per say, but it has made me stop and reflect on the moments I do share with my family, which I’m thankful for. I think parenting is a skill that is constantly being honed. It’s the most challenging job I’ve ever had (and I used to work for Martha Stewart…) but definitely the most rewarding. In my blog you’ll find I often make references to absurdity of being a mother to a toddler but I am always appreciative of every moment I share with her. She inspired me to write this blog because she is so full of life and adventure. I feel lucky that I get to share that with the world.
MP:I was literally laughing out loud while reading your blog posts. How do you think your blog impacts your readers? What kind of feedback do you get from them?
KQ: Awesome, I love hearing that! Mothering is a serious job that can be very isolating. I think my blog provides not only comic relief but a reassurance that we are all in this together. Like, you are not the only one whose kid just pulled down her pants in the middle of a food court and shouted “POOPIES!” at the top of her lungs today. I get a lot of great feedback from my readers, they are so supportive. I have a very active Facebook page and I partner with great companies to do giveaways. We have a “Judge Free Fridays” chat where my readers get to write in and share the funny/silly/slightly ridiculous things they’ve done that week. Those are always fun to read. I have a lot of single men and “DINKS (dual income no kids)” reading my blog too. They tell me they’ve learned so much about the world of parenting. That is always fun to hear. But I think the best feedback I’ve received is from brand new moms who tell me reading my blog made them feel better about the unexpected sadness you often feel after giving birth.
MP: What changes have you made since you took over ownership of Charlestown Yoga last year, and what has stayed the same?
KQ: Oh my goodness there has been so many! We just finished overhauling the outside of the building. I worked with the Boston Main Streets division on a rebranding project that included a new logo and signage as well as a new paint job. The inside has also gotten a complete make-over including new paint, a new mural, and a new bathroom sink. We hold outdoor classes on the back deck in the Spring and Summer and I’ve added Hot Yoga classes to the schedule as well. All of my teachers teach full time around Boston, I have a very dedicated, talented staff. I am very proud of offering a variety of different yoga classes to both beginners and advanced students. I want everyone to feel welcome there regardless of level, age, or gender. It has really become my second family!
MP: Charlestown Yoga currently offers Prenantal and Mama & Me yoga classes, and will be starting a Family Yoga class in March. What are the benefits of practicing yoga as a mom, mom-to-be, and as a family? What can new students expect from the Family Yoga class?
KQ: Yes, we offer Prenatal on Sundays. The teacher is a birth doula and has a wonderful following. We offer Mama & Me on Wednesdays; I know that moms have started some great new friendships in that class. Our “Blisskids” session runs for 8 weeks on Sundays, starting in March. You can sign up under the workshop tab: www.charlestownyoga.com
Prenatal Yoga keeps you limber, tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation, with little, if any, impact on your joints. As a new mom you are often nursing and/or bottle feeding and holding an infant most of your day. This can cause a lot of strain on your neck, shoulders, and back. Yoga helps to relieve that tension and provides you the opportunity to slow down, breathe, and take time for yourself.
There are so many benefits to doing yoga with your children, but the one I see the most with my daughter is the calming aspect of it. If she is getting worked up we take our deep breaths together and break into a downward dog. It makes her giggle and forget what she was upset about. Before bed she puts her hands over her heart and then over my heart and says “Namaste mama.” It’s the cutest thing I think I’ll ever witness.
MP: In what ways are you involved in the community?
KQ: In Charlestown I am a member of the Chamber and love being involved with events either by participating or donating. We offer a free “Yoga for Veterans” class at the studio every Saturday and combat veterans are welcome to take class for free any day of the week. I make sure to support local businesses as much as I can by carrying their products at the studio or helping them promote events via social media. I also partner with many local companies.
MP: What are your favorite things to do with kids in Charlestown?
KQ: Yoga! But besides that we love going to the library for free story time, hanging out at Zumes and playing with puzzles and walking along the docks in the Navy Yard to look at the boats.
MP: Which item(s) on our list of 100 Things to Do in Boston with Kids Before They Grow Up would you like to do with your daughter this year?
KQ: I’m excited to say that I’ve done 50% of these things, including the Harvard v. Yale game, wow. (See aforementioned multi-tasker comment.) I know my husband would love to take our daughter to a Bruins game when she is old enough. She was born during a Bruins game and they won the Stanley Cup that year. She has a stuffed dog named Marchand (after Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand). Believe it or not, I’ve never taken a Duck Tour and would love to pretend to be a tourist in my hometown. I’d even Quack. And selfishly I’d love to tour the Taza museum; it is my favorite chocolate. My daughter knows this - whenever I go into our local store to buy it she yells “Mommy’s Treat!” There is no hiding that one!