Meet our Amazing Moms - Yonit Yermish-Sedano
We continue our Meet our Amazing moms series, focused on talking to amazing NYC moms that make it work in this amazing city. Next up is Yonit Yermish-Sedano.
Tell us about your upbringing and how it shaped who you are today?
I grew up in a small town in Israel named Arad. It’s in the middle of nowhere, right above the Dead Sea, and it’s totally different than New York City, but I am grateful I grew up there for a few reasons. First, it’s a place with the biggest and strong friendships you can ever find. The strong bonds and support we have is extremely rare and I never took it for granted. The type of friendships that came from my childhood, pass the test of time and distance. Another special thing about growing in the desert is the simplicity. Meeting friends was spontaneous, not a scheduled in advance thing. We grew up far from the city, so as kids we played outside, walked in the desert, enjoyed nature and always found something to do. There is something magical being in the desert. I don’t think I appreciated it too much as a teen, but I miss it now.
What have you found to be the biggest challenge in becoming a mom?
I think the biggest challenge for mom is that but you never really know if you are doing the right thing, or how things will turn out to be. My goal as a mother is to raise kids that will become independent adults, that they will be able to know the difference between the right and wrong, and as a parent you do your best, but in a way, it’s a never-ending challenge.
How did your life change after you had children?
My life changed completely. Physically and emotionally, and it all happened in a moment. Mainly, having my kids motivated me to be braver, take big risks, and try new things more than ever. For example, I left a great, stable job to start my own business, which is risky especially when you have two babies at home, but I wanted to be able to teach my kids that with hard work, and passion you can do anything. I also signed up for my first full marathon after having my son. I thought, ‘hey, my body created and pushed babies (over 9lbs), so I can run a full marathon’ (my farthest before that was a half marathon), and for the same reason I decided to go and publish my kid’s book, Moving with Mommy. For me, knowing my kids are watching, seeing and learning from me, pushes me to try things I thought I could never do.
What the best advice you could give your pre-mom self?
I used to be in control on almost everything in my life, and being a mom taught me that it’s okay to let go. So if I could, I would tell myself to let go, take it day-by-day, and mainly put less pressure on myself and try to be less judgmental (not so easy for me).
Tell us about raising kids in New York City?
Raising kids in New York City is a whole new experience from my childhood. The thing I love the most here is that my kids are exposed culture, and the beautiful diversity. Just walking in the streets of New York City, my kids see, hear and taste things from all around the world. I also love theatre, music, and live shows, so being here in New York City is a little dream come true. Whenever I can, I take my kids to see shows performances, museums, there is always something to do in the city. On the other hand, I am a big believer in down time, and letting the kids be free of scheduled classes or play-dates and let them play, learn to entertain themselves, just like we did when I grew up in the desert. Not every day needs to be filled with activities. That’s when my kids come up with the most creative projects, and perform in the living room their own fun shows.
What is the best part about raising children?
To me, the best part of raising children is discovering the world through their eyes. Getting really excited about little things that before kids, I was too busy to even notice. Also, with my kids I sometimes feel like a kid again, play, dance, be silly, without taking myself too seriously. That’s pure joy!
What is the hardest part about raising children?
The hardest part about raising kids, for me, is that it’s unpredictable. As a parent you plan to go to work, and suddenly, one is sick, or something happened, so your whole day changes completely. As someone who was used to having more control over my day and schedule, my lifestyle had to change accordingly. Everything is different now, and that’s ok, but it is different.
Who are the people in your life that support and inspire you?
My parents, family, friends and clients, too, are my strongest support system. I could not do what I do without them. My sister especially and my childhood friends, no matter what I decide to do, encourage me, even when I have self-doubt. I am inspired by so many people and for different aspects (women, business owners, entrepreneurs, other parents, athletes, war/ terror survivors and more). But my main inspiration are my little kids. They make me want to be better, and do better.
Tell us about your business?
I run my own personal training business, Yonit Fitness, and I absolutely love helping my clients feel better and stronger, physically, but also mentally as they reach their goals and achieve things they thought they could not. After becoming a mother, I realized that all new parents (moms and dads) needed more than ever time to take care of themselves, something that we neglect after having kids. I have created stroller friendly fitness classes for new moms, where they can meet other new moms while taking care of their own bodies. Although my main work is with clients on a one-on-one basis, every few months I will create an event that gathers my clients and friends together in a health and wellness theme event (a local race, special classes, wellness parties etc.), all to promote self-care and at the same time build a strong, supportive community.
Do you have any tips on the work/life juggle?
Running my own business, having two little toddlers and trying to keep up with life can be very overwhelming. I often have to remind myself that I can’t be in two places at once, and that’s ok. But although it might get busy and days go by fast, I love what I do, and hopefully my kids see a busy mom, but a mother who loves her clients is passionate about her job.
How do you spend your quiet moments?
I love working out, so my quiet time will be that and I make sure to find each day time to do so. Specifically, I love running. Just me, my music, and nature. I love working out at the gym, too, and practice yoga, but running is my number one choice of me-time. It clears my mind, reenergize me and puts me on a good mood!