Meet this week’s Head of the Class Mom, Judy Yee—co-owner of City Tots and a mom to an amazing son!
Tell us about yourself. Why did you open City Tots?
I spent over 15 years in management consulting and for me personally, I always knew that the world I was in wasn’t conducive to raising a child the way I envisioned. So, the goal for me was always entrepreneurship. So City Tots was created for a multitude of reasons. First, I was passionate about building a business that really took learning through play to a whole new level—providing an environment that fosters a child’s natural sense of discovery, exploration, and curiosity while also incorporating educational/developmental components. Second, City Tots was an incredible way to have a personal stake in my son’s education and development while simultaneously filling an unmet need for NYC families to have an all-inclusive place for their kids to enjoy.
What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
There is an inherent unpredictability that comes with starting a new business and raising a toddler, so finding a healthy balance is a challenge I face everyday. In reality, it ends up being about prioritization and time management. My son always comes first, but in general I try to focus on work when I’m at Tots and my son when I’m home. I always make sure we have some pure undivided time together each day.
Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
I could never select just one! My son is the funniest kid and he makes me laugh every day. He is the greatest blessing and motivator I could ever ask for.
What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
The biggest challenge has been spending so much more time away from my son. The greatest reward is watching members enjoying the facility, camp sessions, and all of our other offerings.
What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
I come from a large family and spent a great deal of time with my nieces and nephews. So while I felt like I had a good idea of what parenting would be like, nothing could have prepared me for what a life altering and truly amazing experience parenthood has proven to be.
If you could give other moms one piece of advice what would it be?
Enjoy every moment and try to capture as many moments as possible because one day they will serve as a great reminder. I created a separate email for my son that I regularly send messages to in an attempt to document his development and all those special, cute and precious moments that are likely to have been otherwise forgotten.
What is your favorite children’s book?
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss.
What has been your favorite kids’ class?
My son loves anything to do with music.
What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends?
Sleeping in, brunch, and then a trip to the playground or park.
What is your favorite rainy day escape?
Staying indoors and letting my son decide the day’s activities (Legos, reading books, puzzles, listening to music, dancing, etc.)
Curious about City Tots? Check out all of the program’s summer classes, here!