Head Of The Class Mom: Stephanie Barnhart

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Stephanie Barnhart is the founder of Socialminded Media Group, which provides marketing strategies and coaching for small business and soloprenurs (like bloggers!). She is also the founder/author of Football Food and Motherhood, a blog about parenting survival in NYC, and the NY Editor of MommyNearest.com – a mobile national parenting magazine and resource. She speaks at conferences on SEO, internet monitoring for parents, and social media. You can find her published in the Huffington Post, NY Metro Parent and PARENTGUIDE News.

1) TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF—DESCRIBE YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR CAREER.  WHAT CAUSED YOU TO START YOUR BUSINESS/BLOG/CAREER?

I always knew I never would be happy in a 9-5 job. It’s why I spent most of my life behind a bar – engaging and communicating with people. Once I became pregnant, I knew I could never go back to just sitting at a desk all day while my little guy was growing up without me. I knew there had to be a way I could be able to stay home and be the mom he needed to have around. Talking to some friends, they said – why don’t you just start your own company? I started small- determined to make enough just to be able to justify staying home, and it has just taken off! Hard work pays off – I only work on referrals and word of mouth. I spend all my time focused on advertising and marketing for my clients!

2) SHARE YOUR SECRET TO BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY. IS THERE BALANCE?

Balance is a constant struggle – when you spend time with work, you neglect family and vice versa. Get the work out of the way so you can find the time to ENJOY spending with your family. Going to the playground and answering emails from a bench the entire time is not “quality” time. Double up one day so you can take the next day off to go to the zoo for a few hours. 

3) SHARE A FUNNY STORY THAT HELPED YOU BECOME A BETTER PARENT AND/OR BETTER AT YOUR JOB.

Well, as a toddler, Maximo does a lot of things that are not funny, but you just can’t help but laugh at how he does them – like when he throws a meatball at his grandpa’s face, or tries to pull his diaper down and run around the house with butt-crack sticking out. You have to tell them no, but it’s not always easy with a straight face. These little moments test your patience as a parent, but also remind you that life isn’t always meant to be taken so seriously. Laugh (where they can’t see you) and let kids be kids. 

4) WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AND/OR GREATEST REWARD IN THE STRUGGLE FOR WORK/LIFE BALANCE?

The greatest reward is that my job is to be a mom and a journalist. I always wanted to be a writer, and now I get to experience things with Max and write about it, so work and life coincide. 

5) WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU HAD KID(S), NOW THAT YOU ARE A MOTHER?

That it’s so much more rewarding than I thought it would be. 

6) IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR CHILDREN ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Don’t forget there’s an entire world out there. Take some time to get out there and see it. We just spent the weekend in Vermont, and I love that Maximo gets to see cows and farmers and understand the process of how the milk gets to his bottle everyday. 

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QUICK ANSWER Q’s:

– WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK? Where the Wild Things Are – of course! 

– WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE CLASS YOU ENJOYED  WITH YOUR CHILD? Soc Roc Soccer. It’s a great learning experience instead of just play – Maximo really picked up some great learning skills, and we’ll be continuing it again this spring. 

– WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS/FAMILY ON THE WEEKENDS? It’s my job to find all the cool events going on in the city every weekend, so I try to get out and experience one of them with the family. You can always find my picks in the MommyNearest.com weekend guides for ideas!

– WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RAINY DAY ESCAPE? We will try and grab some open play time at PLAY in GreenPoint or LIC Kids in LIC. 

Author: Kidz Central Station

Founded by a NYC mom of two young children, Kidz Central Station uses technology to solve the problem so many busy parents face—how to find, book, and manage their children’s classes, camps, local family events, and birthday parties. Kidz Central Station offers more than 3,000 classes, camps, and birthday party options representing hundreds of NYC’s top activity providers. With a sophisticated search engine and class reviews, it is easy for parents to find the best classes for their children, sign up for a trial class, and directly enroll.