Moms need time for self-care too.
By Courtney Runn, Photos courtesy of Andrew Chan Photography
Early each Monday morning, a large yellow trailer makes its way through Austin. Emblazoned with a pink pacifier and the slogan “#ChildCareForEverywhere,” it certainly stands out from the other semitrucks making their daily deliveries.
“We keep joking that we have got to get some trucker hats,” Becca Tochman says, laughing. “We get so many double takes. Other truck drivers are like, ‘You girls are driving that?’ ”
Tochman, co-founder of Studio Sitter, drives the mobile child-care center to workout studios and salons throughout Austin with her business partner, Susan Glass, every week. They currently partner with three fitness studios and one salon, but hope to keep expanding.
The concept is simple: Parents sign up for a Studio Sitter session the night before their class or appointment. Then, the day of, they drop off their kids right outside their class at the Studio Sitter trailer. They can workout knowing their kids are nearby, safe and having fun.
Tochman and Glass take turns watching the kids alongside their child-care provider, Mallory Glasgow, and currently have the capacity to watch eight children at a time. Tochman says they want to honor the lifestyle parents choose by working out, so they incorporate a variety of planned activities into the hour, from sensory tasks to imaginary play to age-appropriate yoga classes. They currently accept children ages 3 months to 9 years and adjust their play schedule according to age.
The company launched in February and has already received positive feedback. One of its regular customers wasn’t able to go to her favorite yoga studio, Modo Yoga, after having her son. Once her neighbor mentioned Studio Sitter partnered with the studio to offer morning child care, she was able to start taking classes again.
Tochman says she promotes her company on a lot of parenting Facebook groups, and moms have already started suggesting new locations.
“[I] got so many comments,” Tochman says.
Tochman has two children of her own, a 2-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son, and first came up with the idea when her daughter was 6 months old. She and her husband had always been active, participating in triathlons together. After having her daughter, she struggled with balancing her love for her daughter and doing activities that made her feel like herself. She wanted to continue the workout classes she had loved so much during her pregnancy, like yoga and spin. Not only did she see a need in her own life, but she also saw other moms in her community struggling to balance self-care and motherhood.
“Mom guilt is so real,” Tochman says. “With community comes comparison.”
Thus, she encourages other moms to learn what’s best for their own families.
Tochman has a background in marketing and found the perfect business match in longtime friend Glass. Tochman describes herself as the dreamer, while Glass keeps her grounded and detail-oriented. As a new business owner, this endeavor has been a challenge, but her team has helped her make her dream a reality, and she believes she “couldn’t ask for a better partner in Susan or a better employee in Mallory.”
“There’s so many things you tell yourself you can’t do until you actually do it,” Tochman says. “Honestly, for me, so many things in life have been about switching that mental dialogue [from]I can’t to I will.”