Mom of the month April

Mom of the Month: Hanako Olmer

To know her is to LOVE her. April's Mom of the Month is Hanako, a friendly and familiar face at so many of our FIT4MOM Eastside classes!

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Japan. My dad was in the military so we moved around a lot. I moved to the US when I was 4 to sunny California.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined FIT4MOM in March of 2014, attending Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre.

What classes do you attend?

I currently attend Body Back, Boost, and Running Club.

Who are your workout buddies?

I have Rambo who is 4, and Axel who is 14 months.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love FIT4MOM for a variety of reasons, but for me personally it would have to be the ability to workout alone in a challenging and support environment, and still be able to attend activities and events with my kiddos. I love my boys, but I am enjoying the just mama time of Body Back.

How has FIT4MOM changed your lifestyle choices?

I am starting to put me first again, which was something that I used to do long before having kids, but since becoming a mom I started to put myself on the back burner (don't we all?!) I reached a point that I needed to feel good about my personal accomplishments that had nothing to do with my house and home. FIT4MOM has helped me regain my focus, even though I still get off track at times, it's such a great comfort to know that support is there when I need to get back on track. As for my lifestyle choices, I have become more intentional with what I do with my body, how I nourish it and treat it, and I want my boys to see that their mama likes to take care of her body to be strong and healthy.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am primarily a stay at home parent but I am also a parent educator and adviser. I co-founded PathAdvisers with a friend, and we give academic and parent educational presentations/talks. We focus mainly on students and their parents to help guide them through the various paths beyond high school. Before becoming a mom I was a college counselor helping students survive the ins and outs of higher ed :)

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I believe that a mom should join a village whether it be for herself or for her family. I have friends who have joined villages that provide support entirely to the individual and does not extend beyond to the family. And others, like myself, have joined multiple villages that support my physical, mental, and emotional well being. I feel that the concept of "It takes a village" doesn't mean that everyone helps raise a child, but that the village supports the mother/parent in their journey of raising a child. Since we all are and want to raise our children differently I think that the goal of a village is simply to be there in support of that process. It's not an easy task, but having someone there to entertain your child, pick them up, bring you something that you need, help cook food, etc...it relieves the heaviness of it all.

What is your favorite beverage?

It changes often but as of right now I'm really digging iced coffee with a splash of cream. And if I'm feeling rebellious, a pump of vanilla.

What is your favorite dessert?

Mmmm, pretty much anything that can be baked. So...everything? Is that bad? Or is that oh-so-good ;)

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Get a massage alone, go to the movies and have a nice meal with my husband, and then nap...even if it's in the parking lot of the theater or restaurant. I don't care.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Bora-Bora! We went there for our honeymoon and we are dying to go back.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I'm a lot more patient even though I have to tell myself to be patient...it doesn't come automatically to me, and I don't know if it ever will. I'm OK with messes that linger for a while, I'm learning to let go of things that truly hold no importance, I'm OK with being annoyed if what they are doing isn't going to cause detrimental damage, I curse more (and I already used to do that before having kids so...) and I feel that I have the ability to imagine myself in other people's shoes so much better than I did before because motherhood has opened up an entire world where "one-size fits all" clearly does not exist.

I am happiest when...

I see my boys (including my husband) simply being together. I take a step back and admire the family we are raising. I am also happiest when Sundays roll by because I get to sleep in and breakfast is made.

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