By Mary Markos Staff Writer
PEABODY — Men have their man caves, children their playgrounds, but where can mothers go to get away from it all? Two North Reading moms are bringing the answer to Peabody.
Mom's Village, a women's fitness center that offers child care, is moving from its temporary home at the Dance Studio of Wakefield to Lowell Street. What was once a TJ Maxx will soon be a mother's haven, complete with workout studios, high quality childcare and classes, a sitting area and a locker room.
"We want to be a home away from home for moms," co-owner Cindy Solomon said, "We like to call ourselves the mommy clubhouse."
For the past year, owners Solomon and Stephanie Keohan have been running their business out of a dance studio for two hours on weekday mornings.
"We're building momentum quickly, we outgrew that and now we're ready for our permanent home," Solomon said.
About 2,000 square feet, about a third of the space in their new location, could be open in as soon as a month until construction is completed by the spring. The owners were granted a special permit to operate on this temporary basis at the Sept. 28 City Council meeting.
In the Wakefield studio, they offer fitness classes with babysitting and child enrichment classes. Moms can take kickboxing, barre, high interval impact training, tabata and boot camp courses while their children enjoy music class or "playschool," for children who aren't old enough for preschool.
Once the Village is completely settled in their bigger space, between 6,000 and 7,000 square feet, they will add more fitness options including yoga, meditation, circuit and various types of barre classes. They will also offer a mommy nap time.
"As far as we know there isn’t anything like this," Solomon said. "There isn’t a one-stop shop where you can work out, take a shower, hop into a music class with your kids and take a nap."
The concept evolved over the past year between Solomon, who has three boys under the age of five, and Keohan, who has a daughter and a son under age three.
"Motherhood is so hard, why isn’t there a place we can go that isn’t an online mom community? Why isn’t there an in-person verson of a mom group?" Solomon posed.
They started identifying things that, in their mind, make motherhood challenging. For example, getting dinner on table can be hard for mothers, so the Village offers a mommy concierge who can help.
"You lose a a little bit of yourself in motherhood," Solomon said, "We're giving moms the ability to take shower uninterrupted or have a coffee while it's still hot."
The Village offers a membership with unlimited fitness classes and babysitting, which includes access to amenities. They also have fitness class packs with babysitting.
"Motherhood is this amazing, beautiful, super rewarding job but its also very, very hard and nobody really talks about that," Solomon said. "It can also be really isolating."
According to the American Psychological Association, 1 in 7 women will experience postpartum depression. In Solomon's mind, the issue particularly effects new mothers because of that isolation.
"It's easy to feel like you're not doing the right things but when you open up to other moms you find out it's normal," she said.
Solomon said she hopes to offer a place where mothers can express their hardship without judgment or pressure to be flawless.
"There is a strive for perfectionism in motherhood that’s completely unattainable. It's 100 percent unattainable and to hear other moms say, 'I make mistakes too,' is a powerful movement of moms who admit that life and motherhood is not perfect."
Mary Markos may be contacted at 978-338-2660 or firstname.lastname@example.org