It’s Meet a Mom Monday! Today we’re introducing Bethany Heavener, Lincoln Park mom and fabulous instructor at The Bar Method! Keep reading our interview below, where Bethany shares more about welcoming a new baby during 2020, how her career journey led her to The Bar Method, and her favorite things to do around the city with her family!
Hi Bethany, thanks for speaking with us today! Where are you from originally, and what brought you to Chicago? How long have you lived here?
I was born and raised in Champaign IL. I graduated from Miami (Ohio) University in 2009 and always knew I wanted to move here after college. It was the city we visited for weekend shopping trips, visiting family members and going to sporting events. I’ve been here ever since.
How many kids do you have, and how old are they?
I have 2 daughters: Grady (turning 3 in April) and Piper (born last November)
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
I always knew I wanted to be a mom. But I never really thought about how amazing those moments are when you see your child make a connection between what they want to do and actually doing it. That has been so fulfilling for me. Whether it’s bringing their hand to their mouth in the first few months or recognizing a letter on a street sign, or being nice to a new friend; being there for small and big developmental milestones has been such a wonderful experience.
You welcomed a new baby into your family in 2020! Congratulations! Do you have any advice for moms navigating pregnancy and the newborn phase during this crazy time?
Thank you! We found out we were having a baby about 4 days before the lockdown last March. It’s amazing to think about how little we knew then :). I’m so appreciative of my OBGYN and our pediatrician for giving us the information and the grace we needed to make decisions on behalf of our family and what works for us. I think the main thing I learned was to:
Trust your gut. This is your life, and your family in a pandemic. If you want your family to wear masks when they meet your newborn, or wait and have your family meet them later- that is OK! Don’t feel bad for the choices you make to keep everyone healthy.
Can you tell us about your career journey, and how it led you to The Bar Method?
I started in marketing and advertising, focusing on beer, wine and liquor brands. In 2018 I had my daughter Grady and made the decision not to go back to my full time position. Thankfully I had been teaching at The Bar Method since 2015 and it was a wonderful way for me to continue working outside of my home while also doing something I loved. I discovered The Bar Method in 2012 while training for a marathon and loved the community, the low impact nature and the knowledge the instructors shared with their clients. I was hooked almost immediately.
What is your favorite part about being a Bar Method instructor?
I absolutely love being in a place where people are choosing to take the time to become stronger and healthier. There isn’t a person in any class who leaves mad. They took the time for themselves and I love being able to encourage them and help them improve with every class. We always say The Bar Method is a journey of mastery. You aren’t going to be perfect but you will always find a new level of achievement physically or mentally. We are currently teaching classes in person and also online. And both have been wonderful for me. As I was quarantining pre and post baby I was still able to be with my Bar community and take the time for myself. And because Bar is low impact I was able to slowly transition back into the exercise that makes me happy and gives me time for myself. If you have been interested in taking a class, this is the perfect time to do it. Inside the studio everything is socially distant and if you’re not ready to be in a studio yet, you can take in the comfort of your own home in our private Facebook group.
I have to ask…what is your trick for remembering everyone’s name in class!? I need this skill in my daily life
It is such a scary thought but once you take a breath and start practicing it isn’t so hard! Although I’ll say- now that we are masked in our classes it is even harder! But everything is easier in smaller groups. Break it down- I recommend working on 3 at a time. Also- I have never been mad when someone asks me to remind them of my name. That means you’re taking the time to commit them to memory!
What are your favorite restaurants in Chicago for take-out/delivery
Mortar and Pestle
Dinkel’s Bakery a LOT
What are your favorite restaurants in Chicago for “date night”, during “normal” times?
My husband was working quite an intense job prior to 2020 so date nights were very infrequent. However, we loved going to Cubs games and also cooking in. Paulina Meat Market is a frequent stop for weekend dinners. However, Bavettes will always be a favorite of ours.
What are your favorite things to do with your family around the city, both now and in “normal” times?
We love going to the park and the lakefront. Blue Park (Lakewood and George) and Wrightwood Park. Walking along the lake or North Pond were both major mood boosters pre and during pandemic. We miss Mr Singer at the Zoo and Wiggleworms at Gallagher Way so much and really hope those make a comeback in 2021 and 2022. Prior to the pandemic we were taking weekly classes at Big City Readers but are so thankful Miss Beth and her team have transitioned to online classes. We love seeing friends on zoom while also learning together. Additionally, Mixed Lincoln Park’s (@mixedlincolnpark) cookie decorating kits have been a huge hit, especially during these frozen days.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I am a huge sports fan. Particularly college basketball and tennis.
Rapid Fire Round!
Favorite dessert: thin mints! Also: rice crispie treats and jeni’s white peppermint ice cream (I became a huge dessert fan during both pregnancies) Also: Red wine
Favorite makeup product: Does anyone wear makeup anymore?! An eyebrow wax and tint from JJ Waxing helps me feel like a new person
Undergrad college/major: Miami University (Ohio) Communications
Can’t leave the house without: my children. Lol. We are a tiny team and are basically never separated anymore.
Your go-to breakfast: Dinkels! My first child was at least 50% donut.
Window or aisle seat: if I’m traveling alone I like the window. No one makes you move for a bathroom break. And as a mom I know how to hold it for forever.
Your binge shows: The West Wing- always. This year I loved: Bridgerton, Emily in Paris and The Last Dance.