Nancy Chiuri speaks on raising her five boys and starting a movement to help mums work out and cope with the pressures that come with motherhood. For 30-year-old Nancy Chiuri, also referred to as \u2018Mama Fitness\u2019, a mother of five boys all under seven years, motherhood is not a reason not to keep fit. Infact, this is what propelled her to start Mama Fitness, a movement that helps mums and women in general take care of their bodies, minds and souls.\u00a0 \u201cI have five boys; whom I call \u2018Arrows\u2019 borrowing from Psalms 127:3-5. The\u00a0 first born is seven years old, second born is six years, the third born is four, the fourth born is three and the acting last born is one year and eight months old. Being a mum is the greatest gift and responsibility that God gave me. It is an amazing adventure because I get to discover new and interesting things about myself that I never knew,\u201d says Nancy.\u00a0 As a mum of five boys, many mums would find it quite a herculean task to handle them. But Nancy has been able to hack it through the different stages of her sons\u2019 growth and development. For the love of children... She offers: \u201cDifferent children have different levels of energy based on their personalities and depending on the parenting styles adopted by the parents or guardians. Together with my husband, we believe that children learn better by showing them love through play activities and being present. We do this actively. However, it is not easy. Nancy coaching a group of women. Photo\/PD\/KWACH WAKHISI We also don\u2019t neglect discipline. We teach them Christian values and the importance of being disciplined.\u201d Nancy, who currently volunteers in a Christian International School where she teaches Physical Spiritual Social Health Education (PSSHE) says her love for children has grown in leaps and bounds. \u201cEven though I have children of my own, I find myself loving those I engage with in my volunteering work every day. I am also a women fitness personal trainer working under my brand, Mama Fitness Kenya. I previously worked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Department of Refugee Affairs in Dadaab Refugee Camp,\u201d Nancy explains. She holds a Master\u2019s in Project Planning and Management and a Bachelor\u2019s in Business Computing. She is currently doing a Certification in Fitness Personal Training. She opines: \u201cAt Mama Fitness, our slogan is \u2018Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, and Healthy Community\u2019. I believe that by focusing on women, we are able to create a multiplier effect on the number of people we can impact and influence in society. Women touch every aspect of the community, children, men, family, church, and leadership. They are strong pillars that better health can be built upon.\u201d The first thing that inspired her to start the movement was the fact that she is a mother. \u201cThis journey exposed me to the challenges that come with motherhood. I have seen and also heard of mums that lose it because of the challenges they face. The effects of these challenges cascade into the community and are felt by everyone around the mothers who undergo these challenges. Some of the challenges include; pressures to maintain perfect body shapes even after giving birth, post-natal depression, exhaustion due to taking care of the entire family, little or no connection with children, having to choose either motherhood or career development, poor parenting, high suicide rates, poor societies, erosion of family culture and high cases of cancer and other lifestyle diseases that lead to death,\u201d Nancy explains. Nancy further create awareness on the need to take care of ones mental health by carrying out online mental health programmes. \u201cThese programmes were doing well before Covid-19 hit and then we had to switch to online. I have also volunteered at Lang\u2019ata Women\u2019s Prison where I trained the inmates for 11 months. I have given back to schools too by offering basketball trainings. I enjoy volunteering and giving back to society and hope to build a brand that will champion such selfless actions and give people an avenue to show love to others around them.\u201d Self-care is important In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nancy says, despite the challenges, it has been one of the best seasons to connect with her children. \u201cWhen the pandemic struck, more than anything else, children needed emotional and physical presence and engagement. My husband and I were present and we engaged them in all manner of ways to help them navigate through it,\u201d she says. When she began her motherhood journey, Nancy had vowed to give her children quality time. \u201cTherefore, I took a break from formal work for three years. This has allowed me to give them holistic care and the presence only a mother can give,\u201d she says. \u00a0She has learnt that spending time with family is important as well as taking care of your mental health and spiritual life. \u201cMotherhood is all about giving! However, I have been careful to remember that I need to also take care of myself. Self-care is important to me. It is from this realisation and desire that I live according to a personal motto, \u2018I cannot give from an empty cup. I need to be filled.\u2019 My idea of self-care is keeping fit, regular body massage dates, regular girls coffee dates and connecting with my church friends. These are the various ways I fill my cup,\u201d she says.