How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have 3 daughters, including one bonus daughter. Ages 11, 10, and 5 years old.
What do you love about living in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor?
I grew up in Iowa City and have loved being able to raise my children here as well. I love the access to nature, the arts and being part of a beautiful community of people.
What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in the area?
Tell us about your career.
I run Becky’s Mindful Kitchen (BMK). It is a cooking school located in Solon, but honestly, it is so much more than just that. I use cooking as a way to teach mindfulness, resilience, problem solving and encourage creativity. We have an adventure timber playground, fairytale treehouse, wood fire pizza oven, goats, chickens and hold classes on making organic soaps, candles, lotion and make up. I speak with, not to, groups about what the recipe of mindful living and parenting looks like to me. How resilience, vulnerability and honesty are essential ingredients, with a hefty pinch of humor. My summer camps include theatre, writing, cooking, bushcraft, art and how to have successful respectful discourse both in person and in social media.
Why did you decide to open this business?
My mission is to promote the power of the shared human experience and kindness through providing a space for everyone to feel welcomed, seen and valued. To accomplish that mission, I created a cooking school that allows the universal language of food to bring people together.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I get to interact with people in a true and authentic way that brings me joy. I love spending my time with children and watch their confidence grow and hear their laughter in the kitchen each summer. I consider all the kids who come to BMK part of the family and it is an honor to be a part of their lives.
How do you juggle work with mommyhood?
BMK is a family business. It is part of my home and my kids are an integral part of it. I homeschool right now and that proves to get tricky when you run a business as time consuming as BMK. However, they have learned so many invaluable life skills by being so involved in the day to day running of BMK. I speak and write on mindful parenting and walk my talk in my own life.
How has your job changed during COVID-19?
I pivoted to online classes which have grown globally. Each week I have thousands join from multiple countries and up to 30 states – we cook, connect and laugh. I’ve done over 200 free classes and will continue those from now on.
What’s your advice to moms in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis?
Get up, keep going. You aren’t going to break. You can do this. Yes this is hard. Yes you want to quit. But you can’t. You feel like you have nothing left in the tank. But you do. This isn’t tough love. It may sound like it, but it isn’t. I don’t like tough love. This is shining a light on the plane of existence where growth happens. Growth doesn’t happen in the easy, it happens in the hard.
We are all human and we are strong as heck. You are no different than the generations before you who lived through times that we feel thankful to have avoided being born during. You have strength inside that perhaps has been untapped until now. And new is scary at times. You are experiencing the nasty pains of growth but I promise that the new strength you are gaining never atrophies. When you feel like you are approaching a wall, put up your fists and get ready to bust through. You are not alone.
If in March, 2020 you had been told Covid would still be dominating your life a year later, you would have doubted your ability to handle it all. But you have. You are here. You will still be here when Covid is spoken of in past tense. And you will be the proud owner of new layers of growth. This is the hard. This is where growth happens. And to end with a favorite childhood book quote…” You can’t go over it. You can’t go around it. You have to go through it” – and the sound you make while going through it may sound a bit like every curse word you know, or sobs, or hysterical laughter or yelling. Regardless, you will get through it and you will be stronger – don’t forget that.