Where are you originally from?
I’m from a small town called Horseheads, New York. Yes, like horse’s heads. If you want a really unhinged internet rabbit hole just Google the backstory of my town. I moved to North Carolina for college and have been here ever since.
When did you join FIT4MOM?
I first joined Fit4Mom in the summer of 2018, when my oldest, Saoirse, was about 6 months old. Becca Lynn taught my first class and I could barely keep up with any of it, but I was so desperate to be around other adults and Becca was so encouraging that I bought a summer membership on the spot. I am a school counselor and don’t work in the office in the summer, so we did Stroller Strides almost every day that first summer! I continued, doing about every class/program, up until COVID. I rejoined this summer when my youngest, Delaney, was 4 weeks old.
What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?
The community is the best part for me. There are a lot of places I can work out, and these days there are a million ways to work out at home, too, but I need the camaraderie and accountability of a group to make myself do it. Beyond that, meeting and being in community with other moms has been so vital to my well-being over the last 5 years. Some of my closest friends are women I have met through Fit4Mom. Saoirse is now 5, and to this day two of her best friends are kids we first met in Stroller Strides when they were all babies; their mamas (Dawn Garner and Aga Truax) have been such dear friends to me too!
What do you currently do?
I am a middle school counselor in Durham. Before that, I taught first grade.
Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?
I genuinely don’t know how people parent without support. Whether that is a spouse, family, friends, or paid/professional support - we are not designed to do this alone. My best friend lives in New York so I don’t see her often. When my oldest was born, most of my local friends didn’t have kids yet and my mom still lived in New York. I had my mother in law (who is amazing), but no one else locally to support me in motherhood. I really struggled until I built a village for our family. Whether it’s sharing life hacks, having a friend to vent to, someone to text and ask “does this rash look normal?”, an accountability partner for workouts, or someone to walk endless laps with you when you’re in early labor (true story - Brandi LaFrance did this with me last spring when I was pregnant with Delaney!), a village is essential for both mother and child to be at their best.
What is your favorite beverage?
Iced coffee! If you see me at any morning workout, whether it’s Stroller Strides, Boost, or Run Club, I can almost guarantee I’m sipping coffee and not water. Don’t come for me. It’s water.. just.. flavored
What is your favorite dessert?
Do I have to choose? I love them all. I’m definitely a sweets gal and I love to bake!
You are given 4 hours of FREE baby-sitting. What would you do?
Read a book and take a nap. Preferably in a pitch black, silent, cool room.
What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?
Anywhere with a beach sounds dreamy without kids. Kids make going to the beach so much work! I took my girls (ages 4.5 and 8 weeks) to NYC this summer and I’ll be taking them (at 5.5 and 14 months) to Ireland next summer, so I’m not scared to travel with them, but the thought of taking them to the beach makes me break out in hives.
How has becoming a mother changed you?
Nothing is the same as it was before, from my waistline to my priorities. I appreciate my own mother so much more now that I am a mother too. I think the biggest change has been that even though I’m a naturally anxious and type A person, becoming a mother has forced me to let go of expectations and learn to go with the flow a lot more. There is so much about parenthood that is uncontrollable and the tighter I hold on, the harder it is.
I am happiest when...
I am well rested, well caffeinated, and have an unhurried day ahead with my husband and kids.