Marisa is a 26-year old Movin’ Mama of two sweet little gals [2 years & 3-months old] living outside of Boston with her husband. We asked how she was Living Well today amidst a busy Nursing career and being a mom 24/7. Here, she shares the real significance of taking a break, which has fostered the wellness of her entire family. Enjoy!
How do you typically start your day?
I start my day getting the girls and I fed and dressed for whatever we have planned for the day. Lately, we have been making the best of the summer and taking walks on the bike path, going to the park, or the beach. Some days start slower than others, and often times it takes much longer that I expect to get us all packed up and out of the house!
What is your favorite workout right now?
My favorite workout lately is simply walking. It is something I can do with both kids and we can all enjoy. Prior to having children, I was really into more extreme fitness such as Insanity and weight training, and I’ve participated in Tough Mudder. I would like to get back into workout routines like those, but right now, simple walks and the occasional run is what works best for us.
How do you snack when you’re always on-the-go?
Since adding a second child to our family, I definitely struggle more with packing myself healthy snacks when we’re on the go, since I am so preoccupied with making sure I have everything packed for the girls. When I do remember, my usual go-to is healthy trail-mix, or granola bars. More often than not, unfortunately, I have to remind myself to eat throughout the day!
Have you had to streamline your beauty routine since having a second baby?
Absolutely. Luckily, it is the summer, and the summer is good to my complexion so I can get away with using minimal make-up. Often times I go without makeup at all or manage to throw a little mascara on. As for my hair, it is far too thick to do much with it (time-wise) most days in terms of styling, so it is usually pulled back in some way or another since having babies.
What do you do when you want to have “Me” time?
As of recently, I have been horseback riding 1 evening per week for some “me” time, and it does wonders for me mentally! It is a couple hours out of the house, doing something that I thoroughly enjoy (and that is actually a workout, too). It is very relaxing for me and greatly helps my anxiety & stress level. Other than that, I really take advantage of the late hours after the girls and husband have gone to sleep. Sometimes I just hang out on the couch and catch up on my shows, sometimes I clean or get projects done that I am unable to do while the kids are awake.
What are your fitness goals for 2015, and how are you tracking your progress?
I hope to get back to my pre-baby weight by the end of this year. I put my scale away months ago, because I found that I was obsessing over the number and I knew that would make me crazy. My goals are to change some bad habits, eat healthy and stay active and see how it plays out for me. I know my body is in no way where it was two years ago, but by finding the time to work out and being consistent, I know I will get there eventually. A friend recently told me “It took 9 months for your body to get that way, give yourself at least that amount of time to get back” which helped me to stop stressing about not looking the way I want to right away.
What has been your biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of your last child?
My biggest challenge since the birth of my last child is definitely staying away from junk. I let my healthy eating habits go during pregnancy and it is hard to kick those late night snacks. I am overcoming it by changing the way I shop for groceries. I stopped buying junk because, if it’s not here, I can’t eat it. And I try to plan meals better, rather than just buying a cart full of food.
How did you prepare your first child for the arrival of your second baby?
My older daughter was still really young while I was pregnant with my second, so there wasn’t a lot of preparation we could do. We always told her that her “baby sister” was in Mommy’s belly and she would acknowledge that, and give my belly kisses and such, but she had no idea what was actually going to happen. We also played with her baby doll a lot, rocking her, feeding her, swaddling her, etc. so that when our littlest arrived, she was used to the things that Mommy’s do with new babies, and she transitioned really well! She is always loving on her little sister and I find her doing things that I do with my youngest, with her baby doll and it’s just adorable!
What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms?
I was really stressing and feeling overwhelmed and my husband told me I needed a hobby. I was quick to say that I didn’t have time for it because I was a mom and needed to be with my kids when I could be. He said, “Marisa, everyone knows you’re a great mom, but you need to find something you enjoy outside of being a mother…you need to give yourself a break sometimes” (This is when I decided to get back into riding).
I think as mothers, we just need to be a little easier on ourselves. It is not always fun and it can be really difficult. It is normal to feel like you’re in over your head sometimes. Know that you are doing just fine, that your babies know you love them, and give yourself a break once in a while! Make time to do something you love…Wellness isn’t just about the physical aspect. Keeping your sanity is HUGE!