We are super excited to share best practices from Dina this month, who was nominated to be our June Movin’ Mama—congrats girl! Dina is a single Mama of two beautiful little ones (Daughter, Age 9; Son, Age 8) residing in a small seaside town outside of Boston, working as a Nanny. We asked Dina how she’s Living Well today, and here’s what she told us…
How do you typically start your weekdays?
I wake up at 6am to get a jump start on the day, and try to get the kids ready for school and out the door in time to make the bus. But most days we end up rushing, no matter how early we wake up! Sometimes, if we’re uncharacteristically early, we’ll do some yoga “sun salutations” before heading off to school/work.
As a busy mama, how often do you make time for exercise and what’s your favorite workout today?
As much as I’ve tried to be, I’m not much of a gym person. Aside from the occasional trip to the YMCA with the kids, most of my exercise is in/around our home. The kids and I do yoga at least a couple times a week together. We are fortunate to live by the beach, so swimming and walks to the lighthouse are pretty common as well.
What has been your biggest challenge with wellness this year thus far?
I’d say my biggest challenge with wellness would be resisting delicious restaurants/take out meals in favor of cooking at home. Cooking and eating healthy are definitely passions of mine, but resisting the temptation of eating out at all the amazing restaurants nearby can be a challenge. I try to hit the farmers markets early in the week and stock up on fresh produce, that way I’m motivated to cook before it goes bad.
What do you love most about being a mom so far?
What I love most about being a mom is growing and learning alongside my children. They truly are our greatest teachers. I became a mom at 21, and it has made me a better person in so many ways. Not only do I get to nurture them, teach them and watch them grow, but I also get to learn from them and see the growth in myself as well.
What has been your most effective best practice for relieving stress?
As a single mom, life can get pretty hectic and stressful at times. Luckily my amazing partner Derek is always there to support me and the kids.
In our family, we’ve practiced yoga and meditation since the kids were babies. We like to relax after a stressful day by walking down to the beach, sitting on the seawall and watching the sunset. The kids and I will say what we’re thankful for, and then set our worries out into the ocean. This is part of our regular practice in cultivating positive energy and letting go of stress and worries.
What are some things you’re doing to ensure life balance?
I try to maintain a healthy balance by prioritizing family and fun whenever possible. Sometimes this means leaving a pile of dirty dishes in the sink so that we can all snuggle up and watch a movie together for the first time in ages.
What do you do when you want to have “Me Time”?
Along with most mom’s, I rarely get much “Me Time”. But when I do, I usually end up at Marshalls or the mall (buying things for my kids!) After the kids are in bed (if I don’t fall asleep immediately) I get to watch a little TV, or read before going to bed myself. It’s the little things!
What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms who are expecting their first child?
My advice would be that there is no one “right” way to do anything. What works for one mom may not work for another.
Do what works best for you and your baby. Don’t feel pressured to do things perfectly or the way everyone else is doing them. Pregnancy, birth, and raising your little one is a uniquely individual experience.
Even with your own children, one sibling can be a totally different experience from the next. Go with the flow. Cut yourself some slack and do what best suits you and your baby’s needs… And never forget how amazing you are!