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Mom of the Month: Courtnay Mecca

Courtnay Mecca is almost always smiling. Its one of the first things that I noticed about her when I met her several years ago. Yet, behind her sunny disposition is a mom who seems so grounded and in control. Besides being a full time Mom to almost four year old William and six month old Amelia, she teaches yoga classes at BambooMoves yoga and is earning her graduate degree in nutrition. I was fortunate to grab a tea with her and find out a little bit more about this amazing mom!

So, my first question, coffee or tea?

Normally, coffee. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

What is your favorite thing about Stroller Strides?

Wow! There’s lots. The full body workout plus cardio and just being around other moms that totally get it… that totally get that you’re not showered, you may not have slept the night before. Your kid could have a meltdown in the middle of class and it’s okay!

Do you have a favorite exercise?

I like the plie lunges (also called curtsy lunges). I feel like those really target my problem area. I definitely have a least favorite.

What’s your least favorite?

Burpees.

What is your favorite part about being a mom?

It’s the little things, like just spending time with the kids and kind of doing nothing, that’s my favorite part. Because it’s like slowing down enough to just enjoy the little things. We don’t have to be doing anything crazy or be anywhere special, just hanging out with these two. That’s my favorite part! Like last night we were hanging out in William’s room post-nap and he was just playing with her, and I was putting some stuff away and then I was just watching them and we’re reading books and I was like, this is so special!

What is something that you wish you’d known before you became a mom?

How amazing it would be! I kept putting off having kids, and I’d say, “Well, I want to do this first, before we have kids because the end is near,” and then it turned out it was just the beginning… and I wish we had started sooner. I wish I had known it was this amazing!

What is your favorite thing to do when the kids are napping?

Nap! Nap or eat chocolate. Chocolate time out!

What is your favorite thing to do as a family?

We enjoy hiking... Anything out in nature. It feels freeing and William really loves it. Amelia loves it too. She always falls asleep in the hiking backpack. And William’s mind does its own thing. I personally feel a wave of stress lift every time I get out on a trail. It’s invaluable.

What is something that someone may not know about you?

I need to exercise or do yoga in order to be sane. I come across as very happy and smiley, but honestly, if I don’t do those things, then I’m not a happy and grounded, nice person. I know that’s what I need to fill my own well. So most people think, “She’s always happy and smiling.” No, but exercise helps. That’s deep, dark secrets.

What is your favorite healthy and unhealthy food?

I love everything to be honest with you. I’d say beans. I love beans! If I haven’t had beans in a while, I crave them like people crave chocolate. Unhealthy? Baked goods, chocolate chip cookies… Chocolate chip cookies and brownies are my two main vices. Cheese too, if I could. I’m off dairy because of breastfeeding Amelia. Yeah, I miss cheese.

What is your favorite color?

Turquoise makes me happy! Everytime I see turquoise or wear turquoise, I think of the sea in the Caribbean. It’s just a happy color to me and I always associate colors with mood. When I used to work, I would wear a certain color each day, like if I felt a certain way I would be like, “Ok, today I have to wear red. I feel red today. I need to wear red.” I know it sounds crazy, but it’s how I operated.

So, side question, do you see red as a confident or angry color?

Definitely confident!

What is your favorite song/artist/band?

This is hard because of Spotify. Spotify has made the world a lot harder and easier in some ways. So, I wouldn’t say I have a favorite artist or song, per se, because there are so many and depending on the season, I think my music tastes change, but I definitely always come back to reggae music. I can listen to reggae year round. Also, anything uplifting, but more acoustic guitar versus rap. I’m not a rap person or R&B, not typical workout music. I’m more of a reggae and of course I love the yoga music because it’s so calm and relaxing. So yeah, I’m all over the board with music and don’t have specific favorites like some people do.

What TV shows are you currently watching?

We just finished Divorce on HBO. I was laughing out loud and I don’t usually laugh out loud with TV. It was really good. I also started watching This is Us, but I found it to be so heavy that during nap time I was watching it and sometimes just could not finish. I wasn’t in the mood to be that emotionally challenged in the middle of the day when I was already depleted. I have to be emotionally stable and well-rested to watch that show. But, those two are my favorites right now.

Any advice for new moms?

Just let it go. Let your old life go. Let your old way of thinking go and lower your expectations on yourself. Because you’re the only one holding yourself to those expectations, nobody else is. And tell yourself that you’re doing a good job. We don’t tell ourselves that we’re doing a good job enough. As moms, we’re always focusing on what we’re not doing and that’s why Stroller Strides is great and finding that Mom Village, because you know that everybody else is in the same boat. Whether you say it or not, you know that everyone is there to support you on an emotional level. Whether its said or not, you just feel their energy. We’re doing good work!

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In the craziness that is motherhood and business ownership -- and all those other parts of life as I know it -- sometimes I like to sit back, quiet my mind, and just remember what brought me to this crazy beautiful happy place. I remember when I tried my first class and made my first neighborhood mom friends. When I first met the mom down the street who would later become my business partner. I remember the moms who came, who saw, who conquered; those who have been with me since the start and those who have moved away. All that remembering leads me right back to today. I thought I'd share some of these moments through pictures and a little story-telling.

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