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Mom of the Month: Melissa Wooster

This month, we are sitting down with Mom of the Month Melissa Wooster to discuss the ebb and flow of mothering, wood-choppers, and buffalo chicken! Melissa is a FIT4MOM warrior, and has participated in three of our programs. Read on to learn more about this impressive momma and to soak in her wise words.

How long have you been a client, and in which program(s)?

I have been a FIT4MOM client since early 2015. I started Stroller Stridesas soon as I was cleared with my first son, desperate to escape the house in the middle of winter, meet new mom friends, and get back into the groove physically.

I had a chance to be part of the first Fit4Babygroup last spring when I was pregnant with my second son. This was a great chance to take care of me and baby away from my toddler.

I'm currently participating in Body Back Transformationand loving it!

Kiddo's names and ages:

Graham will be 3 in December, and Wyatt is 6 months.

What's your favorite thing about Body Back?

Hands down, my favorite thing about Body Back is time to work out away from my kids and distractions. On the whole, Body Back has given me perspective about how to be the best me and how to plan yummy meals for my whole family.

Do you have a favorite exercise?

One of my favorite exercises is the "wood chopper", mainly because no matter what fitness level I'm currently at, I always feel it the next day! In addition, I appreciate any exercise that kills two birds with one stone: squat jump with lateral pull, monkeys with the band, etc.

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing about motherhood are the moments of simplicity. As an adult, life can be so hectic, confusing, and complicated. But as a child, life is often simple. As a mom, I get to enjoy simple moments with my children: reading a favorite book, tickling toes, watching a train, racing down slides, sharing cuddles and laughter, and so much more. These moments help me forget, even if for a moment, the things that weigh me down. I get to see the world through the lens of my sons, and be the guide that helps them grow.

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

I wish I would have known how damn hard it is. (I mean, I'm sure someone told me this but I obviously wasn't listening.) It's a juggling act. How long can I keep all these balls in the air before one of them drops? Am I really supposed to juggle with only a few hours of sleep and no practice?

It's an ebb and flow. Just when I think I have a hold on things, something changes and there is regrowth. Fantastic! My kid can independently brush his own teeth. But wait, that warrants brushing teeth every time he washes his hands?

Do you work outside of the home in addition to being a mom?

I am a reading specialist in Anne Arundel County. Fortunately, I have been part-time since becoming a mom so I am afforded the balance between mommying and educating. My favorite thing about my job is the coaching I provide to teachers and students to empower them as life-long learners and readers!

What's your favorite thing to do as a family?

We really enjoy visiting the great museums and events that Baltimore has to offer. Our favorites include the B&O Railroad Museum and the Summer Concert series.

What's something that most people don't know about you?

Most people might not know that I have a hidden passion for the arts, including dance and music. I'm notorious for performing "the worm" on the dance floor of any wedding. My husband and I even performed our own interpretative dance at our wedding to Justin Timberlake's "Carry Out". I also played the oboe as a child and enjoyed all types of dance. I think if I had more confidence and a better voice, I would have pursued acting!

Favorite healthy and unhealthy foods?

My favorite healthy food is any type of fresh fish, especially salmon. My unhealthy food favorite is anything buffalo chicken: buffalo chicken wings from Delia Foleys, buffalo chicken salads, buffalo chicken grilled cheese, buffalo chicken salad wraps, buffalo chicken nachos...basically buffalo anything!

Favorite way to relax and recharge after the kiddos are in bed?

In the summer, I love sitting on the stoop, preferably with a cocktail, and enjoying the community of the city. In the winter, I enjoy catching up with my husband and watching a few of our favorite shows (that is, if I don't fall asleep first).

Any advice for new moms?

You can't take care of others without taking care of yourself first! Also, ask for help (I'm still working on this one...)

Thank you, Melissa, for being a shining light in our village! Oh, and next time I see you, I expect to see “the worm”!