Mom of the Month: Shanna Janu

Join me in getting to know April’s Mom of the Month, Shanna Janu! Shanna and her sweet, smiling son Wesley are Saturday regulars. Whenever I have been in class with Shanna, Wesley is always so cheerful and curious - he is such a cutie! Read on to learn more about this amazing momma and her family!

How long have you been a FIT4MOM client, and in which program(s)?

About a year I believe, and I have participated in Stroller Strides.

Kiddo's name and age:

Wesley, who is 23 months. My furbabies are Buffy (a Maltipoo), 8 and Jeffrey (a Poodle Mix), 12.

What's your favorite thing about Stroller Strides?

Stroller Strides is an activity that gets my day moving and gets me out of the house! I look forward to my Saturday mornings!

Do you have a favorite exercise/why?

Not particularly, but push-ups are one of the easier exercises for me. I have always done well with arm exercises, like push-ups and pull-ups.

What's your favorite thing about being a mom?

I love watching Wesley learn and pick up on things in the world around him. They really are always watching us, and it is fascinating how much they pick up! I love knowing that he really was learning when I read him all those books as an infant.

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

I wish I had known how isolating it was, and that even though you are always occupied, you aren't really busy. Had I known that, I would have reached out more to my friends that had kids before me. I didn’t reach out to them because I just assumed they were busy and didn't really have time for me. I now know how untrue that is. A lot of times I am just sitting around and can definitely text with people. I love hearing from my friends, even if I don't see them for months at a time. So, I make an effort to keep in touch with my friends and reach out at least weekly.

Do you work outside of the home in addition to being a mom? If so, what do you do?

Yes, I am a project officer at the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. I work in the Medicaid side on section 1115 demonstrations.

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

I am not really sure yet. My husband works a lot of weekends, so we don't really have any family rituals. It is really nice when he makes it home and we can all lay in bed and read to Wesley before his bedtime.

Favorite thing to do with just the kid(s)?

I love taking him rides in the stroller. He is so curious and loves pointing everything out. It allows us both to get some fresh air. Plus, I can listen to podcasts.

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

I attended the Air Force Academy after high school. I went through boot camp and my first semester of college there, but left because it wasn't the right fit for me. One of the problems was I hated being around so many men and not having any girlfriends!

Favorite healthy and unhealthy foods?

I could name so many unhealthy foods, but I love sugary candy, brownies, and burritos most of all. Healthy? Vegetables roasted with olive oil are tasty. Particularly cauliflower or kale with roasted garbanzo beans. Throw them in a bowl with some quinoa and you have a filling meal!

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

Cooking while watching TV, or listening to podcasts

Any advice for new moms?

If you are like most Americans, you haven't been around many babies and have no idea what is normal, beyond what the books and blogs have told you. Don't worry too much about whether your new baby is “normal”: if things are working for you, then that is awesome! If not, try to determine whether your gut is telling you something is wrong, or because your child isn't behaving the way the books say your child “should”. If it is the latter, then try to stop worrying because children don't always follow the manual and turn out just fine. If it is the former, talk with your pediatrician and don't let up until you feel the situation is resolved.

Next: Accept help! If someone is offering to help you, they mean it! Happily accept that help! You will pay it forward when you are able.

Also, if the choice is cleaning or a nap, always go with the nap.

Amen, Shanna. Thanks for opening up and sharing your story and advice with us.