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Meet Our Village Monday: Melissa

Welcome to another Meet Our Village Monday! This week we are excited to be featuring Melissa Bugai! Since joining our community, Mel has been one of the biggest advocates for FIT4MOM Grand Rapids and I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her today.

How long have you been with FIT4MOM?

Probably about 2 - 2.5 years.

In what way(s) have you participated in FIT4MOM (Fit4Baby, Stroller Strides, BodyBack)?

Stroller Strides is all I've done so far. I'm planning on doing a full session of BodyBack once we move indoors this fall.

Tell us about your family.

That's a big question! LOL. I think of my family as so much more than those who live in my house. In my house are me and Hubs and our son Tyler (3yr) and our baby girl Kiley (4mo) along with our doberman Sprocket.

What is one thing you love about Stroller Strides/Fit4Baby/BodyBack?

Bringing my kids. I do everything with them. They see and experience what it's like to be a part of this world. They go shopping with me, to the doctors, and do stuff like help me put laundry in the machines and get the mail. I love bringing them with me to my workout too. It makes my workout feel like playtime with them only I'm the focus in this playtime. It's a great lesson for them on so so many levels.

Favorite exercise?

Skater strides because I'm a downhill skier. I spent a couple winters as a ski instructor and skater strides remind me of that and keep me in shape for winter. Plus hips are notoriously weak postpartum and this seems to help them.

Favorite food?

Mexican. Especially heavily loaded nachos.

What are some things you like to do outside of exercising and being a mom?

Hubs and I get together with friends and play table top games. I really enjoy that. I also love to spend time at my parents lake cottage where I have an old school jet ski. I absolutely love downhill skiing and hope to give my son lessons this winter. I wish I had more time for crafting and taking my dog to the really big dog parks (which aren't kid friendly).

What do you do for work or what did you do before baby?

Before kids I had a successful career in software development and Hubs still does so I hang out with geeks a lot and stay connected to the industry.

Have you played any sports in the past or what sport would you like to learn?

Last summer I joined an Ultimate Frisbee team. It was challenging but fun as I had to learn as I went. Then I found out I was pregnant and got so winded I couldn't play so I had to quit pretty early in the season. :/

What is a piece of advice you can pass on to fellow moms?

Hubs and I started giving each other 1 night off from parenting each week. I have Tuesdays off and Hubs has Thursdays off but sometimes it shifts around for various reasons. We have learned a whole lot from this. For one it helps our marriage to see our partner go off and do the things they enjoy doing; the things they were doing when we started dating. It also feels like a gift we give each other and that has a profound effect on our marriage. It's really been quite a thing to see our partner take full responsibility for kids and house for no other reason than to bless the other. It also has kept me sane as a SAHM to get a true and complete respite to pursue my own interests instead of always living for my kids. We do these nights off instead of a date night because in reality we have a mini date night every night between when the kids go to bed and when we do. My advice is to try giving each other a night off instead of a date night.

Thanks for being part of our community, Mel! We are so thankful for you!

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