Monique grew up in a small town in Maine and now enjoys city life with her family. She is a working mama who teaches fitness classes in hopes to share her passion for movement and staying active. She also opens up and shares her journey with IVF, and welcomes others to turn to her for insight and motivation. Monique is truly an inspiration!
Which town do you live in?
Watertown, MA (in Newton Corner, right on the Newton line).
Where are you from originally?
A very small town in Southern Maine. I went to Saint Michael’s College in Vermont and then moved to the Boston area with college roommates after we graduated.
How many kids do you have? Names and Ages?
We have one baby girl – Estelle Rose who is 14 months!
What is your favorite thing about living here?
Our neighborhood is super walkable to everything you need! Coming from a super small town growing up where we had to drive everywhere, walkability is so important to me, especially now that we have a baby (putting her in the stroller is much easier than the carseat, lol). We also love being close to the city.
We love that you are a fitness instructor! What sort of classes do you teach?
I teach cardio kickboxing at Life Time in Chestnut Hill twice a week and then I teach a full body strength & cardio virtually to my company employees once a week.
Give us your best time management tips. How do you fit in time to teach, to workout yourself, and blogging, all while being a mom?
Ha! Do I make it look that easy? I have always been good at time management and prioritizing things (almost to a fault at times … I don’t “relax” nearly enough) and I truly believe we have/make time for the things that are important to us. Personally, this means incorporating movement into my day, teaching a few times a week (“me” time that gets me out of the house and satisfies my passion for teaching) and trying to be present in the time I spend with my daughter and husband. Some days/weeks it’s easier than others to do these things, but on the hard weeks, I just do what I can. Sometimes that means skipping a workout or capping it to 10 minutes. Sometimes that means taking a few hours of PTO so I can take Estelle to the park. Sometimes it means skipping a social media post to have vino and cook with my husband. I’m not always good at filling my own cup, but I am starting to realize that even small actions go a long way so I try to do at least one thing a day for “me”.
What is your mission when it comes to teaching fitness, and what is the most rewarding part?
My biggest mission is to show people that working out doesn’t need to be an all or nothing, super long or intense thing. I have been doing short, 20 minute, at-home workouts since long before the pandemic because quite honestly, they’re more effective for me and allow me to have more time to do other things. As long as we are consistently showing up in a movement space that we enjoy (running, walking, boxing, swimming, dancing, yoga, pilates, strength, etc.), we are going to benefit from it. Every little bit counts so I try to show people small, manageable ways to live a more active life on the day to day.
What is your favorite moment as a mom to date?
It’s so hard to pick just one! But probably when she looked at me and said “mama!” for the first time. I struggled with fertility issues and ultimately we went through IVF. She was our one viable embryo at the end of the process so we are so lucky to have her. I wasn’t sure if I would ever get that title, so hearing her say it was pretty incredible!
How special! Thank you for sharing.
What is your #1 go-to meal on a busy night?
We will either do some sort of pasta (we love Jovial brand!), veggie & protein dish or we will make quesadillas with whatever we have in the fridge. We love the Whole Foods Almond wraps and we cook a bunch of veggies at the beginning of the week so we can quickly and easily throw things together.
What is one thing you never leave the house without?
These days, a mask! But otherwise, my water bottle. My husband makes fun of me since I even bring it when I drive the 1 mile to drop our daughter off at daycare.
What are the first 3 things you do every morning? Do you have a “morning routine”, or does it differ daily?
I don’t really have a “morning ritual/routine” per say, but every morning starts with either nursing or bottle feeding Estelle. I get caught up on email/social media during this time as well. From there, it’s either drop off for childcare or figuring out the best way to start working while keeping her entertained if we don’t have childcare for a particular day.
What is your best advice for new mamas?
“It’s only temporary” – this applies to both the bad/hard AND the good/easy. Sometimes you just have to breathe and remind yourself that you will get through it and it’s a good reminder to soak up the “good/easy” times as well.
If you had one free day that was solely dedicated to “me” time, what would you do?
Oh, what I would give for one of these days (non-pandemic, preferably)!! I would get up, have coffee & breakfast, workout, get a blowout, go shopping/out to lunch, read/relax & finish with some vino and a meal that I didn’t have to cook or clean up after 😉
Any favorite books, podcasts, blogs?
I am in a book club and we have read so many amazing books! Here are some favs off the top of my head: The Nightingale, Woman in the Window, Girl on the Train, Big Little Lies, In Five Years, Educated …. I don’t do a ton of podcast listening, but I loved Ali on the Run’s “Motherhood Monday” series during my pregnancy and I enjoy the Herself podcast as well.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m most active on Instagram: @burpeestobubbly and love connecting with people, especially those going through fertility struggles. Unless you’ve gone through it, you don’t really understand what it’s like so I am always willing to chat and help provide whatever insight I can.
Thank you so much for your time and for sharing your stories, Monique!