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May 2019: Suzanna Bradley

We first met Suzanna and her sweet and spunky daughter, Cora, back in May 2018, and this month we are celebrating her one-year anniversary with Fit4Mom. She’s a friendly face at Stroller Strides and Body Back and is also the creative curator of our Sherman Oaks Playgroups. She embraces motherhood for what it is: the good, the bad, and the beautiful and she keeps it real on the regular. She brings joyful and unfeigned energy with her wherever she goes and is one of those Mamas you want to have in your class and in your life. We’re so lucky to have her on this journey with us and we’re happy to honor her as our May Mom-of-the-Month. You’re the best, Suzanna!

*Special thanks to Massage RX - Professional Massage Therapy, for gifting our May Mom of the Month with a complimentary 60 minute in-home or studio massage

Where are you originally from?

I was born in Valencia, California but moved to Tempe, Arizona when I was 4. I grew up in Tempe and moved here almost 5 years ago for my husband to get his PhD at UCLA.

Tell us about your little workout buddy.

My daughter, Cora, comes to class with me. She's 2 and 4 months going on 16. She loves to learn and help mama! I'm taking my mom's advice and banking on her willingness to help while I can!

How did you meet your partner?

My husband and I met online. There's a good story there, best told by my husband. :)

Tell us a little about your career (before baby or now).

I'm a teacher. I taught High School Choir in Arizona for 8 years before we moved to L.A.. I'm now an Educational Facilitator for a homeschooling program, iLEAD Exploration. I absolutely love my job and the people I work with--a really amazing feeling. I'm very grateful.

How did you find out about FIT4MOM and what classes do you attend?

I found out about it through a Facebook group. Not sure which one, but probably Sherman Oaks Mommies. I think it was one of Kat's posts. :)

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I have to pick one!? I love the routine, the workout, the camaraderie, making friends for me and Cora, I love being outside, I love wearing Cora out at the playground and going home for a nice lunch and a good LONG nap! ;)

How did you celebrate Mother's Day when you were a kid?

My brother and I always tried to take over cooking for the day. We would make a nice breakfast for the family and let mom do whatever she wanted to do, which was usually reading. We would try to do some cleaning, dishes, and then make a nice dinner of Mom's choosing.

How do you hope to spend YOUR Mother's Day?

Sleeping in would be marvelous! Haha! I hope to get a great massage or spa day. Just some time to enjoy some "me" time, as I don't get very much of it any more.

What is your proudest moment as a mom?

Wow, this is tough. My brain is bouncing all over the place. The day she said her first word over and over and over "Mama, Mammma, Mmmammmaaa," or how she said "Thank you for making my dinner, Mama" the other day. I want her to be a kind and considerate person, but also strong and independent. I think, I hope, we're on the right track.

Have you ever thought, gosh I can’t do this, and why?

That's a trick question, right? LOL Of course I have! It's been hard starting a family with no family around to help. I would have really loved having my mom around for the first year. Cora has issues with sleep and that has taken its toll on me and my husband. Postpartum depression and anxiety are real and not easy to cope with alone. It's been a rough road, but I'm happy to say I'm now on the other side and I really love being a mom... most of the time!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I think I'm more patient and empathetic. You just have to be with a baby or toddler. A rough day sucks, but it's way worse with a toddler who is also having a rough day. And those days are common in my world. I've just gotten better at letting things roll off my back and moving on.

What advice would you give a new mom?

Ask questions, get out of the house, find friends, and mostly, take care of yourself in any way that makes you feel more like you. Get your nails done, get a massage, go out for happy hour, hike, run, yoga, whatever it is, do it. If you feel good (or, you know, almost good) you're a better mom and setting a better example for your children too.