by Amber Lopez
Happy Wednesday before Christmas!! Hope everyone is resting up and enjoying that extra family time as Christmas approaches. I know for a lot of us women this time of year can be stressful, trying to get everything perfect for everyone. I hope the stress has settled and everyone is excited for the holiday festivities to come. Speaking of mom stress, today we are going to be talking Mom's Night Outs (MNOs). As moms we are all busy and exhausted caring for others all day (and night) and a night or afternoon out is so important! This leads me to introduce our momma in charge of planning and taking lead on those MNO's, Christine Bennett. Christine is married to her husband, John, who is a soldier stationed here at Fort Bragg, and they have 2 boys - Noah (3) and JJ (1).
Christine joined FIT4MOM in the fall of 2014 right after her son Noah was born. She was really in need of a mom village for that social aspect more than anything, the working out was an added bonus. Christine thrives on being social. When I was a new member myself I always kept to myself and was a little too nervous to get out and try anything outside of attending class. I remember her coming up to me to ask if she was coming to a book club she was hosting at her house that weekend and me feeling obligated to go because she straight up asked me, I went. I HAD THE BEST TIME! I didn't even read the book, I just showed up and listened to the discussion and then got to chat about life with other moms for hours over tea and snacks on a Sunday afternoon. That moment changed what I thought about this group. Being a fitness lover, I loved the group for the workouts and the chance to get out of my house everyday. Never in a million years would I think I would be best friends with the women I was exercising with every morning. It is one of the biggest reasons we do what we do here at FIT4MOM, to make those new moms who were just like me 3 years ago feel like they are not alone. Although we do connect IN class and after class, those outings with JUST us moms are something really special and where the friendships grow stronger.
This is where Christine's job is so important and cherished. Christine is one of the most friendliest people I have ever met. She is always up for introducing herself to a new mom or striking up a conversation with someone she has never met. She thrives at chatting about life and listening to other's stories. We are so grateful for her presence in our village. She puts a lot of time and effort into investing in the mom's in our village to be sure she is planning and including everyone in our events. She plans at least one MNO monthly and does a great job at switching it up as far as styles and activities. The great thing about Christine is she will never make any new mom feel like the new mom, she is great at including everyone at a party or function and will get to know you immediately if she hasn't yet.
Picture above is a picture from a fall "camp out" theme MNO we had, complete with a campfire, smores', snacks, drinks, and awesome conversation! This past year she planned this event along with countless game nights, restaurant outings, special crafting nights, and more. We are so excited for more MNO's to come in 2018 and don't want any of you to miss out on any more! Sometimes getting to that first function outside of class is the hardest because its nerve wrecking putting yourself out there socially. If anyone understands that, it's me. I have always been that person to be cautious about new settings and seem to stay at home more often than not. This experience through FIT4MOM has taught me to open up more and allow myself to go out and make friends because it is so much more rewarding for my self and my family. I am personally so grateful for Christine's encouragement and friendly spirit and have seen her personally touch many moms after me. I encourage you to stay up to date on the Facebook page with the events and try your best to make it out to them when you can because now you know a friendly face that will be there! The next MNO will be in January after the holidays, I think she is shooting for a Mexican meal out (can you say Margaritas and salsa!?!?). So, you ladies keep your eyes peeled to see what weekend to pin down that hubby to be home with the kiddos. We can't wait to chat with you, don't miss out!