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December Mom of the Month: JEWEL MJANGER

Tell us about yourself and your family.

I'm Jewel. My wife, Kristin and I bought our home in Westwood about 13 years ago and have loved West Seattle ever since. I have always been a Seattlite, but our West Side Rock is my home.

My wife and I have been part of the Bath Fitter family for 9 years and love helping folks in our community with tubs and showers. We call ourselves "tub nerds". And yes, if you invite us over we will check out your tub and identify it.

Our boy William was a long time coming. We started trying when I turned 30. He was born when I was 37. OMG, after all this wanting and trying he was here! Now what? Becoming a mom was a transition for me that I didn't see coming. I'm not a "joiner" so Peps wasn't for me. I tried the Y, but parking... you see, excuses. Honestly, Fit4Mom has truly been a blessing and changed my life for the awesome. I have found girlfriends and community while getting my body back. And now I have lifelong friends with kids I love. Winner over here.

What surprised you the most once you became a mom?

Exhaustion, then isolation. I was so delighted to have my long awaited baby (6yrs working on that one), I didn't realize how tired and lonely I was. Just doing the daily thing, before you know it, a year had passed. I have never been a work-out person, but had heard about Fit4Mom and didn't think I could keep up.

Why did you join FIT4MOM? Why do you love it?

A friend invited me to the Mothers Day kick-off 3 years ago. I was still holding on to a lot of baby weight and didn't think I could keep up. I met so many friendly faces and felt so good about getting me and my baby out that I joined up. I dragged in last on every run down Alki for a few months, but the weight started to shed. That kept me going and the company was fun. Since then I have found wonderful friends and my Dr says I'm in shape.

I'm proud of myself for finding a fitness routine that finally works for me.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn't have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?

I see myself STRONG.

In 5 years I'll be 48. GASP. As I get older its getting more and more important to keep up with my ever faster 5 year old. I want to play with this little guy up and down the soccer field. I was diagnosed with MS a month before getting pregnant and my dream is to always have the strength to keep up with my boy and not let my limits impact him. 5 years from know Im running 5ks...without stopping.

What is your favorite go to piece of baby gear?

I loved those baby swaddlers with the velcro. We put so much pressure on ourselves to know how to do everything with a new baby and knowing how to swaddle was the last thing on my list to figure out. I also needed nipple shields. Turns out breast feeding isn't natural for all of us. No shame here.

Any advice for new moms?

Don't beat yourself up for messing up. We all do it. Start new tomorrow.

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