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Dede Barbanti

Dede is a mom of three, CEO of BBX, Inc., and creator of Boogie Box Fitness.

How many children do you have and what age groups? I have three children, ages seven, five, and three.

What’s your favorite parenting tip? When all else fails…bribe!

What has surprised you most about parenting? No matter what, you can handle anything life throws at you; even if you think you can’t. As a single mom of three kids, I thought that I could never make it on my own with two toddlers and a newborn. But the truth is, with prayer and relentless persistence, you can get through anything! 

How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? Again bribing comes into play lol! If my kids don’t want to eat something healthy or do something I am asking them to do I give them choices. If you do this, you get that. Or if eat this, you can have that. The list is endless. My sister has three of the most miraculous children I have ever known, and I truly look up to her as a parenting role model. One day I asked her what is you secret and her exact words were… bribe! I live by those words lol!

How do you work exercise into your family’s life? Well it’s kind of funny to answer this question because exercise is how I support my family; it’s my livelihood. But the fact is it wasn’t in the beginning. I was overweight, single and raising three babies and working nine-hours each day at the office. Before I had kids, I was a professional dancer and trained in competitive martial arts; I knew this is where my heart was and trusted my creativity.

I can give this simple answer to all moms asking the same question. “How do I make the time?”  My answer is this: Tere is no trick or simple answer; you just have to do it. I know that life seems to get in the way with work, kids, cleaning, cooking and errands; sometimes it seems so overwhelming that you feel like you are at your wits end. I know exactly how you feel and what you are going through, I deal with it on a daily basis. I can’t give you a magical recipe on how to make it happen, but I can give you reasons as to why you should.

I woke up one day and had an epiphany; I realized that I was cheating myself in every aspect of my life—children, work, friendships, and health. I was so unhappy in my personal life and so dissatisfied with myself physically, that I realized that I wasn’t giving my full potential, my true self, to all the other important parts of my life. How could I? How can you? How can you give all of you to your kids, to work, to your husband or wife, to your health, if you aren’t giving 100 percent to you?

When you are unhappy, dissatisfied, insecure, lonely, stressed….I can keep going but I’m sure you get the picture. When you are feeling this pain or chaos as a person, it’s not possible to give the true you to every other part of your life. This is why you need to make the time.

How do you recharge your batteries?  My favorite thing is to lie in bed and watch a great movie. With three young kids, going to three different schools in three different cities, a growing business, exercise as a career and a personal life, it’s not easy! Relaxation is my down time, and I do my best to make sure I have it so I don’t lose my mind!

One thing I always tell my clients is to make sure you put you first. If you aren’t truly happy in your life, in your own skin, how can you give 100 percent of you to your kids, to your spouse or to your career? Think about it….

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.