Marra Francis, MD
How many children do you have? I have three daughters, ages 6, almost 5, and 3½.
What’s your specialty? I’m an ob-gyn.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Be flexible and embrace the chaos.
Also, when you bring home baby number two or three, remember that the older child has memory and will remember if you chose to take care of the baby first, thus creating jealousy early on. The baby won’t remember if she was crying for 30 seconds or 3 minutes, so take care of the older child’s needs first.
What has surprised you most about parenting? That there is no break from parenting. It is like breathing.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? My children have been exposed to all different types of foods, and I am very lucky that they love broccoli as much as peanut butter. The only rule in our house about food is the following: “It is ok to not like a food, but it is not ok to not try it.”
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? Make time to let you and your partner or spouse have “breaks” for exercise or just time alone. And remember, lying on your back and doing “super girl” with a child balanced on your feet is a great core exercise, walking up and down stairs with a child on your back is harder than any stair stepper I’ve been on, lifting a child over your head is a great shoulder workout—you can use your kids as your exercise props, and they just think you are a fun parent!
How do you recharge your batteries? They mostly run on reserve, but I make time to spend with my girlfriends at least twice a month and “date night” is a good thing to do with your partner as often as you can—no matter how tired you are!