xoNecole's Moms Who Inspire series highlights modern-day moms mastering all the tasks on their plate, from day to day responsibilities to ensuring their children are kind, educated and well-rounded human beings. Each mother describes their inspiration, their health and wellness routine, and how they maintain their sense of selves while being the superwoman we all know and love.
"I never really ate bad before becoming a mom, but motherhood made me more cautious about what I was putting in my body and what I was feeding my son."
26-year-old boutique owner Tory Dene is often surrounded by men. By day, she is a custom clothier in men's suits and by night, she tends to her son, 20-month-old Asher. But don't be fooled, Tory was taught by her mother to be a woman who rules her household. "My mother taught me to eat clean. We didn't eat a lot of fast food growing up, and my mom works out religiously to this day. So, I just followed in her footsteps. She's 50 and looks amazing!"
Tory may also co-own the Atlanta women's boutique Shop Fetch, but whenever she has time, Tory and Asher are usually outdoors living an active lifestyle. Even as a toddler, Asher already enjoys basketball with his mom and Tory plans to teach him some of the sports she played as a child, including soccer and softball.
Below Tory shares how careful planning and organization allow her to have relaxed mornings, work more productively, and keep an overall healthy lifestyle.
On what motherhood means to her:
"Being a mother wasn't planned. But when I found out I was going to be a mom, I instantly fell in love with my baby. Motherhood is not pretty at all. I don't get any privacy, I don't get much rest, and most of my days are filled with, 'Stop, don't do that'… but I wouldn't change a thing. He makes me want to be better and he keeps me on my toes."
On how her mother inspired her fitness routine:
"My mom is my fitness inspiration. She doesn't eat any fried foods or sweets and she works out religiously. She raised my sister and me on home-cooked meals. We didn't eat out much, but when we did it was quality meals. I also love the fact that she's not only healthy physically, but also healthy mentally. My mom meditates every morning."
On what a typical day looks like:
"Because I make sure everything I need is prepared the night before, my mornings are pretty relaxed. After I pick my son up from school, I spend time with him inside practicing the alphabet or outside playing basketball. When we come inside for the evening, I go back to working until I fall asleep."
On how her son changed her wellness routine:
"I take my son outside every day so he can maintain an active lifestyle, and when I workout at home he'll try and mock what I do. It's the cutest thing! He loves basketball so much. We have a little hoop at the house so his dad and I can play with him inside to keep him constantly active."
On preserving the characteristics of the woman she was before becoming a mother:
"I'm a mother, but I still like to get out and enjoy my social life. I like to plan my work and social life so I don't give one aspect too much or too little time. I'm still young and I like to hang out with my girls and my man from time to time."
On practicing self-care:
"As with most mothers, I try to get a decent amount of rest (and that rarely happens). I like spending time with others, but it's also important for me to have my alone time to just unwind and 'get to know me' again. I work out about four times a week and maintain a decent diet. I'm human so I do have my cheat days… I love wings!"
On the greatest lesson motherhood has taught her:
"Before becoming a mom I wasn't patient, and then I became the mother of a stubborn son. Needless to say, my son is now teaching me patience. I also tend to panic, and having a toddler doesn't ease the feeling. Just like other toddlers, Asher gets into everything!"
To keep up with Tory and Asher, follow her on Instagram.