19 Jan Meet Diane Powis, Mother of 2, Psychologist, Dog Lover, Runner!
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
I have two children: Ben, age 14, and Sarah, age 10. I have two dogs (semi-children): Mak, a lab mix, age 8, and Petunia, an English bulldog, age 6. I love spending time with my kids. I especially enjoy our vacation time when we can escape from the daily grind of work, school, sports, driving to sports/activities. We have been really fortunate to be able to take some amazing trips – one of our favorites was our spring break vacation to Arizona and the Grand Canyon last March.
My greatest wish for my children is for them to live a full and meaningful life. In doing so, I hope they have children as great as they are so they can enjoy being a parent as much as I do!
When and where are you the happiest?
I am definitely the happiest on vacation with my family! It is a bonus if the dogs can join us (well, just the lab since the bulldog is sort of a freak)….
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to travel back to Venice, Italy with my husband and kids. My husband and I shared some special memories from a pre-parent trip there and we would love to return with Ben and Sarah to create new memories! Unfortunately, I don’t think Mak will get to join on this one….
Who has had the biggest influence upon you? And what quality do you most admire in a mother?
My mother had the biggest influence on me (I’m a psychologist so how else could I answer that one???). She was an amazing and brave lady who died way too young. She was a school psychologist and taught me the importance of patience, honesty, compassion and generosity. I admire so many of my friends who are mothers and I strive to parent with their grace and class.
What do you like to do for fun?
Fun: I enjoy spending time with my husband both with and without friends – I am more of a one-on-one type person than a group person, but I enjoy hanging out with a close group of my mama friends. For stress relief, I also enjoy running (toward or away I’m not sure…), reading, going out to eat (any food that I don’t have to cook rocks!), going to the movies, and playing my guitar (poorly). I also like playing games with my kids (ping pong, backgammon, Monopoly, Sorry).
What is one of your favorite books? Movies?
I absolutely love to read – I find reading to be a total escape and I always have something new on my iPad. I have so many favorite books from different times in my life so there is no way I can pick just one! So here are just some of my top picks: The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Kite Runner, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, 11/22/63 (I think Stephen King is an incredible writer!), Night, The Power of Quiet. Random and a long list, I know.
I also love movies (and popcorn). Some of my favorites include: ET, The Princess Bride, Good Will Hunting, Awakenings, Jerry Maguire, Titanic, Dirty Dancing, Bridesmaids (hysterical), and Monty Python and the Meaning of Life (classic and hysterical).
Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed? What are your strongest qualities?
I really enjoy my work as a rehabilitation psychologist at Stamford Hospital. I have held that position since 2001 and feel very privileged to work with a fantastic team and some truly inspiring patients. It makes me very happy and fulfilled to get to work as a psychologist three days/week and then be able to be home on the other two days to be around more for my kids. The balance works for me and makes me really happy.
People tell me that I am a good listener and a caring person. I think I can be really funny, but my family and friends might disagree (as I tend to laugh at my own jokes and, at times, I am the only one laughing).
In 2013, I was hit with ovarian cancer, had a terrible year and ultimately emerged on the other side, cancer-free, grateful as hell, and with a newfound appreciation for family, friends, community and perspective on what is important in my life.
What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook?
I really do not enjoy cooking (is it wrong to admit that?), but I really love to eat! However, I do enjoy baking with my kids. We also really get into watching Chopped together. My favorite food would have to be a full traditional Thanksgiving feast – turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, etc.
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
My favorite time of day is in the evening at home with my family when we are all back from work/school and can relax together. Homework, sports practice and dinner prep tends to get in the way, but we do our best!
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what’s your favorite drink?
I enjoy going out to Party with Moms at a great restaurant or a close friend’s home.
Favorite drink: red sangria!!
Diane earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and completed her internship and post-doctoral training at Rusk/NYU and Mt. Sinai Hospital. She has been married for 20 years to her Canadian husband, Graham. After the birth of her son Ben in New York City, the family moved to Old Greenwich; Sarah was born at Greenwich Hospital.