Meet Darlene Negbenebor, a Stamford mom of two and lifelong New Yorker who moved here in 2005 to join a medical practice. Dr. Negbenebor is a busy gastroenterologist at Stamford Gastroenterology who works hard to balance being a mother and a physician. One of her favorite activities is going on hikes with her family and their new puppy, Millie. Read more about this dynamic mom and her go-to spots in Stamford.
How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
I have two children, an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl.
When did you move to Stamford and what led you to settle there?
We moved here from New York City in 2005 after I completed my gastroenterology fellowship. As a lifelong New Yorker, I never imagined myself living in the “burbs” but came to CT to join a medical practice. I now have my own practice and have deep ties to this community. We love our neighborhood and Stamford has proven to be a wonderful place to raise a family. Its diversity is quite similar to NYC and is in such close proximity to New York that we have not looked back!
What are your favorite family activities in the area?
We enjoy the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. My daughter volunteers with their Animal Embassy. It is a wonderful opportunity for her to interact with the animals while caring for them. We also like to go for hikes in Mianus River Park with our newest family member, our little puppy, Millie.
When did your child/children begin attending St. Luke’s School?
My daughter started at St. Luke’s in 6th grade and my son will be entering St Luke’s also in the 6th grade.
What about St. Luke’s makes it a fit for your family?
St. Luke’s has the perfect blend of strong academics and a sense of community service. As a physician, it is extremely important to me for my children to understand that they are part of a community. It is their responsibility to do what they can to make this world better for themselves and for those around them. St. Luke’s instills in them through daily lessons the importance of giving back to your community in any way that one can.
How did St. Luke’s respond to the challenges of Coronavirus?
COVID has been a challenge for all academic institutions. Fortunately, St. Luke’s has been very mindful and purposeful in the decisions they have made regarding our children. They brought the children back to school earlier than most schools to allow them to maximize their classroom time. I was impressed with the scientific voices that they enlisted as advisors to ensure that the children were back on campus safely. We have a distance learning option for those that choose to participate. It is available to any child so that those that are ill, have tested positive, or just prefer to work from home, still can participate virtually in their classroom lessons. With all of the precautions and options for access, we have not missed ANY time at all!
How do you manage your extremely demanding job and parenting?
To my children, I am Mommy first and Doctor second. It can be difficult to do everything. I have learned to be creative. I have longer days sometimes, and I do some of my work after family time. In addition, I am sure you have all heard it takes a village to raise a child! I have a very large village, that includes my family (I have an incredibly supportive husband that jumps in whenever he can to fill in if I am needed urgently at work), my friends, and even colleagues as part of my support network.
When you need “me time,” what are your favorite ways to escape?
I’ve started playing tennis. Initially, it was just for exercise but now I really look forward to it and enjoy playing. It’s a great sport that incorporates social interaction, agility as well as hand/eye coordination. The medical literature consistently shows that racket sports add approximately 10 years to your life. What’s not to love about that!
What’s the best advice you’ve received from another mom?
The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. This compels me to remind my children often of how much I love them. I want them to go out into the world feeling loved and respected so that they can interact with others from a place of love and respect.
Name one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
I am a true Trekkie. If there is a photo of a Trekkie it would be me at 10 years old and I have maintained my membership to this day. I like most things Sci-Fi but still turn to the classics, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Twilight Zone. I am hooked on the newest iteration: Star Trek Discovery!
We like to support local businesses. What are your favorite places in the area to:
Have dinner: Villa Italia or Judy’s Bar and Kitchen
Grab a drink with friends: Table 104
Have a date night: Brasitas or Olio
Spend time together as a family outdoors: Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Grab coffee: Lorca
Workout: Italian Center and Solaris Racquet Club