A modern day superwoman who admits parenting is challenging but she wouldn’t trade it for the world… Meet Dr. Teneshia Daniels, Huntsville resident, dentist, and one half of the parenting team with her husband, Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, for their 12 month-old daughter, Abigail.
A 4:30 am alarm greets Dr. Teneshia Daniels most mornings. She heads off to the gym; it’s the only time the 34-year-old dentist can squeeze in a workout. From workout, Daniels races home to get herself and her daughter ready for the day. Dr. D, as her staff calls her, starts seeing patients at 7:00 am.
“I drop Abigail off with my mom, but many days Anthony and I do the baby hand off.” Her husband, Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, has been spending most weekdays in Montgomery as the regular legislative session is underway. Daniels says having her mom here has been a huge blessing, but they are looking into school programs for their daughter. She jokes, “Anthony is ready for her to be counting to ten, while I’m still waiting on her to say Mama!” Daniels laughs and shakes her head as she adds Abigail has been saying “Dada” for weeks now.
Originally from Toomsba, MS, Dr. Daniels has lived in Huntsville for about five and half years now. She graduated from Tennessee State before receiving her DDS from MeHarry Medical College. When asked about her dental practice, Dr. Daniels stresses that, “Dental health is fundamental to overall health. I take into account the patient’s entire well being, are they ill, what type of medications are they taking, do they have other medical issues at play? My staff and I strive to take everything into account to provide the highest quality dental care.”
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Dr. Daniels says opening her own practice has always been her dream. Premiere Dental started with two staff members; today she heads an eight-member team and looks forward to further growth.
When asked about where she sees herself in five to ten years, Dr. Daniels hesitates a moment before answering, “It would be great to expand our family.” She smiles before diving back into work talk, describing her future plans to expand her practice. Dr. Daniels explains she began treating patients suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) and myofacial pain and wants to see her business grow more in that direction.
Wearing so many hats can be challenging. Dr. Daniels says she balances it all by being focused on the job at hand. “When I’m at work, I am Dr. Daniels, all my attention goes to my patients. And then when I get home it’s my time for Anthony Daniels and Abigail Daniels.”
She admits her schedule can be exhausting, “Sometimes it feels like I am tired all the time. I wake up tired and I go to sleep tired. But as soon as I walk into that office I go 100%. Driving home from work the exhaustion hits but I see my baby girl, and that mommy energy comes from somewhere and I get to end my day with her.”
The interview pauses for a moment as she hands off Abigail’s baby bag to her husband before also mentioning his frequent travel for work means helping him pack, keeping up with the house, and family schedules. A routine many women in the Tennessee Valley know well.
Dr. Daniels also talks sacrifices, “It’s hard when you’re a working mom to miss milestones. My friends and I discuss it all the time. But it’s what we signed up for. Ultimately, it’s the best decision for our family.”
Her Perfect Saturday
When prompted to describe her perfect Saturday, Daniels uses two words that are music to every mother’s ears: Sleep in. She says her husband is always up and going no matter what day it is, but she likes to sleep late, cuddle with her daughter, and then enjoys doing regular mom stuff with her – hanging out, cleaning up, and relaxing.
What’s on her Playlist?
“I love everything from Broadway musicals to R&B soul. Lala Hathaway and KEM will always be my favorites. Beyoncé can always get my morning started and Donna Summer “She works hard for the Money” keeps me in the game, during a busy day at work.”
Funniest Mom Moment
Daniels hides her face as she describes her “funniest mom moment”. She says it’s more an ongoing behavior, “When my daughter gets the sniffles, a scratch, or takes a tumble, all that medical training flies out the window and I worry!” Dr. Daniels says when it’s your own baby, it hard to react as a medical professional. “But luckily, she’s always fine and then I laugh about it.”
And her #1 Parenting Tip?
“Spend as much time as possible with your babies. Even if you are working, don’t beat yourself up to go back to work, they will know you will love them. Cherish every moment.”
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