Home LifestyleCareer Incredible Hoboken + Jersey City Moms That Inspire Us

Incredible Hoboken + Jersey City Moms That Inspire Us

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Over the past year, moms have taken on roles never imagined seamlessly and have worked to keep all things going, no matter the age of their children. From serving as caretakers, full-time employees, business owners, educators, shoulders to cry on, and people to laugh with, moms are there for every moment. All moms everywhere inspire us with their motivation, energy, spirit, kindness, and care. For this Mother’s Day, we chatted with a few local moms who encourage and motivate us daily to be the best version of ourselves we can possibly be. Read on for a list of local mothers we are celebrating this Mother’s Day.

Ashley Barron

Hoboken Firefighter 

Ashley Barron

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living. 

AB: I am 28 years old and I have lived in Hoboken my whole life. I love spending time with my daughter and my friends and I absolutely love sports. I am very proud to say that I am a firefighter for the Hoboken Fire Department. 

HG: Tell us about your child.   

AB: I have one child. Her name is Haylee Mae and she is five years old. 

AB: What does a typical day look like for you? 

Firefighters have very different schedules than other jobs. We work 24-hour shifts, and honestly, no two shifts are the same. Our morning routines however are very consistent. When our shift starts we are all checking our personal equipment, checking the tools and equipment on our trucks and engines, making sure everything is working properly and is accounted for, going over our radio tests, handling any housework around the firehouse, and usually after that morning routine is complete we have some kind of training during the middle half of the day {which again, is different every shift}. Being a firefighter is extremely exciting, especially knowing that every shift we have is going to be different than the last. 

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom? 

AB: Sometimes as parents we forget that we also have to take care of ourselves. I like to just relax at home catching up on a show that I am watching or just catching up with a friend.  I am extremely blessed to have a family that helps me out with my daughter so that I can have self-care days. Don’t get me wrong, I also like to pamper myself from time to time, but a mommy mani-pedi day usually turns into a girl’s day which features my daughter, we get mani-pedis and follow that up with a trip to 16 Handles. It’s a win-win for me though, I get to relax and spend time with my daughter, nothing better than that!

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

AB: Motherhood during the pandemic has not been the easiest. Virtual learning with a five-year-old was definitely one of the most stressful parts. My daughter not being able to be around her friends was rough, and I think that took a toll on everyone in general. My daughter loves to show affection and hug her friends, so having to “air hug” for the time being is not her favorite part. Needless to say, we have adjusted and things are much smoother now than in the beginning. 

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

AB: My favorite thing about being a mom {and sometimes the saddest} is watching my daughter grow up. Seeing her learn new things, play with her friends, discover hobbies she enjoys, just all makes me smile. If I am watching my daughter with her friends, or listening to her read, or just hearing her laugh with her loud contagious laugh, you could find me on the side just watching her with a huge smile on my face. I just absolutely love being her mom, she is amazing!

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

If I could share any advice with other moms it would be to remember that we are not perfect. We are going to have rough days from time to time, and that is okay. Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs out there. We have to remember that we are not alone in this parenting journey, and when you need those self-care days, take them! 


Tamar Samuels 

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist + Founder of Culina Health 

Tamar Samuels

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living.

TS: I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist and the cofounder of Culina Health. Culina Health is a telehealth, insurance-based personalized nutrition coaching platform, designed to provide education to patients that will help them take the stress away from eating allowing them to transform their health and live a more balanced life. I manage a team of Registered Dietitians extensively trained in Medical Nutrition Therapy through the Dietetic Internship program at New York University, our goal is to help patients understand their bodies, change their relationship with food and assist in order to build healthy habits that get results that actually last.

HG: Tell us about your child.  

TS: I’m actually a brand new mom. My daughter Everest is seven weeks old so I’m still getting the hang of this whole mommy thing. 

HG: What does a typical day look like for you?

TS: As an entrepreneur of a new company my day is anything but typical and changes as our company grows. I can be doing anything from creating content for social media, freelance writing, insurance billing, seeing clients, training my team, running analytics, and developing new business ideas with my partner Vanessa Rissetto. There’s always something to do and it changes all the time so it keeps me busy!  

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom?

TS: At the moment Everest is so little that self-care is definitely challenging. I’ve been able to squeeze in 20-minute at-home workouts and a skincare routine at night. Doing my curly hair routine and a quick 5-minute makeup face has also helped me feel like myself again postpartum. Walks with baby are also super regenerating! 

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

TS: I was pregnant and became a mom throughout the pandemic and it’s been incredibly challenging. My birth experience was especially hard during the pandemic, not being able to have family present. It’s honestly been incredibly isolating and has made having a newborn even more difficult, not being able to see friends and family and being cooped up inside all day. One positive is that I do feel lucky to be able to work from home and have that flexibility as a result of the pandemic. 

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

TS: My daughter is still so little, but so far it’s been incredibly rewarding to just see her grow and do new things every week. When she smiles and interacts with me more and more it feels so special. 

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

TS: My biggest piece of advice for new moms is to accept and seek out help! Women are definitely capable of some pretty incredible things, but getting support is essential for maintaining your own well-being both mentally and physically. I’ve been lucky enough to have help from my husband, mother, doula, lactation consultant, friends, and the list goes on! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it doesn’t make you any less capable as a mother or woman. 


Lana Walsh Falcicchio

Owner + Real Estate Broker  Boutique Realty 

Lana Walsh Falcicchio

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living.

LWF: I’m the owner and real estate broker of Boutique Realty. We are a full-service brokerage serving most of New Jersey with locations in Hoboken, Jersey City, and Monmouth County. We have been in existence for 12 years and I have almost 20 years in the business. 

HG: Tell us about your children.  

LWF: I have three! Dean is ten, Elle is five, and Peter is three.

HG: What does a typical day look like for you? 

LWF: I have three office locations, so I split my time. My day usually begins with answering emails, texts, and returning calls from my clients and agents. I have meetings set up with my agents to check in with them, brainstorm sessions on building new business with management, making sure inventory are up to date and everything is in compliance. I’m servicing my own clientele by showing homes, going on listing appointments, updating myself on the market, following up with attorneys, inspectors, outside brokerages, etc. I’m also managing leads that come in to get them to my agents and making sure they are being attended to. There are also a lot of back-end items that go along with owning and running a brokerage. There is never enough time in the day and always something to do!

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom? 

LWF: Sneaking in virtual pilates classes {Bum Pilates}, facials {EC Beauty Studio}, and acupuncture {Acupuncture Atelier}, all amazing mom-owned businesses!

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic? 

LWF: Stressful!! My kids’ school still has not opened, so it’s been over a year of remote learning. I have had to adjust my schedule, but now I’m in a groove again. I’ve had to juggle teaching, motherhood, career, and keeping a household tidy with 3 kids and 2 dogs home a lot more than usual! 

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

LWF: Just sitting back and watching them interact with one another. I’m an only child so it’s fascinating to me!

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

LWF: Give yourself a break {no one really knows what they are doing}, don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself, hang with your friends, and take a vacay without kids with your partner!


Catherine Willhoit & Kristin Karotkin

Owners of The Hive

The Hive

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living. 

K + C: We’re friends and co-owners of The Hive, a coffee and retail shop located on Tenth and Park in Hoboken. Our shop is very much for adults – the menu, the design, and retail products we stock are all curated with grownups in mind – but we also have a small, sophisticated play space for little ones within. As for our actual jobs, we wear a ton of different hats at any moment of the day: we’re baristas, cleaners, customer service, social media managers, buyers, bakers, professional organizers, and so much more. And crazily, we love every single one of the roles that we play.

HG: Tell us about your children. 

K: I’ve got two kids! My daughter, Stella, is three, and my son, Harry, is 15-months-old.

C: I’ve also got two kids, both boys. Finn is 3, and Miles just turned two.

HG: What does a typical day look like for you? 

K+C: We take turns opening the shop each week to afford one another a little bit more time to ourselves, but our mornings always start bright and early so we can either get to work or take time for ourselves before the kids wake up. If we’re not juggling the morning chaos with our kids, we’re at The Hive making coffees, greeting customers, answering emails, looking for cool new products to bring into the shop, fielding inquiries for events/parties/collaborations, ordering supplies, cleaning the playspace, etc. The wild thing about our business is that there is never, ever anything to do. We’re constantly on the go and once we’re home, we both launch into mom mode until our loads are asleep by 8:30. Then it’s time to catch up on email, eat dinner, spend a little time with our husbands, and crash into bed around 10:30. We also fully realize that writing this makes it sound like we all live under one roof, but we assure you, our routines look very similar and at separate addresses!

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom? 

K: I try to make at least a little time for myself each day. Sometimes it’s listening to a podcast on my walk to work, some days it’s treating myself to a pedicure and a workout. Before COVID, I made a point to get together with girlfriends regularly which was so good for my soul. I’m excited to get back to that place.

C: I sneak in workouts as often as I can during the week. It’s my only time to myself and it’s usually pre-dawn when I’m still half-asleep, but I feel so much more well-rounded afterward, much more resilient when it comes to tackling my day, and slightly more energized.

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

K: I had my son Harry in January 2020, so when we first went into lockdown I was balancing a toddler, a newborn and trying to manage the buildout of The Hive. It was challenging, to say the least. On the one hand, it was wonderful to be able to spend so much time with my kids, but on the other, it was incredibly lonely. I had such an amazing tribe of new mama friends when I had my daughter a few years ago {most of whom I met at the Hoboken Hospital support group} and we really leaned on each other through those trying first few months. Going through the newborn phase the second time around without that in-person support system was tough. A year later I’d say that things look quite different, my kids are back in daycare and my husband working from home has been a huge change for our family as he is able to be more present throughout the day. We eat dinner together as a family pretty much every night which I’ll never take for granted.

C: At the start of lockdown last year, it was such a shock to my system. I was still working full-time as a publicist at the time, so I went from being out of the house and focusing on my role with clients {while orchestrating The Hive’s launch} to being home full-time with no childcare for my two sons, who were really young at the time and dependent on me for everything. And it was really scary! I fretted about so much – my family’s health, The Hive’s progress, my own sanity – and did what so many other moms did, which was to just get through each day, however I could. Looking back, I’m in awe of what I managed to get done, but that’s all because I had a phenomenal business partner and husband filling in what I couldn’t do in a day. A year on, things feel “normal,” which is comforting, but I think it’ll take a few years before I fully recover from the stress that was brought on by a global crisis.

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

C: Watching their personalities develop. I can’t wait to look back on their younger years and compare them to their adult stages of life to see how they measure up. 

K: I totally agree! Seeing them develop into tiny little humans with opinions and personalities and senses of humor is just the coolest. It is such an awesome adventure. Of course, at times I want to lock myself in the bathroom and scream, but I wouldn’t change a thing. {Except the nights when no one sleeps…that I would change}.

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

K: How much time do we have? Motherhood is a phase of life where everyone offers up more advice than you ever need or want, everyone has their own opinions and ways of doing things. At the end of the day, no one actually knows what they are doing and we are all just trying to make it through one day at a time. 

C: Don’t compare yourselves to other moms, or women in general. I’m guilty of feeling inadequate compared to others, but it’s such a waste of energy and something I’m working on tuning out. We’re all just doing our best!


Marah Oberfield

Founder of Oberfield Communications + co-founder of Little Free Libraries

Marah Oberfield

Little Free Libraries was co-founded by seven women in Hoboken to create access to literature for all in the community. Mariah is a representative of this group and would like to acknowledge the effort put forth by all women involved. 

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living. 

MO: I was born and raised in South Florida. Fifteen years ago, I packed a U-Haul and moved to Hoboken to start a new job in the city at a public relations firm. My professional experiences include public relations, internal communications, change management, and employee engagement solutions for national and global companies. I am currently president of Oberfield Communications, a consulting firm focused on internal communications and employee engagement. I love living in Hoboken and I am definitely not ready for the burbs. I am active and appreciate good food and cocktails.

HG: Tell us about your children. 

MO: We have two girls, Aurora who is seven, and Logan who is four as well as Gordo {a very fat cat} and Turtle {a turtle}.

HG: What does a typical day look like for you? 

MO: Since starting my own company {January 2020} my day is drastically different than in previous years. In fact, if I hadn’t left my job to start my own company, I would have never had the time to start the Hoboken Little Free Libraries with this fabulous group of women! Instead of leaving the house at 6:30AM for a 10 to 11-hour day, I can now pace myself based on my client load. It was a huge transition, mentally and physically. Currently, I’m focused on a lot of merger and acquisition work, so my days have been more intense, but that is only for a few weeks at a time. If you ask my daughters what I do, I play on my computer all day, type a lot, and talk on the phone, loudly. They are not entirely wrong.

HG: How do you practice self-care? 

MO: This is a hard one. My husband and I have no family locally so it’s all us almost all the time. We are fortunate to have an amazing nanny who helps us so we try for date nights a few times a month. It’s kind of lame, but lately, self-care for me is doing what I want versus what the kids want. Nope, we are not going to have pizza {again}, mommy wants Thai. Or nope, I am not sharing my ice cream with you. It’s mine. Is that mean? 

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

MO: I think I’m an outlier in that my life has been less hectic during the pandemic. This is only because I am no longer working 60 hours a week and carrying a raging ball of stress. That said, not seeing my in-laws or our cousins who live out of state has been difficult. Fortunately, we have a solid little circle of friends here in Hoboken who serve as our extended family.

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

MO: I love how different my children are from one another and how both are unique and proud to be who they are. I love seeing their personalities come out in what they say, their mannerisms, and their sense of humor. Both of my parents have passed away so when I take the time to step back and take them in, it makes me think of my parents and wonder if they felt the same pride and joy with their children as I do with my children. It makes me feel more connected to them in a weird way.

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

MO: I’m not a literacy expert, but I believe it’s very important to model that reading is fun versus a must-do or an alternative to having “fun” or a punishment. I’ve tried to start reading more myself, so they see me reading, as well. We have books and magazines in almost every room of our house so that when they are in the mood, they can grab something. Even our littlest one likes to thumb through something while sitting on the potty!  


Shana Lee 

Jewish Education Specialist, PJ Library Coordinator, + co-founder of Little Free Libraries

Little Free Libraries was co-founded by seven women in Hoboken to create access to literature for all in the community. Sarah is a representative of this group and would like to acknowledge the effort put forth by all women involved. 

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living. 

SL: I was born and raised in Jersey City {third generation!}, but moved to Hoboken over 25 years ago.  After graduating from American University with a degree in Visual Media and Theater Arts, I worked for about ten years as a television producer, mostly with Bloomberg Television.

My second career as a teacher began in 2004 at The Kaplan Cooperative Preschool and The Learning Center at the United Synagogue of Hoboken.  It happened accidentally, though I wouldn’t change it for the world. I like the flexibility the job afforded me while raising my three kids here. I also run Jewish engagement programs for children through The PJ Library of Hudson County.  I’ve been a volunteer Board member for The Hoboken Family Alliance, a local nonprofit for the past 18 years.  My primary role has been organizing annual Cabin Fever events while raising thousands of dollars for the HFA philanthropy fund. I currently serve as the Director of Marketing and Advertising. In my free time, I like to work out {at home}, read, head to the beach, travel, and play Words with Friends. I’m currently researching places for my next destination! 

HG: Tell us about your children  

SL: Alexandra, 19, University of Delaware. Elizabeth, 17, High Tech High School. Jared, 15, at High Tech High School. 

HG: What does a typical day look like for you?

SL: Work out, make lunch and set up my day. Work at school {preschool then Hebrew school. Some days tutoring, some days food prepping, dinner, unwind with Words with Friends, and prep class for the next day. 

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom? 

SL: I make time every morning to work out at home for 30-40 minutes before heading to school myself. I also schedule monthly massages!  

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

SL: I feel very fortunate that my children are older and can take care of school themselves. I can only imagine what parents with young children go through, turning on the zoom, and working it through with them. In the beginning, I enjoyed our family dinners together. We had a lot more time to talk. I also realized that they are very capable human beings, and can take care of things, especially after I got sick with COVID at the very beginning of March 2020. 

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

SL: My favorite thing about being a mom is the talk I have with them before bed every night. It gives us a chance to catch up with each other after busy days and brings closure to my night. 

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

SL: Take time to check in daily with your child. It could simply be walking to or from school or a few minutes at night. Also, offer to drive your teenage children places. The car rides are a great way to connect. You’ll learn a lot!   


Djenaba Johnson-Jones 

Founder & Owner Hudson Kitchen

Djenaba Johnson-Jones

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living.

DJJ: My name is Djenaba Johnson-Jones and I live in Jersey City.  I have been married to my husband Bob for 21 years. I spent over 16 years in Corporate America in fashion and business development and became an entrepreneur when I founded Hudson Kitchen in 2015.  Hudson Kitchen is a food business incubator that provides entrepreneurs with commercial kitchen and storage facilities, mentorship, and the educational resources necessary to start, sustain, and scale profitable food business. 

HG: Tell us about your children.

DJJ: I have two children. Mason is 18 and Nora is 15.

HG: What does a typical day look like for you? 

DJJ: Honestly, every day is different for me but, I get up around 6AM.  I like to enjoy coffee and some quiet time before the family gets up. I drop my daughter off at school around 8:30AM. I’m at work around 9 AM.  Hudson Kitchen is open 24/7 so I spend the first hour, refilling supplies throughout the facility, greeting kitchen members, and taking out the garbage and recycling. After I check email, review my profit and loss statement, send invoices, and pay bills. The facility requires quite a bit of upkeep, so various contractors {equipment maintenance, grease trap cleaning, etc.} visit the facility to make repairs and I answer any questions that they may have. I spend a few hours researching and writing our weekly newsletter. I also work on the marketing plan for a food business webinar that I’m hosting in June. Sometimes, I am interviewed for podcasts, and every now and then there’s a fun photoshoot. In the afternoon, I meet with our Operations Coordinator to review the project status. I speak with prospective members and give tours of the facility. Then, I follow up on emails and calls that I may have missed. I leave work between 6:30-7 PM.

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom? 

DJJ: I have the privilege of going to work each day so when I get home, I sit in my garage and stare into space for about ten to fifteen minutes before going into the house. I also go to the gym a few times a week {it’s like therapy} and meet friends in downtown Jersey City to go for walks.

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?  

DJJ: While we have been fortunate enough to remain healthy through the Pandemic, we missed out on celebrating my son’s high school graduation and my daughter’s eighth-grade graduation with our extended family. Instead, both of which took place on Zoom. 

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

DJJ: My favorite thing about being a mom is co-parenting with my husband.  I love my children but parenting can be challenging at times and I love that I get to be on the journey with him.

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

DJJ: Cherish the moments when your children are young because they grow up so fast. One day they are five and the next they are graduating from high school. It’s crazy!


Mary Christian 

Owner & Director of Ivy Primary Prep 

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living.

MC: My name is Mary Christian. I was born in India and immigrated to NYC when I was fourteen years old. Talk about a culture shock! After graduating with my MBA a decade ago, I got married and moved to Jersey City. There is no better place to call home.  Being a mom inspired me to not just be a dreamer but act on making my dreams a reality.  I’m a mompreneur and a proud owner and director of Ivy Primary Prep, an Early Education Center focused on Primary learning for ages 18 months to 6 years.

HG: Tell us about your children. 

MC: I’m a total boy mom. My oldest son, Mason is five, and my youngest son, Maximus, is two months old.

HG: What does a typical day look like for you?

MC: A typical workday mainly consists of event planning, marketing, and scheduling tours. Right now, my real focus is on putting our summer camp plans into action and getting our campers signed up. September is around the corner and I’m also working on executing our preschool program.  I am excited to start our school year because this is our first year enrolling preschoolers. My favorite part of the day is when I give a tour of the school to prospective parents because it gives me great pleasure to showcase my passion, see their expressions as they walk through each classroom, and hear their feedback. It both confirms my dream and serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come in making it a possibility.

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom?

MC: Self-care for me is working on my mind space. It can be hard to find time for myself, but when I do, I try to get in a fast five or ten minutes of meditation to clear my head and help me get through the day.  

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

MC: During this pandemic, I feel like I’ve had a taste of everything motherhood has to offer. Being pregnant, keeping my four-year-old entertained, and giving birth during this pandemic was the most challenging.  I’d say that the time I got to spend with my family was the silver lining.

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom?  

MC: It’s hard to choose only one, but I’d have to say just being there for my sons. For now, finding cures for their boo-boos might be all that matters, but I want to always be there for them, in good times and bad times.

HG: What advice would you share with other moms?

MC: As a first-time parent I wished my newborn came with a user guide.  But the most important piece of advice that I try to live by is to make your children fit into your lifestyle. My husband and I, for example, enjoy traveling and continue to do so with our son, Mason {and soon Maximus!} Mason has traveled around the world with us, and by the age of four, he had visited five continents.


Rosemarie Matos Moyeno 

Attorney + Founder of Rosemarie Moyeno-Matos LLC 

Rosemarie Matos Moyeno

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living. 

RMM: I am a New Jersey and New York licensed business and cannabis attorney with a solo practice in Hoboken which primarily services startups, small businesses, and non-profits in all aspects of running a business from entity structuring and formation to dissolution and wind-up of corporate affairs and everything else in between, including day-to-day administration, compliance matters, insurance, negotiating commercial transactions, preparing tailored contracts, agreements and manuals, real estate, environmental and land use matters.  I also represent clients in the legalized hemp and cannabis industry advising on business administration and licensing matters.

HG: Tell us about your children. 

RMM: I have three kids, Alexandra who is 14, a Freshman at High Tech High School’s BioMed Academy, Arianna who is 12, a 6th grader at HoLa Dual Language Charter School, and Sebastian who is 10, a 5th grader at HoLa Dual Language Charter School. 

HG: What does a typical day look like for you? 

RMM: My day typically starts around 5AM, which is the time I take to quietly enjoy my coffee, catch up on the news and check my schedule before I wake my children for school. Pre-COVID, my workday typically started around 8AM when my children left for school and continued through my last appointment or deadline in the evening. Post-COVID, I try to manage my work appointments around my children’s remote learning schedule {sometimes successfully, most times not} so I find myself working much later in the evenings. 

As a self-employed individual, I enjoy having some flexibility in my schedule but I find that I work much longer days {and most weekends} than I probably would if I worked for someone else in order to meet the needs and expectations of my clients while making sure my family and their needs are taken care of. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way because I enjoy not having to choose between big law hourly billing requirements or “face-time” and my children’s school assembly or science fair. I have been blessed, especially when my children were younger, to be able to chaperone school trips, attend many activities at the school typically held during the day and be an all-around hands-on parent, which I know I would not have been able to do if I still worked at a large firm.

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom?

RMM: I am truly blessed to have strong family support {it really does take a village}, and so occasional quiet/alone time in a soaking bath is always a nice way to unwind after a long day and a quick pick me up. Now that more businesses are reopening on a larger scale, I have taken the opportunity to catch up on much needed and missed self-care treatments such as facials with my favorite aesthetician, Grace Sibilia at Studio 17, and a fresh haircut and styling by my favorite hairstylist, Davida Serrano {both based in Hoboken}. Both are local entrepreneurs and working moms with amazing skills! I also enjoy an occasional night out with my husband or a girlfriend from some grown-up time outside of the home. 

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

RMM: It most certainly has had its challenges. Remote learning is certainly not for the weary…lol.  Like every family in this situation, we have struggled with finding that happy balance between getting the kids motivated and completing their work, the level of parent involvement required, as well as managing expectations and all the uncertainties that have come with this unprecedented global situation.  As a working mom, I have had to restructure my own activities to find a workable balance between meeting client needs and expectations and those of my children and family. It’s been a great lesson in endurance, organization, and time management.  

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

RMM: There are so many hugs and kisses from my children are at the top of the list, followed very closely by their expressions of joy at the small pleasures in life and the open communication that we share. I love listening to them talk about their thoughts and feelings…what makes them happy, what concerns them, their dreams and goals for the future, their individual perspectives on life, and the events and circumstances around us. It pleases me beyond measure to see them flourishing and growing into young adults. 

HG: What advice would you share with other moms?

RMM: There is no cookie-cutter recipe for great {or even good} parenting. Everyone’s struggles are unique to their own circumstances and we all try our hardest to be the best mom’s that we can. My only advice would be that time is most certainly way too short, especially when you become a mom.  Therefore, it’s so important to find that happy work-life balance, whether you work outside or inside of the home for your own health as well as that of your family, and take the time to smell the roses.  Before you know it, your children are grown and out of the house making their own way in life and you wouldn’t want to regret missing anything you didn’t have to. 


Tenille Ortiz 

Owner of The Cupcake Carriage 

Tenille Ortiz

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living.

TO: I am the mother of 3 amazing little boys with different personalities. I run a Custom cake boutique and a Mobile Bakery for Children that conducts cupcake decorating workshops and Birthday parties. I run this business with my husband.

HG: Tell us about your children. 

TO: I have three boys. Brian is my oldest, he just turned 16, Bryson is the middle child, he is 10, and Mateus is four.

HG: What does a typical day look like for you? 

TO: Crazy! I am all over the place. My schedule is usually fully booked. I’m running a business while being a mom and a wife, teaching, driving my children from game to game while on the phone with clients. My days are nuts but I love every minute and the more I try to find time for myself the more I learn to love the way my life is.

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom? 

TO: I have been forced to. It is something I struggle with while running this business. Everyone and everything has come before me. This pandemic has made me realize how important self-care is. I’ve become more disciplined managing my work and life and have definitely committed to finding time for myself. In the end, this benefits everyone.

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

TO: Very hard. Juggling so much has been crazy. The worry has been hard to control as well but it’s forced us to slow down and appreciate the little things, which has been nice.

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

TO: Learning from them. Cherishing every moment. Having 3 boys all 6 years apart shows me how precious time is and how it goes so fast. Each of them teaches me something different every day. They keep me young and they show me what unconditional love is.

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

TO: That if we don’t find time to care for ourselves and do the things we love, it will be hard to care for our family. That self-care should be non-negotiable. That motherhood is an imperfect journey, we learn every day and what is important is that we do the best we can and lead with love always.


Maria Roberts 

Speech Pathologist + Content Creator 

Maria Roberts

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living. 

MR: My name is Maria Roberts, I’m a speech pathologist and co-owner of Speech Path NYC. I am also the content creator behind @spinach4breakfast, and a mom of two.

HG: Tell us about your children. 

MR: I have two children, Luca who is two, and Kaia who is seven months old. 

HG: What does a typical day look like for you? 

MR: My days always vary which is really nice! I work part-time as a speech pathologist and see private clients in their homes or at their schools. When I am not seeing clients, I am working on the business side of @spinach4breakfast, which entails a lot of content creation and brand collaboration. There are also days where I am just home watching my kids, and I’m always grateful that I get to spend that time with them.

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom? 

MR: I’ve learned that self-care doesn’t need to be this big thing like going to get a facial or a massage, because for me those things are too few and far between. Instead, I find very small things throughout the day that make me happy. I make myself a cappuccino each morning which I always look forward to every day. I’ll take my daughter for a walk to get fresh air, or read at night for 30 minutes before I go to bed. We give so much to our kids, but in order to do that, we need to remember to also take care of ourselves. 

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

MR: I was pregnant for most of 2020 with my second baby, and I think the silver lining is that I would have never been able to spend as much time home with my son as I have. The time with him is something I will always look back on and cherish. It outweighs all of the trying times this past year. 

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

MR: It’s so hard to sum up into just one thing, but I think the deep-routed loving bond you have with your child is like nothing else. You can make all their worries go away with a single hug, and they can do the same for you. 

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

MR: No one gets it right all the time, you’re doing great. 


Vanessa Imme 

Broker of Record SILVERMAN 

Vanessa Imme

HG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living. 

VI: I have been a Jersey City resident for eight years. I love to travel to new places and discovering different cultures. I am the Broker of Record at SILVERMAN, a local Jersey City developer. My job is to find people the best places to live in town! 

HG: Tell us about your children. 

VI: I have two children, Adrianna who is nine, and Mateo who is two.

HG: What does a typical day look like for you?

VI: I start my day with a team meeting. I then focus on marketing, following up with any leasing leads, and touring apartments with prospective residents. I am also leasing commercial space in our newest building in Hamilton Park, Jersey City.

HG: How do you practice self-care as a mom? 

VI: I love to exercise. You’ll find me on my peloton or running on the waterfront and taking in all the beautiful views. I love to stop and meditate at the sunrise. There is nothing better than breathing in that morning crisp air. There is a sense of peace I find by the water. 

HG: What has motherhood been like for you during the pandemic?

VI: The pandemic was challenging as a mother, of course. Watching the news in front of my daughter was strange. I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing by exposing her to such details. Every child is different. We took it day by day and made sure she felt safe while allowing her to fully understand what was happening and staying optimistic. Throughout the quarantine, we focused on the positive side of things and embraced our time together. I even learned some Tik Tok dances! 

HG: What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 

VI: My favorite thing about being a mom is showing my children all that life has to offer while teaching them how to be kind and respect others.

HG: What advice would you share with other moms? 

VI: Enjoy motherhood and always trust your instincts. Don’t take criticism seriously. People that criticize your parenting are unhappy people.

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