19 Local Moms That Inspire Us This Mother’s Day

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Parents are superheroes, there’s no doubt about it. And with everything going on in the world right now, parents have gone above and beyond even more so, taking on the roles of educators as well. Of course, Mother’s Day is around the corner, and we’d be remiss not to shout to all the local moms out there who are truly #momgaols and all-around amazing women. {But let’s be real, all moms inspire us every single day}.

This year, we’re highlighting 17 Hoboken + Jersey City moms who really deserve some serious appreciation this year. These ladies are weighing in on everything from their favorite mom-related mottos to advice they’d give to other moms. Here they are:

mothers day hoboken jersey city

Julie Hartigan, Chef + Owner of Cooking w/ Julie

Julie Hartigan

{Photo credit: @cookingwjulie}

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

Savoring the uniquely fun parts of every stage because they change so fast. To be honest, when I was younger I wasn’t at all into kids and wasn’t sure if I wanted any – being a mom is the most amazing surprise joy of my life. They aren’t kidding when they say it’s like having a piece of your heart out walking around in the world!

How old are your kids?

I have two so sweet teen girls — Delaney is 18 and Lucy is 15 — both born in Hoboken, too!

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

Honestly, they have so much more schoolwork now + log in themselves. They’re both really good students, so I just make sure to have plenty of snacks and empathy for them {especially my older daughter who’s a senior missing her prom, graduation, and her friends before they go all go off to college}.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

I’m really close to both my girls individually and also our group vibe together; with the three of us home it’s one big laugh fest of cheesy movies, at-home manis, Tik Toks, and just being silly. I love their energy and having them around to cheer me up — plus I’m savoring all the extra time I’m getting with them because our lives are usually so busy.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

At a point, you need to shift from being your child’s “business manager” to being a “consultant” in their life so they can forge their own path, take ownership, and learn from their mistakes {helicoptering will just tick them off and do no good}. Also, to choose your battles wisely versus fighting over every little thing and to play the long game towards having a great lifelong relationship with them.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

I always work from home and wear a lot of hats — I do cooking segments {on TV, my YouTube channel, IG lives, and client videos), develop and photograph recipes, do influencer work, and also produce cooking videos for clients. As a working mom you honestly always feel like you’re not getting enough done in either your work or your parenting. It’s something you have to learn to feel at peace with! I drop everything for my girls when they really need me, but also set limits. My girls are so proud of me and the business I’ve built since I career-changed when they were born, and are my biggest cheerleaders.

Who is your role model and why?

My late friend Roya Movafegh {one of my first mom-friends in Hoboken when my girls were so little — her daughters are the same age}. She inspired me in so many ways and taught me patience, empathy, generosity, setting limits, and how to truly enjoy my kids vs just run them through a schedule for the day. I miss her and often think “how would she handle this situation.”

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

Even my girls tease me for this one — “But First Coffee” {I’m pretty useless in the am without it}. Also, “It Goes So Fast” — everyone tells you that but you seriously don’t really realize it until it’s too late. I’m going to miss my girls so much when they go off to college but I am looking forward to all the fun and adventures we’ll have together when they’re older too!

Dr. Deena Adimoolam, Physician at Mount Sinai 

Dr. Adimoolam

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

Watching my son’s personality unfold. Watching him mature and hold real conversations with real opinions.

How old are your kids?

I have a two-year-old son.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

Hearing all the funny things he says and does. Yesterday, he put on a stethoscope and said “Hi, I am Doctor Deehna” {he must be hearing me doing videos for Instagram these days}.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

This quarantine is really tough, but we will never get this time back with our kids and loved ones ever again. So enjoy the moments when you can.

 Who is your role model and why?

My parents, especially my mother. She came to the USA from India in her 20s — super young, naive, and pregnant! She did not know how to do raise a kid or be a wife but figured it all out on her own thanks to some amazing women in her life.

She lost her dad early in her life, and took on the role of raising not just me and my brother…but her four siblings too. She is the matriarch of my family.

She is very smart and loves to learn — she literally has a knowledge of everything!  She got her master’s degrees and worked part-time so that she can be there for me and my brother – she never missed a single dance recital, piano concert, voice class of mine. She was always there for me.

She works extremely hard every day managing a business, being a fantastic chef, and taking care of all our family needs.

She taught me to be non-judgmental, loving, and never jealous of others. She made me a strong woman in mind, body, and heart.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

You are exactly what your child needs {so stop doubting yourself}  — Kala Adimoolam {my own mother}.

April Hinkle, Founder + Community Builder at Just Human

April Hinkle

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

I think I started trusting myself more and became less scared to die into things that I really believe in. I started setting concrete goals and have been very clear-headed about my path toward these goals. My whole perspective about the future shifted. There was a crazy intense need to create, collaborate, and just going for it.

How old are your kids?

Atlas turns one year old in June!

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

In addition to being a new mom and running my community program, I also work full time in the city serving victims of crime. Oh yeah, and then I am in grad school too. It’s been overwhelming juggling everything while quarantining but I am also incredibly grateful that I have my amazing little family, a job, a passion project, and a comfortable home. It can be challenging sometimes to hear traumatic stories through my day job, particularly hearing about violence against children and families, but everything else helps me balance that and stay hopeful.

Read More: 12 Local Mompreneurs Share How They Balance Work x Motherhood

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

I returned to work in NYC five weeks after giving birth to Atlas so I wasn’t able to spend the time bonding with him that I wanted to. I still had stitches when I returned to work! The passed two months have been an incredible time to just play with him and watch him learn. He really loves trying new food so cooking for him and watching him try new things has been super entertaining.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

Take time for yourself. They say to sleep when the baby sleeps but, honestly, if you prefer to put on a face mask and read a good book in a bubble bath while they sleep, do that! If you prefer to paint while they sleep, do that! Sleep deprivation isn’t going to go away because you took a nap and it’s important to feel like a human, like yourself. And for those moms who also are launching a new business, collaborate with others. The creative flow that comes out of partnerships is incredible!

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

I am the Founder of Just Human, a community program that collects beloved, second-hand decorative items and home goods from locals and then redistributes them to families impacted by homelessness or domestic violence. I lead a group of amazing volunteers who help me turn empty apartments into beautiful, healing spaces for these local families. A lot of this community building is done via social media {@justhumaninc} and Atlas is constantly making little cameo appearances. Before COVID, I would spend the weekends driving all over Hudson County with my fiancé and our baby collecting donations for the program. It is a whole family affair and, honestly, they both get a lot of credit for motivating me to launch Just Human.

Who is your role model and why?

There are so many amazing role models in my life. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one but I am really inspired by all the small business owners who are pivoting to address the needs of the community.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

An adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s poem If —“Dream, but don’t make dreams your Master. Think, but don’t make thoughts your aim.”

Melissa Gigante, Police the Lieutenant at Hoboken Police Department + Commander of the School Safety Unit

Melissa Gigante

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a mom is the adventure — there is never a dull moment…ever.

How old are your kids?

My sons are 19, 18, 16, five, and four years old.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

A lot of adjustments. Having a sense of humor is probably what keeps me going! My husband, who is a Hoboken police detective cares for the household during the day, my older sons care for the babies for about two hours {my way home and my husband’s way into work} and I pick up where he left off. It seriously is Groundhog’s Day every day!

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

Since my work schedule is still the same, I am not home any more than usual. It has, however, forced me to slow down. I am now more mindful of taking the time to appreciate my family.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

Do not listen to people! Everyone has an opinion on what you should or should not do. Do what is right for your family. You will figure it out together.

Who is your role model and why?

My mother is my role model. I joke with her and say she should have written a column liken “hints from Heloise,” as there are so many things I do not know how to do and she always has the answer! It goes without saying that she has been there for me every time I needed her. She developed me into who I am today.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

Besides the fact that at this moment I totally understand why animals eat their young ha! That would be,”as long as the kids made it out of the house wearing clothes…I’m winning!”

Jill Costello, Hoboken Police Sergeant

jill-costello

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a mom is getting to hang out with my best friend, all of the time.

How old are your kids?

I have one daughter and she’s 18 years old.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

Luckily, I haven’t. My daughter is finishing her freshman year of college at Seton Hall so my involvement in her academics has been minimal.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

My daughter has motivated me to do daily workout videos with her. It’s so much fun and it’s getting me ready for summer!

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

My advice to other moms is to truly cherish every single day because it really does go by in the blink of an eye.

Who is your role model and why?

I think role models change at different stages in your life. At one point it was my dad, he’s a retired Police Sergeant and he’s the reason I wanted to become a cop. At another point, it was my mom, the kindest, most honest person I’ve ever known and hoped to have those qualities too. Right now, I’d say it’s God. I try to represent his light and his love the best that I can every day.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

My favorite “mom motto” is what I used to tell my daughter every day when she left for school, Do good and be good.

Kate Lombardo, Owner of Hudson Yoga Project + Event Coordinator for Hoboken Girl

kate lombardo mothers day

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

I’m still pretty new at being a mom, but so far my favorite thing has been watching how quickly my son is learning, growing, and changing.

How old are your kids?

My son, Arison, is five weeks old.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

I {thankfully} am not in the homeschooling boat since he’s so little. But, I did become a new mom during the pandemic since he was born April 1st. That has been totally crazy since my husband and I have had to figure out how to navigate being new parents without the typical support that family and friends are able to offer. Plus, last-minute trips to the store to grab things you didn’t know you needed haven’t been possible. But, it’s also been a blessing because we’ve been able to bond with our little guy in an entirely different way since it’s been just us and him.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

For me, I think the entire time has been the best experience since all of it is so new.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

I think if I’ve learned one thing so far it would be to listen to your intuition. We had to make some really crazy last-minute changes to our birth plan {as in changing doctors and hospitals two days before he was born because of COVID} which felt really scary. But, I listened to my intuition the whole time even though it seemed insane to make such drastic changes. Everything turned out really well and everyone was healthy and safe, so I’m very grateful for that.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

HYP was forced to close because of COVID about 10 days before Aris was born, so that’s been really challenging because my entire maternity leave plan was completely uprooted. It’s definitely been stressful to try and keep up with all that’s happening with government funding and closures when I’m not able to dedicate as much time as usual to the business. But, I’m really grateful to my business partner and the entire HYP team for jumping in and pivoting by offering online classes and workshops while we’re closed. They’re the best people around!

Who is your role model and why?

This is always a really hard question for me to answer because I find inspiration in so many different people for different reasons. In this current season, I’m looking up to any woman who manages to balance motherhood, marriage, and entrepreneurship. Thankfully the Hoboken community is full of many amazing examples of that.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez, U.S Navy Reserve, NY State Employee, + Owner of SW3AT Sauna Studio

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

I’d say as a new mom it’s watching my daughter grow, explore and learn new things. It’s like I’m living with my new favorite comedian. The things she does are always so cute and funny.

How old are your kids?

I have a daughter who is eight months old and, of course, my fur baby who is 12.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

My daughter is too young for school so we managed to dodge that challenge but she did just start crawling and is well on her way to walking. That has been quite interesting…they literally touch everything. I am still working daily but my wife is home with the baby while also working from home. She is also a Ph.D. student so she has her own homework to get done. It’s entertaining to watch her write a paper and have a Zoom meeting all while screaming “no no don’t put that in your mouth!”

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

Again, since I’m still working I spend most of my time with my daughter and wife on my days off but since our business is closed I do find myself having more time overall. For us, and my wife especially…it’s like extended maternity leave. When moms are forced to enroll their children in daycare after six weeks, three months, six months….whatever it may be, it’s heartbreaking so we are both really grateful for this time. It allows us to watch her develop and really just enjoy our time together as a family. As a service member who’s been deployed before I know the time is going to come where I will miss months of this so I don’t take any of it for granted.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

Ironically the moms you admire won’t be the ones to bombard you with unsolicited advice so ask them because they probably have the best advice to give.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

Considering our business, SW3AT, is closed due to COVID-19, the chaos has eased up a bit but I have taken on other endeavors to utilize the spare time. I’m personally the type that likes to be busy so to me that’s balance. Too much wasted time stresses me out. So in the interim, I started an initiative to feed the service members serving in NYC in support of COVID-19 and I have been finishing up our vlog and website. Outside of all of that, we are anxiously awaiting the reopening of SW3AT Sauna Studio and are in hopes that the community will come out for their immunity boost and infrared fix!

Who is your role model and why?

I’d say my favorite role model as a mom is Gabrielle Union. She wrote in her book about her challenges conceiving and it’s beautiful to watch her finally have her own mini.

Also, she stepped into her step-mother role so gracefully and you can tell she has been the matriarch with the family’s motto of leading their family with love. It’s a great example of strength. She also isn’t afraid of transparency and to show her flaws. She has been through so much controversy and judgment yet still manages to maintain the happiest of families. I think all of that is extremely admirable.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

You get what you get and you don’t get upset. And yes, I already say that to an 8-month old.

Maxim Casas, Emergency Room Registered Nurse at Christ Hospital

maxim casas mothers day

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

Having a little extension of my husband and I to love has been life-altering in all the best ways! I love being able to show our little girl new things, seeing what interests we have in common, watching everything new amaze her and light her face up like a Christmas tree. Discovering her personality has been a trip!  She is wild and sassy and loves good music and good food. Seeing ourselves in her has given us a different way of viewing who we are and it’s just so humbling and beautiful.

How old are your kids?

Our daughter, Savanna, is 13 months old.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

I commend all those moms who have been doing this! It is no easy task to homeschool your own while potentially working from home as well. Hats off to you mamas doing this! I’m just focusing on the basics right now with our little girl when we do have her home with us — walking, talking, eating different foods, and having fun.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

Unfortunately, I haven’t had a lot of time to be home with our daughter, and when I am, there have been a lot of changes to keep her safe.  The best part of it is just being able to be home with her.  She is at an age where every day she learns something new, her personality is huge, she has a sense of humor and likes and dislikes. Just being able to experience her at this age is amazing.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

Enjoy this time to be home with your children. None of us will get it perfect, but have fun doing whatever it is you can with them. I wish I had more time to be home with our daughter.  Do not take this time for granted, not all of us moms have it.

Who is your role model and why?

My mom is my role model. She is a rock. Cancer survivor, former caretaker of her mother who battled Alzheimer’s and dementia, full-time worker, and mom.  She did and still does it all. She currently helps take care of our daughter with my dad and she does it with so much love and grace.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

Sh*t happens. Seriously, momming is like a very weird, multidimensional, abstract art form and god knows it is stressful as all hell. There are media images of the perfect mom with perfect hair and makeup and kids that look put together who eat their greens and put their toys away nicely every time, and I think that the image of perfection is so unrealistic.  Maybe your kid wears pajamas all day, or your toddler spits her food all over your face because today she just happened to not like peas or had an ice pop for dinner, or maybe they fell off a couch when you turned your back for a second and bumped their head.  Make sure your kid is OK and go get yourself a glass of wine because that’s what it’s all about. The imperfections. Life is hard as it is and sh*t happens. Let it roll off your shoulders and keep on trucking because we are all out here just doing our best.  At the end of the day, as long as our kids are happy and healthy, nothing else matters.

Raakhee Mirchandani, Journalist + Author

 Raakhee Mirchandani

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

There are a lot of good things: the hugs, the absurd questions and deep, life-affirming conversations from this tiny human who is equal parts Yoda and You Gotta Be Kidding Me. But my favorite part, without a doubt, is the chance to experience the world again, this time with a weird little optimistic guide. It gives me life.

See More: Mother’s Day 2020: Your Guide to Ordering Gifts in Hoboken + Jersey City

How old are your kids?

My daughter Satya is six-years-old.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

Let’s just get this out of the way: I am the worst teacher. And this mess we’ve got going on at home can hardly be classified as school! {Mostly I’m grateful that Satya goes to such a thoughtful and loving real school; her teachers have been really amazing through all of this.}

I’m doing my best, but it’s really challenging to adjust to working from home, parenting full-time, helping Satya with school work, and making sure she’s happy and learning, all while knowing there’s a global pandemic unfolding. It can feel extremely overwhelming for all of us, Satya, my husband, and myself. So when we get through the school work – and some days we do all of it, other days we have to walk away from it – we focus on doing things we’ve never really had time to do.

Satya and I have been spending a lot of time writing together. I taught her how to interview people she doesn’t know, something she seems really interested in, and she’s hopped on FaceTime with a lot of interesting people, including City officials, CERT workers, and Councilwoman Emily Jabbour, a local mom I admire deeply. We’ve also been working on books and she’s written a few kooky tales that she used to raise money for the Hoboken Community Center. So I’m leaning into those moments as much as I can: creativity, service, and joy despite the chaos.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

I think the best experience of being home with Satya has been the sheer volume of time we have together. And while it can feel relentless and endless some days, we’ve also eaten more meals together in the last 8 weeks than ever before. We’ve cooked together, done puzzles together, and had an unholy amount of dance parties together. I’ve introduced her to my favorite vintage Bollywood songs and taught her the difference between Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Salman Khan. And maybe if she remembers any of this when she’s older, she’ll remember me less as her awful substitute Kindergarten teacher and more about how I slept in her bed, or let her in ours when things felt overwhelming and she just wanted to be close.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

No one has any clue what they are doing. And no matter how perfect someone’s Instagram looks, they’ve got a sink full of dishes, a hamper full of laundry and shitload of self-doubt about parenting, just like you do. So be gentle on yourself and kind to other caregivers; we’re all in this together, today and always.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

I don’t own my own business but I’m a full-time working mother and author. I also serve on multiple boards, including the Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund, the Hoboken Public Library, and Steven’s Cooperative School. Nothing is ever in balance and I’ve gotten pretty good and not looking at balance as a measure of my success or happiness. Most days, I write down three things, specific to that day, that I’m grateful for. Sometimes they are big things, other days, small joys and successes. If I can think of three new things, every single day, I feel like the day was a success. If I can’t, and that happens, I try to forgive myself and start anew the next day. The truth is that some days I am a better mother than professional and other days a better leader/writer than a mom; it’s rarely I’m firing on all cylinders, crushing all aspects of my life at the same time. So I take the wins when I can, holding on to them tightly when things feel unsteady. {My standards are low: if she’s laughing, clean, fed, and has her nose in a book, well, we’re doing OK.}

Who is your role model and why?

My role models are my parents. They came to American as immigrants, no safety net, no blueprint for success. And despite years of struggle, racism, and financial hardship, they built a successful, honest life centered on discipline, service, and truth. I look to my father as a guiding light of what’s possible with hard work, my mother my North Star on how to remain true to your roots but flexible enough to change when you learn new things. Their bravery made my life and I don’t take any of my happiness and privilege for granted; my success was born squarely on the backs of the sacrifices of the immigrants and refugees in my family.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

1: “Mothers have the ability to liberate by love or, by neglect, to imprison. They’re our first teachers; they are our first loves.” — Dr. Maya Angelou

This quote is one I go back to often, sometimes daily, as a reminder of what’s possible with a mother’s love, but also what happens in the absence of it.

2: “Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.” – John Steinbeck in East of Eden

It’s about courage, vulnerability, and bravery, just like Brene Brown says. And I think there’s nothing more vulnerable than giving your whole heart to a little person, unsure of how it all ends up, but brave enough to put your all into it, every single day.

3: “Just wait till you’re a mother!” – Deena Mirchandani, my mother

Mama is always right. It’s so annoying, but it’s a Universal truth. Accept that shit sooner rather than later.

Amy Frank Goldman, President and Founder of AFG Wealth Management + President and Founder of FLAG of HBKN and JC

amy frank goldman mothers day

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

During the day I run pretty hard, especially now that I am managing a business and non-profit. But the best moments for me are the ones in between, such as dinner without phones, looking at time hop every night before my daughter falls asleep, and her tiny little hand holding mine.

How old are your kids?

My Stella Bella Pumpkin Pie is five now. She will be six in a couple of months.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

Every day brings laughter, sometimes frustration, but always love. I wasn’t cut from the cloth that it takes to be a teacher but we are finding our way and Stella has been very forgiving. It is hard as a team to share the responsibility of creating a learning environment, but she is smart and has been teaching us along the way, as well.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

I get to see her, all day every day. I have learned more about her personality, how she learns and what she likes.  Over this time we have strengthened our bond even more than I could have imagined.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

I have a few: give yourself a break and take as many resets as you need.  Forgive yourself when you have moments when you aren’t at your best. Strive to do better next time, but always strive.  Never give up.  The environment we are living in right now isn’t normal or natural for anyone.  This level of isolation and fear takes a toll on us all. Self-care is critically important and so is forgiveness.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

Work/life balance has changed in our household considerably over the last eight weeks.  My husband typically travels for work, so now that he has been home I have more support, but also another schedule to work around.  We have tried to be strategic and start every day with a plan for homeschool, meals, and a daily walk… sometimes that works.  Often times we have to make adjustments along the way.

I founded a wealth management practice about three years ago after 20+ years in financial services.  It was a way for me to take decades of knowledge and connect with other families in a way that I could help.  I always come from a place of trying to understand the client’s needs and preparing for any potential blind spots.

COVID-19 has become a glaring example of the least expected thing that would end up changing everything.  When this started most people felt helpless, scared, and vulnerable.  I decided to take that moment to do something and start FLAG {front line appreciation group} of HBKN and JC. The non-profit is focused on providing support for two groups of people.  First, we feed the frontliners who are risking their lives to serve our community,y and second, we do that by buying those meals from local restaurants.  When I founded FLAG I had no idea it would turn in to what we see today.  What I can say is that I feel incredibly grateful to live in a community that took an initiative that we thought would raise a couple of thousand dollars and send a couple of hundred meals into one that has now served over 14,000 meals and driven $130,000 back to local restaurants.

Who is your role model and why?

My role model to this day is my grandfather, Baca. He recognized at a very young age that I had “a lot of fight” in me.  He was patient and fair, and although he had a lot of great advice, one of my favorites was, “do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?”

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

n our home one expression that is used often is, you get what you get and you don’t get upset.  We live in an area where there will always be a Jones to keep up with.  There are many who have much less and it is important to be grateful for what you have, I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but we are trying to raise a kind and happy human. So far we seem to be succeeding.

Ani Baran, Owner of NJ Acupuncture Center

ani bran mothers day

{Photo credit: @_anichka}

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a mom is the little. Moments such as before bed, after a bath, while reading a book where it seems like it’s just him and I in the world and that’s all that matters in the moment.

How old are your kids?

I have one boy he’s one year old.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

The best experience is being there when he wakes from his daily nap. I usually miss it since I would be at work.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

Don’t judge anyone. We’re all doing our best.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

I have tried to find a nice balance between being a mom and operating a business that has stayed open and functional during the pandemic. It’s been hard especially during work calls but people have been pretty cool about it.

Who is your role model and why?

My mom is and will always be my role model. She was a working mom as well and never missed out on any activities or family time. My mom is one of the most selfless people I know and I hope to be able to give my child the same love, understanding, and support.

Christine Collins, Detective for the Hoboken Police Department

Jill Collins

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

The unconditional love. There’s no better feeling than coming home from work and being greeted with hugs and kisses from my girls.

How old are your kids?

I have two daughters, eight and six years old.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

Homeschooling and working have been a whole new learning experience. My husband does what he can while he’s home with the girls and I finish up when I get home. At times it could be very stressful, but I’m very fortunate to have support from my family.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

The Hoboken Police Department is a 24 hour/seven-day business and we are never closed. When I am home I don’t take it for granted. We have started a Friday night movie night since the start of the pandemic. We vote on a movie, make some popcorn, and have a candy bowl. It’s something we’ve come to look forward to every week.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

To take a deep breath when things get difficult. In with the good, out with the bad.

Who is your role model and why?

My mom. She did it all. She was a mother of three children, went back to school to get her degree, and became an elementary school teacher {still is}. While she was in school she was still working. Every morning she made sure we were ready for school, made us lunches, and every night we had a home-cooked meal. At times I wonder how I am able to balance everything in life and then I realize I learned it from my mom.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

It is what is it. In lifem you have to to roll with the punches.

Cynthia Rivera, Police Officer for the Hoboken Police Department

Cynthia Rivera

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

It’s definitely hard to choose a favorite thing but one of my favorite things about being a mom would have to be seeing the wonder and pure joy in my son’s eyes and expressions when he is learning new activities.

How old are your kids?

My son is two years old.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

My son is not in school just yet but I applaud all the moms out there homeschooling and teaching their child/children while still taking on normal daily tasks. You’re doing great!

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

The best experience of being home with my son is being creative! Normally on my days off, we go to parks and different outdoor locations but with this pandemic and needing to stay home, we have been having fun with a lot of different crafts and fun sensory experiments.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

Appreciate this extra time spent slowing down with your children. Most families day to day are flooded with busy schedules, between school and extracurricular activities that there isn’t much time to slow down and appreciate the little things. Now is that much needed time!

Who is your role model and why?

Her name was Carmen Rivera and she is my son’s grandmother. Unfortunately, we lost her to Covid-19 on April 1, 2020. But she will always be my role model because she overcame a lot of obstacles in her life yet always remained resilient, humble, and selfless while raising six amazing children. She taught me to appreciate life and showed me that no matter what life throws at you there is always a reason to smile and show kindness.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

“Everything is figure out-able.”

Jamie Lieberman, Attorney + Owner of Hashtag Legal, Offices in Hoboken and NYC

jamie lieberman mothers day

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

I love watching my kids succeed and become independent humans. Seeing them learn new things and discover who they are, and being part of that journey, makes me feel very lucky.

How old are your kids?

I have two sons, one in kindergarten and one in third grade.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

One day at a time! We have been trying to be flexible and patient and allow the kids the time and space they need to take breaks when needed.  We follow a daily schedule, which has helped all of us stay on track, but if someone needs a break, we move things around.  My husband is also an attorney so he and I split up the day so one of us is available if the kids need us.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

Getting to listen to the kids on their Zoom calls with their class.  I am seeing a side of them I don’t normally get to see.  I am also loving how much time my two kids are spending together, just playing.  I think they have become so much closer and it is so joyful to witness.

What is one piece of advice you’d give other moms?

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Having a small group of like-minded moms in your inner circle is really helpful when you face a parenting issue that feels challenging, but stop comparing yourself to everyone else. What they are posting on social media is probably only half the story.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance of being a business owner and a mom?

I own a busy law firm and travel {well used to} frequently. I stopped trying to achieve work/life balance because one side of that scale is always tipped in one direction.  Instead, I no longer try to work and be with my kids at the same time.  When I am working, then my focus is solely on work and when I am with my kids, I put my phone down and focus on them.   It makes our time much more special and if I do have to work, they know we will have a special time later on.

Who is your role model and why?

 Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She’s a trailblazer and an icon.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

When you hear silence, be very afraid.

Rachel Mansfield, Cookbook Author, Podcast Host, and Blogger Behind @rachLmansfield

Rachel Mansfield

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

Everything. Truly, the good, the bad, the happy, the sad. It is the most magical feeling in the world knowing Ezra is ours. The bond we have together and having my “mama intuition” is the coolest thing ever.

How old are your kids?

Ezra is 15 months.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

Luckily, Ezra is in a great age for this madness. He isn’t in school yet and doesn’t know what is going on. He is just happy to have even more time with mama and dada.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

Having our meals together. I sit down with Ezra for every meal. I work from home usually but there are many days I would be in the city for meetings and such. To be home for every part of his day is special and something we will cherish.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

Don’t compare your child to anyone else. I shied away from mom groups when Ezra was first born. I have a few close friends with kids similar in age but I felt that everyone was just comparing nap schedule, poop schedule, eating, anything. It can be really overwhelming for moms to hear that one kid is talking and walking when their child is the same age and may not be yet. It is great to have a few friends to call for help but comparing one kid to another. No one knows your children better than you do!

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom? What is your business?

It is 100000% chaotic. I have a cookbook, podcast, and blog/Instagram that I focus on as my “day job.” Luckily a lot of what I do includes Ezra as well. It is very hard to shut off and be fully present in either work or Ezra, and also juggle everything going on. I record most of my podcasts on the floor in my closet.

Who is your role model and why?

All of the mamas and papas out there making it happen and doing whatever they need to do to support their families.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

My dad always says a quote “the days are long but the years are short” or something similar and it is so true! The past year flew with Ezra but the days sometimes felt like centuries.

Jennifer Lee, Police Officer for the Hoboken Police Department

Jennifer Lee

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a mom is watching a part of my heart in my kids and watch them grow into their own personalities.  My boys are my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How old are your kids?

I have three sons — my oldest son is eight years old, my middle son is six years old, and my youngest son is four years old.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

Since I am still working I have been managing the kids’ schoolwork on my days off/night and with the tremendous help of my husband, my mother, my mother-in-law, and my aunt.  I’m so grateful to have their help during this pandemic.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

The best experience of being home with my kids when I’m not working is spending quality time with my family.  There is no more running around because we have places to go.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

The one piece of advice I would give to other moms is to enjoy every single moment while they are young. The kids grow so fast so enjoy life with them and take lots of pictures.

Who is your role model and why?

My role model is my Mom, Jacqueline Simone. My mom is always there for me no matter what life throws at us and has always loved me unconditionally.  She has taught me to always put my family first and to love myself for who I am.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

My favorite mom-related motto is I’m always telling my kids to reach for the stars and I will always be there to help them achieve whatever their goals are in life. #BoyMom

Rene Gonzalez, Founder of Bambino Chef

Rene Gonzalez

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

I absolutely love seeing my children laugh and play, I enjoy every hug and a kiss! And also learn so much from them every single day! The list is long.

How old are your kids?

Twelve, ten, and eight.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

It definitely hasn’t been easy. We have created a routine somewhat similar to school day schedule {we don’t always follow it but we try!}. Setting timelines has been incredibly helpful. Definitely talking to other parents and hearing their experiences has been priceless. This whole thing happened overnight and none of us were prepared for this. We have been telling our children that we just need to do the best we can under these circumstances. We have been doing lots of “home economics” these days! I have to say my children’s teachers have been beyond supportive and responsive during these challenging times and that makes the whole process easier.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

Being able to share every single meal together, have game nights, having one on one time with each child has been simply amazing. That said, I do feel guilty in a way because I wish the circumstances were different.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

As we have heard this phrase over and over “we are in this together” and we all are doing the best we can. What works for one family may not work for another. Just know you are doing an impeccable job. Don’t feel the need to accomplish all tasks or chores because we can only push ourselves so much and our mental health is important now more than ever. What we are doing is enough.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

I own Bambino Chef {cooking school/party venue for children} and it took me some time to find that right balance without getting overwhelmed. It is not easy but I feel like at the same whether you own a business or work at a company or stay at home mom {which is a tough job!} — it is challenging to balance it but just like all moms out there I prioritize and try to stick my “work schedule” and try not to comprise my time with kids.

Who is your role model and why?

Definitely my mom and my grandmother. I know it sounds very cliche but everything I learned about being a mother comes from them. The way they raised me, all the advice they gave me and showed me unconditional love and trust, the forgiving ways they accepted my mistakes and installed humbleness in me, supported my visions – all these have made an impact on me as a mom. When my children were very little and I would try to keep everything organized and sorted {and, of course, I often failed because it is impossible to have full control of everything with three toddlers running around}, she would say “enjoy this mess and madness, you will miss it when they turn 18 and move on.” That was an eye-opener because my mom is probably the most organized person I know! One of the best advice I received from her.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

“They grow up fast, enjoy each moment.”

Liana Palladino, Police Officer for Hoboken Police Department

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a mom is watching my baby boy evolve into his own self.  He’s such a funny boy. Loves to go out of his way just to make me laugh or smile.. loves to learn.. and just says the craziest things!

How old are your kids?

I have one son who is turning six this June.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

Homeschooling has been an adventure, but I have to say I’ve grown to appreciate giving him the one on one attention that he doesn’t get in a classroom and I’ve even taken the extra steps to give him an advantage going into 1st grade.

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

My best experience with him through this pandemic is simply time — that might not sound significant, but having that extra time with him to learn and play has been so rewarding. He even likes to help me in the kitchen when he wants. I feel so privileged to have that extra time with him.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

The best piece of advice to other moms right now would be to turn this negative into an opportunity to really connect with your children. I know its easier said than done, especially for moms that may be experiencing a higher degree of stress than myself. But really try to set that stress on a back burner for a moment and engulf yourself in motherhood.. interact with your little ones as much as possible and you’ll realize how amazingly rewarding it is.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

I do not own my own business, but I am still actively employed as a police officer in this awesome city. I take a lot of pride in my work and although it is a trying time, I try to stay positive at all costs, especially because of my mommy duties after work. No matter how stressful, I can never let my baby boy see the stress that this pandemic has added to my daily workload. He looks up to me and I won’t ever let him see me weak. With that said, he is my inspiration to allow negativity to roll off my back. My happiness results in his emotional stability through all of this.

Who is your role model and why?

My role models are actually the other moms included in this feature! Especially Lt. Gigante who has 5 boys at home. I love that 5 minutes of locker time before our tour starts where I get to hear all about her boys and how’s she’s managing. She’s incredible and she’s an amazing mother. PO Lee is right up there with her, I speak to her about her boys as well, she’s doing an awesome job managing her obligations to the department and going home for the most important job of all.. mom. Det. Collins and her 2 amazing girls, 1 reserved, and the other wild spirited, I love seeing her posts on social media of the daily workings of her family and love how she sheds light on the highs and lows through this pandemic.. she makes it seem so effortless. Sgt. Costello has a beautiful teenage girl.. its funny to see what I could be in for.. lol. And I can’t leave out “chalula” PO Rivera, she is a new mommy and really takes me down memory lane when we talk about our little ones. She is in the stages of creating an amazing bond with her baby boy and it amazing to witness. All of my mommies in blue have been an important role model in one-way shape or form… and their children hold a special place in my heart and mind being as we’re all in this together. After all, we are all family…right?

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

“Winging it..” “We need an adult…” Pass me that wine glass…” Honestly though, choosing to have my son was the greatest form of chaos I ever invited into my life, he will always be my greatest achievement because I’ve since learned that motherhood is truly the purest form of love…and though there is not one single way to be a perfect mother, there are endless ways to be a great one and that journey has been so intriguing, to say the least.

Marisol Page, Owner of ONE/SOL

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

You know when you were little and you would playhouse?  And stuffed a pillow in your shirt and pretended to be a mom to your dolls and stuffed animals? Well, it’s nothing like that!!  But it’s so much better in so many ways.  You hear about it … and it’s all true.  There is the most unconditional love affair you have with your littles… that makes the fact that everything you used to be is no longer a reality – worth it.  Every day is a learning experience, and I know that will never end.  Some days are harder than others, but I get excited {and scared] what this life will evolve in to.  Oh, my absolute favorite things!?  Their little voices, contagious laughter, and their sweet, sweet snuggles.

How old are your kids?

A 17-year-old girl, a six-year-old boy, a five-year-old girl, and a two-year-old boy.

How have you been coping with the task of homeschooling/teaching following the pandemic?

Honestly, it hasn’t been easy!!  I never thought I would be putting school teacher on my resume! Truthfully, at first, I was a little excited to get the opportunity to spend more time with my kids and be hands-on. I had all these grand ideas of what I would do and how blissfully it would turn out. That lasted all of two minutes until the first tantrum, and the meltdowns began {including my own!}  Not to mention ALL the work!!  To manage their work and MINE!!  Nearly impossible and definitely not a sustainable model.  I had to dig deep and find a compromise for both feeling like I didn’t fail like a mother {teacher} and have my kids keep up… along with not failing as a business owner who doesn’t know what’s happening next.  What was helpful was creating a schedule and setting alarms {good ol’ Alexa}, and keeping a big calendar in the kitchen so everyone can see what the day had in store.  While working my store hours in the afternoon after the bulk of the school assignments were complete, we have found more of a rhythm. But still, it’s a day to day experience!

What has been the best experience of being home with your kids?

The time! I didn’t have as much with them, and honestly, it was wearing on me, and them!  I am fully aware of the silver lining of this, and it is totally making me reevaluate my time management {which still needs a LOT of work!} I absolutely am taking it all in.  I have no idea what is going to happen with my store, like many other business owners -so I am just taking it day by day.  I actually feel like I have been working harder than I ever had before, but knowing I can do it in my PJs with the kiddos around does give me comfort.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other moms?

Boy oh boy – Just what others tell me all the time… Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Don’t try to be a superhero and perfect.  It’s ok to let some things go and laugh more.  And MAKE time for some self-care – like working out even for 30 minutes (a necessity to have a release for mental health and get through the day).  It’s definitely a daily challenge.

If you own a business, what is the work/life balance like of being a business owner and a mom?

I own a Lifestyle Clothing and Wellness Boutique in Hoboken at Maxwell Place.  It’s great!  Every day is different, and engaging with the community is amazing.  I also hold several Wellness events a week, supporting other local businesses while offering something different to my clients.  But… It’s a day to day juggle.  Trying to schedule and prioritize between school, store, meeting hours, evening events, and bedtime.  I have always tried to give my kids full attention when I see them while not at the store or doing an event.  But it’s hard with social media being a huge component of doing business.  There is not a day that I don’t struggle with guilt… wishing I was home when at work, or feel I need to work when I am home.  And when my kids beg me not to go in, it breaks my heart!  {That doesn’t happen as much now since I turned teacher}. But I put my heart and soul into my business, and I only hope that I am setting an example. I believe my kids see it…  In the end, my family is my lifeline and priority, but I will always follow my passions, and hope they do too!

Who is your role model and why?

I don’t have anyone role model per se – I was very close to my grandmother, and she was a huge part of my life growing up.  She taught me the importance of family.  My Mom has always supported me and taught me how to see things on a more spiritual level and trust my instincts.  I look to my family, friends, and other women as sources of inspiration because I feel like there is always an opportunity to learn something new.

What is your favorite mom-related motto?

I believe “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” – but most importantly – “Family always comes first.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!


Written by:

Arielle is a born-and-bred Jersey girl and like a true NJ native, half her diet consists of bagels and the other half pizza. As a graduate of both American University and City, University of London, she’s been a passionate writer ever since she wrote her first “book” in the first grade. When she’s not furiously typing away at her keyboard, she spends her time ticking places off of her “to travel to” list, trying any and all new foods, and trying to stop herself from spending too much money at Zara.