How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
I have one amazing son who just turned 8. He is the joy of and light of my life. His incredible resilience, and positive spirit keeps me going and hoping every day as we navigate this crazy pandemic.
How long have you lived in Jersey City? What made you decide to live here?
My husband and I moved here from Manhattan in 2012 when I was 6 months pregnant. We decided early on that having a baby in the city would be too expensive and inconvenient. When my husband was offered a job in Northern NJ, we started to explore Jersey City and were amazed at this hidden gem. We decided to relocate despite turning down the job. Moving to JC was the best decision we could have made and we’ve loved it ever since.
What’s your favorite family activity in Jersey City?
Jersey City has so much to offer families. We love walking and biking along the waterfront and in Liberty State Park. Pre-COVID we also enjoyed the many cultural, art, food, music and street festivals throughout the summers. Jersey City has such a vibrant, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural vibe that suits our Swedish-English-Caribbean family perfectly.
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop in your town?
A few of my favorite places to eat are Hamilton Pork, Lokal, Teppan (my son loves it), Orale, Prato Café and Torico to name a few. I’m not a big shopper but for gifts I love Word Bookstore, Kanibal & Co and Hazel Baby. What I miss the most is a Trader Joe’s!
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Hmmm, I don’t have any interesting secrets. Maybe that I used to be a diamond expert selling ‘conflict-free’, Canadian diamonds for custom bridal jewelry. This, of course, was before I became a mom, haha! It feels like a lifetime ago…
What are you doing to stay sane during Covid for yourself?
I think I am failing big time in that department. I haven’t carved out enough me-time during the pandemic but I do try to exercise regularly. Mostly that consists of power walks and biking along the river, and swimming a few laps while my son plays in the pool. I also practice gratitude before I go to sleep and I’m trying to learn how to meditate.
Any tips or recommendations for parents to entertain/educate their children during this time?
There are lots of great virtual classes and summer camps for elementary school kids. I have signed my son up for several free online classes at varsitytutors.com. They offer a wide range of fun and engaging STEM and art classes for all ages. My son also loves to play Prodigy, a math video game where he can use his math skills to battle friends online – entertainment and education combined. Thankfully, for our social sanity, we are lucky to have a small group of friends in our building that we feel safe to play with in our common outdoor spaces. For the kids and moms alike, this has been crucial to survive the summer months now that we haven’t been able to travel to our home countries as usual.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I am blessed to have an amazing husband who is a super dedicated, loving, hands on dad. He has always shared enthusiastically in housework and child rearing tasks since the birth of our son. I thank him for always being my rock on our parenthood roller-coaster. We are both European transplants and don’t have any family here in the US to lend us a helping hand. I’m also lucky to have a really awesome mom tribe without whom I don’t think I would have survived. Having a mom community to support, inspire and lift you up is necessary to every mom’s well being.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Speaking of mom-community; I am the co-founder of Mama’s Got Mojo, an organization with the mission to empower and inspire moms to pursue their goals, and live fulfilled lives alongside motherhood. By providing community, events, information, inspiration, and tips, our aim is to help moms reconnect with their inner power, that mojo that often gets lost after baby.
Jersey City has been a great place to serve the mom community and since 2018 I have been working with two amazing moms, Esohe Alile and Hali Epstein, to host a local live events series under the joint name ‘Mama’s You Got This!’. Together we’ve organized quarterly events for moms covering topics such as self-care, mom-brain, redefining motherhood, body positivity and anxiety. We’ve enjoyed great support and our events are always highly anticipated.
Since the pandemic, I have been working on making Mamas Got Mojo even better than before. In the Fall, we will be rolling out new features, tools and webinars to help moms through these challenging times. I welcome the opportunity to continue to grow our mom tribe so if you’re a mama in need of inspiration, or if you want to contribute, please connect with me @mamasgotmojo on IG/FB and find us at www.mamasgotmojo.com.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The community here in Jersey City has been absolutely amazing! As the most diverse city in the US, it has been the perfect place for our multi-racial family. I have met so many moms in similar situations, expats and others, that all seek connections and support because they are far from home and their extended families. This creates a unique and genuine sense of community that I don’t think exists in many places. I’ve felt welcomed and part of something greater ever since I moved here very pregnant, and for that I am eternally grateful.