Jennifer grew up in Scituate, MA. She went to Princeton for college, lived in NYC, Beacon Hill and the North End in Boston for many years before moving back to Scituate. She and her husband John have four kids, two boys and two girls. Charlie is 12, Jack is 7, Lexie is 5 ½ and their baby Brooke is a year old.
What is your favorite thing about living on the South Shore?
The natural beauty and sense of freedom that comes with living near the coastline. Whenever things seem hectic or claustrophobic, a good look at the ocean or walk along the beach can provide a healthy readjustment of the perspective and a welcome sense of calm. Helps you feel refreshed, always a good thing.
What do you love to do with your kids around town?
My kids have a lot of energy and they love the playgrounds all around town so we will switch it up and visit different school playgrounds after school. Of course the new playground in North Scituate is a big hit too. We also love the new town library. Such a fabulous resource for our town. I was in kindergarten at Central School when they broke ground for the original library so I feel I have grown up with it and the updated structure is amazing. The kids love their treats too so we enjoy visiting the Postie (or Egypt Country Store). I got bags of penny candy there when I was a kid and it’s fun to see my kids enjoy it as well. Nona’s, Wilbur’s, Dribbles, Creyo all on the treat list as well. Can’t beat an ice cream sitting on the gazebo at Cole Parkway looking at the seagulls and boats. Also Satuit Bowlaway is a great inexpensive activity on a rainy day or any day.
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant in the area?
Cannot beat Maria’s in Scituate for lunch. We love TK’s and the Mill Wharf on Scituate Harbor as well. Friendly’s in Hanover is our go-to birthday dinner destination (fancy, I know, but always pleases). If we are feeling extra fancy then the Four’s in Norwell. And of course kids eat free (with the purchase of each adult meal) Tuesday nights at Moe’s Southwest Grill in the Hanover Mall – the kids love that place too! Always music playing and big booths available so it’s great with the kids.
Can you share a kid friendly/family favorite recipe.
Tacos with both hard and soft shells and turkey meat and all the fixin’s in different piles on a few cutting boards so the kids can make their own.
What is your go-to activity for yourself?
I am a big supporter of The Scituate Racquet & Fitness Club on 3A in Scituate. I play on a travel tennis team there (we play matches against local clubs in the South Shore area) and it is a great competitive and social outlet for moms. They also have great classes for kids and players of any level. I also love CT Outfitters in North Scituate for great inexpensive tops or jeans. and Pretty Little Things in Cohasset — super stylish clothes. I always want everything in the store. EarthTones is a great local salon to check out too.
I know it is hard, but what is your favorite moment as a mom to date?
Hard to say one moment but when I take a step back and think about it I am proud that my kids are all friendly and fairly independent. Whether it’s the daycare room at the gym, starting preschool, getting on the elementary or middle school bus, starting a new team or sports experience, they are all pretty friendly and open and game for doing stuff. Believe me I have my days when I feel like I am doing nothing right but when the kids head off to something new and don’t look back at me and I see them strike up a conversation with a new friend right away, I feel like ok, maybe I am doing something right and those are nice, satisfying moments as a mom.
And, what is the toughest part about being a mom?
Feeling like I cannot get to it all — all the things on the to do list or that I am doing so many things but none of them as well as I want to be doing them. Since my parents are not local anymore (and babysitters are expensive!) I often do not have much help, my husband and I are doing this pretty much on our own and sometimes I have the thought that maybe I will just never catch up — maybe my house will never be as clean as I want it to be, my clothing storage system will simply never be organized, I will never have time to cook all the healthy meals I think about trying for the kids (or the fancy meals for my husband and I), I will never be as in shape as I want or go out with friends to catch up or out with my husband as much as I should. Just that constant feeling that there’s not enough time, like you need to stop time to catch up.
What is the best advice you have received as a mom?
Well to follow up on my answer above, the best advice is that old quote about how the dishes can wait, the mess can wait — hang with your kids and enjoy it. I need to constantly remind myself of that but when I stop to do it, it’s great. I am a slightly “older” mom and have many mom pals in their 40s and 50s and my older and wiser friends remind me how quickly it all goes by so enjoy it all. I read the quote recently “Lost time is never found” by Benjamin Franklin and I am trying to keep that in mind. Also the advice about adjusting expectations and being kind to yourself. Like many I can be that perfectionist mom who wants to get it all done and do it all, but I try hard to appreciate what I was able to do and accomplish each day and simply make a new “to do” list that night and try to get to what I can the next day. We all do the best we can and that’s enough.
What is the best advice you would like to give to a new mom?
A few things. Try to think long term. Being a new mom seems hard but it’s all hard — when the kids are newborns, babies, toddlers, tweens, teens and older. It never gets “easy” so learn how to relax and enjoy each stage and don’t try to wish away the days or years trying to get to the “easier” time. Things might get physically easier (as far as not having to carry a bucket seat around and step on legos) as the kids get older but when your kids, for example, start driving and going out — I see some friends dealing with that — that is hard too, in a different way. So try to enjoy it all and enjoy each stage. Also, find something for yourself and find friends through hobbies and interests, not only other moms from your kids’ peer group or school. Of course getting to know other moms is a special thing and so helpful, but having friends and activities in other areas unrelated to being a mom — it can help keep you sane!! Also, I would say, try to keep a loose thought on your resume. If you are working now you probably have an updated resume. If you plan to be a stay at home mom for a bit but want to work again at some point, try to do volunteer opportunities around town or things at school, help organize an event at the town library, run a school dance or party, manage the book fair and keep notes about these things and what you did for your resume so that after a period of time you do not feel frozen or unprepared if you want to brush up that resume and think about working again.
What is one thing you never leave the house without?
Phone, wallet, business cards and samples to hand out for my skincare business.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I think all the time about writing a book or a screenplay. Lots of funny life experiences to draw from! And I love music so the soundtrack to the screenplay would be important (I constantly have song ideas going about things like that perfect opening montage song). Maybe some day… (any agents out there? 🙂
What do you do for work now or what did you do before having kids?
I work as a corporate recruiter at a small general practice recruiting firm. We find candidates for a variety of job openings in areas such as engineering, software development, insurance, manufacturing and accounting. I also have my own business as a consultant for Rodan+Fields skincare.
Are you involved in any other creative endeavors?
Running two businesses (my recruiting and my R+F skincare biz) keeps me very busy but I also conduct admissions interviews for Princeton with local high school candidates who are applying for early or regular admission. I really enjoy meeting with these local, interesting, talented students. I also have taught CCD at St. Anthony’s Church in Cohasset.
Are there any other local spots you like to shop for the kids or yourself?
Again I love Pretty Little Things and CT Outfitters (the owners Maria and Caryn are awesome) but as far as my favorite one-stop shop, for some reason I am a Derby Street, Kohl’s girl (even more than a Target regular). You can cover so many bases there and I secretly love their accessories department — I can’t tell you how many times I have been complimented on my jewelry and it was a $10 necklace or bracelet from Kohl’s.
Do you have a favorite must-have product for moms?
A pair of running shoes. Get outside. Leave the phone and earbuds at home. I don’t care how slow or fast you are, the fresh air and peace of mind from a run can go along way I think (especially if you get out early, get it done and you feel great all day!). “Also a good skincare regimen. It’s never too early to start thinking about your skin. By the age of 30 our collagen production slows by 1% each year (collagen helps give our skin strength and firmness and helps with replacing dead skin cells). Around age 40 collagen deteriorates faster than it can be produced. Any of the Rodan+Fields regimens can help as well as tools like the Micro-Exfoliating Roller (which only takes a minute each night) and the Intensive Renewing Serum that is one step below prescription retinol/Vitamin A, the gold standard in skincare.”
Anything else you would love to share?
I ran the 800M in college on the track team and ran the Boston Marathon three times (in 1999, 2000, and 2001). It all came together in my third one and I ran it in 3 hours and 16 minutes. I will always be super proud of that! I still run 5Ks occasionally (on a good day around 20 minutes) and even though I play a lot of tennis I will always be a runner first and foremost and will always encourage people to get out there.
Thank you so much for sharing, Jennifer! XO