Hello, Mamas! I’m Rachael. I’m a South Shore native and mom of two. I’m so excited to tell you a little more about myself and how I came to be a co-founder of the South Shore Moms.
How many kids do you have?
I have two kiddos. Sydney (3 years old), and Brayden (1 year old)
Where are you from originally and how did you end up on the South Shore?
I am originally from Marshfield. Growing up in Marshfield was so wonderful. My fondest childhood memories are playing outside in my neighborhood and/or spending time at the local beaches with family and friends. I graduated from Marshfield High School and went to college at Umass Amherst for Graphic Design. I then moved to New York City directly out of school and lived there for ten years! NYC has a special place in my heart — I got my masters while there, met some of my best girlfriends and built a successful career in design which is also coincidentally how I met my husband! When I got pregnant with our first child, we decided it was time to leave the city. There was no question where we would go. We moved back home to Marshfield three years ago. We moved in with my parents for a year while looking for our own home and to this day I still wonder why we moved out! Homeownership – there is always something to do, but we love our home! We live less than a mile from Humarock beach and just five minutes from my parents. 🙂
How did you come to be a part of the South Shore Moms?
I truly have Dani (TSSM co-founder) to thank for including me in this venture. Dani and I bonded at a Mama Steph concert. We had both recently had our sons and our daughter’s were also the same age. We started chatting and made a play date right then and there. We would often text one another and ask questions or share ideas about the kids and motherhood. When Dani reached out to me about starting a website about motherhood on the South Shore, my first thought was that I wish this was something that existed, and yes, why couldn’t we make it happen?! Perhaps it was blind optimism, but we both agreed we wanted one site that simply had all the information we, as mothers, could ever need on the South Shore. We also wanted it to really emulate our community. The best part is that we have a lot of similarities. Having children who are both the same ages has helped so much in running the site. We both get it. We both have days that we’re exhausted or where the kids don’t nap. But, it’s been such a fun endeavor so far!
What is your favorite thing about living on the South Shore?
The seasons, the beaches and being close to family!
What do you love to do with your kids around town?
We love exploring! Since I moved back home it’s been fun to re-discover the South Shore as an adult with my own children. In the summer we spend a lot of time at the beach or at the Scituate Harbor Yacht Club swimming. In the Fall we love to hike or go for walks at the Audubon Societies in Marshfield. One of my best childhood friends started a local website and it is such an amazing resource. Each trail is given a stroller score, which is so helpful! We also love visiting the beaches in the off-season. I’d highly recommend going to Duxbury beach in September. Its a fun adventure and the kids love walking the bridge and playing in the sand when no one else is there. In the winter we love seeing Mama Steph play at the local libraries and I try to find ways to get out of the house and break up the day. If it isn’t too freezing we try to go for walks in the neighborhood or to the beach. We love visiting Kennedy’s Country Gardens in the winter, too. We warm up in the greenhouse, say hi to the parrots and look for Tigger the cat. We frequent the Marshfield Library year round. The playground behind the library is great and it is also close to the skate park by the Levitate Surf Shop. My daughter is obsessed. She could watch the skateboarders for hours if I let her so we’ll often walk over and grab an ice cream from DQ! Honestly, there is so much to do on the South Shore, we’re never short on activities or adventures.
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
For breakfast we love The Voyager in Humarock, Sam’s on the Harbor in Scituate Harbor, or Strawberry Fair in Norwell. For lunch we’re big fans of the Foodsmith or getting smoothies from Green Light, both in Duxbury. For dinner we frequent Galley in Scituate Harbor as well as Station 8 in Marshfield.
Can you share a kid-friendly/family-favorite recipe?
This recipe is amazing and perfect for the winter! The whole family loves it. If the kids won’t eat the beef, simply pour some of the sauce/juices over noodles. Both my kids devour it and the house smells so good all day long!
Do you have a favorite local activity?
I love paddle boarding in Scituate Harbor or on the South River in Marshfield. You can rent boards from Bulman Marine or Levitate if you don’t own one. It is such a great workout and you can’t beat the view. I’m excited to throw a life jacket on my daughter and take her out with me this summer!
What is your favorite moment/memory as a mom to date?
Every day there are new memories that will be in my heart forever. The day that my daughter met her baby brother for the first time will always stand out. She was just THE sweetest with him and she kept saying “wook at his tiny wittle toes” and kept playing with them. It has been so fun watching the two of them interact. They truly love one another. As soon as my son wakes up from his nap he points to the door looking for his sister and then shrieks with happiness when he sees her. We have a lot of dance parties in our house, too and watching the two of them dance is both hysterical and amazing — the milestones are memorable but it is the little in between that I cherish the most.
What is the toughest part about being a mom?
Besides the lack of sleep (oh, how I miss sleep) I think for me the toughest part about being a mom is finding balance. When I first had my daughter I was still working part time. I often felt between two worlds and as if I could never fully focus my energy where it needed to be. When I became a full-time mom after I had my son, I put a lot of energy into trying to determine what my roles are and how they all work together to make me who I am. It took some time, and I’m still working on it, but I ultimately realized that no single role defines me. Motherhood doesn’t define me. Being a wife doesn’t define me. Being a creative doesn’t define me. But rather, all of these things working together start to make up the parts of who I am. And they will all change over time. Finding balance while being a mom is perhaps the hardest part. You never truly get a break from motherhood. You’re always on, there are no sick days. It can be a daily struggle. Finding perspective on the fleeting moments that make up life has helped so much. Taking things one day at a time and at the end of the day letting go of the things I can’t control. Because, toddlers are very controlling 😉 I was recently listening to a podcast and the host quite literally said it perfectly. She said:
“There are times and seasons of life that come to an end. I don’t put the weight of my happiness or my wholeness or my womanhood on something that can and will eventually end or at least drastically change. I am here for my children. To serve them and love them and teach them and to experience joy from them. But I don’t need anything from them. They aren’t here to define me, they are here to be humans with me and that perspective keeps me in a state of mental balance. It gives me permission to honor this role and this calling of motherhood for what it is in its purest form which is simply my ability to give life and to experience belonging to something that is greater than myself. And to have that connection to such a profound love. Being a mother and getting to raise these people contributes to who I am and it enriches who I am, it brings joys to my life but it is not ultimately all that I am.”
What is the best advice you have received as a mom?
Take it one day at a time. If you find yourself thinking ahead, just remember how quickly time goes by. Live in the moment and enjoy it! Also, everything my mom told me growing up I now 100% agree with — so listen to your mom, haha.
What is the best advice you would like to give to a new mom?
Simply trust your instinct and don’t doubt yourself. Motherhood is trying, but you’ve got this!
What do you do for work now or what did you do before having kids?
Before becoming a full-time mom I was a graphic designer and art director. I most recently worked as an Art Director at UNICEF USA for five years (which is where I met my husband). I still work on freelance graphic design projects here and there but now, my main focus is the South Shore Moms 🙂
Are you involved in any other creative endeavors?
I also have an Etsy shop with my Mom called Two if By Sea Shoppe. My mom is a local artist and is so, so talented!!
What is one thing you never leave the house without?
My diaper bag. It has everything I’ll ever need!
Where do you love to shop?
Amazon! Thank goodness for Amazon. Locally, I love browsing the shops in Scituate Harbor. Out of the Blue or Welch Co. are two of my favorites. If I’m at Derby Street I love Madewell, Anthropologie and Evereve. For the kids, my daughter is obsessed with dresses from Alice and Ames. I absolutely love Childhoods Clothing as well. And you can’t beat the sale rack at Baby Gap!
Favorite must have product for moms?
Dry shampoo! I’ve tried them all haha
Favorite must have product for kids?
I looove tubby todd hair and body wash. It smells so good and is all natural. I’ve used it on both my babes since they were infants.
Anything else you would love to share?
I am so thrilled to be a part of the South Shore Moms and I truly hope that the site has proven to be a useful resource! It is a labor of love 🙂