Welcome to The Denville Moms Network Meet A Mom Series
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
4 Children! Tommy- 6 ½, Sammy- 5, Frankie- 3 and Josie- 1.
How long have you lived in Denville? What made you decide to live here?
I moved to Denville in 1995 when I was 9-years-old. In 1999, my family relocated to the west coast, but I returned to Denville in 2005. Collectively, I’ve lived in Denville for 20 years! There’s just something about this place that’s nostalgic. Denville pulls you in. It’s funny, most of the people I know who left Denville have returned to raise their family.
My husband, Bryan, and I never really contemplated leaving Denville once I returned. Bryan was born at St. Clare’s and this is his home. We have everything we could ever need right here: a wonderful sense of community, lovely shops, delicious restaurants, and a fantastic school system for our four children. We love seeing familiar faces at sporting events and town activities. The sense of comradery this town offers is unparalleled. We want to provide our children with the nostalgia of the simple life where kids play outside, ride bikes to town, and meet friends at the community playground. Denville offers this and it is our home.
What’s your favorite family activity in Denville?
Admittedly, we love to eat out! Easily, our favorite family activity is playing outside, going to Denville Dairy, and then grabbing dinner at one of our favorite local spots. We love that everything is walking distance. With four kids to get in and out of car seats, being able to walk everywhere is clutch! The spring and summer in Denville are just so special. The town is upbeat, lively, and everyone is so friendly. It’s just great to walk around downtown, indulge, and breath in the fresh air.
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop in Denville?
We love that Broadway is our “one-stop-shop.” We’ve been known to grab some ice cream and head over to Jay’s Shoe Box or The Family Barber Shop for haircuts. Sometimes, I drag the kids into Sister’s or we visit Write-On Gift for an upcoming birthday party. Really, any and all shopping can be done right in the center of town.
As far as eating, that’s a hard choice! I mean, obviously Denville Dairy is a huge family hit. We also love the Pasta Shop, Sergio’s, Thai Chef, Thatcher Mcghee’s, Hunan Taste, and El Mejicano. Frankly, I feel bad not mentioning more because we eat a variety of local fare often.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
People are surprised that Bryan and I have four kids. They always ask if we have multiples or if I was really young when we started. We had our first when I was 27 and we knew we wanted a big family so we just went for it! Once we had three boys, we thought four would just be comical and if we had a girl it would be very special. Mostly, we just wanted healthy children and we’ve been very blessed with three boys and one girl. All healthy and happy.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?My husband, Bryan. Being a parent is the hardest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. On a daily basis it’s hard to know if I should zig or zag. Every day is different, every teachable moment or problem is new. It’s wonderful to have a loving, supportive husband to take this journey with. As they say, there are no guides for parenting. I can’t imagine doing it alone and I’m so grateful that we have each other.
Also, I’d like to thank my mom friends. It’s nice to be in the trenches with other women. Being a mom is so unique and IT IS HARD! We live in such a judgmental society and I appreciate being able let my hair down and admit that not every day is a good one. Sometimes I want to cry. Sometimes I want to give up. Having other moms to call and know they, too, want to lock themselves in a room and drink wine is really nice. We’re human and it’s emotionally trying to raise kids. I want to do right by them and be my personal best but sometimes I just want to throw pizza on their plate and skip bath. It’s nice to admit that life isn’t perfect and that other moms struggle just the same.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world?
Yes! I am a Pediatric Sleep Consultant and owner of Bollinger Sleep Consulting LLC. After struggling with my own sleep issues and finding Dana Obleman’s Sleep Sense program, I decided to help others by becoming a certified consultant. Sleep is a necessity not a luxury- that is fact! There are staggering studies and statistics associating Post-Partum Depression and sleep deprivation in parents. It’s my mission to educate families about pediatric sleep recommendations and sleep needs for all. Furthermore, I’ve dedicated myself to helping families achieve their sleep goals. You do not have to sacrifice a good night’s sleep just because you became a parent and, in fact, you shouldn’t! The truth is, whole families suffer when no one sleeps.
Like I said earlier, being a parent is hard! There is so much misinformation about pediatric sleep and I aim to shattered those misconceptions through education. As a sleep consultant, I focus on teaching families about their individual sleep needs. I create customized sleep plans and am there, every step of the way, as families make effective, educated changes to their sleep routine. Usually, after two weeks of working together whole households are getting a full night’s rest! I work with expecting families, newborns, babies, toddlers, and children up to 11 years of age. I’m incredibly proud of what I do and couldn’t think of a better way to support families in my community.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Moms, moms, moms! I know I keep talking about them, but we are the most powerful resource! Most of my business comes from referrals. Moms talk and that is a beautiful thing. We support each other, we raise each other up, we caution each other when need be, and we keep this sense of community alive. Denville is one-of-a-kind and I am so grateful to be an asset to families in this town.