-- There are times when we all could use some motherly advice. At least, that's what one Brooklyn, New York, woman is banking on as she launches a new business venture.
Nina Keneally, a 63-year-old mom of two grown sons, moved to the Bushwick neighborhood two years ago. Looking to share her expertise, Keneally came up with Need a Mom, where people can pay her by the hour to dispense motherly advice and encouragement.
She paid for a sponsored post last week in the Bushwick Daily and has been bombarded with inquires ever since, Keneally said.
She said her target customers are young adult professionals trying to make their way in the big city. Keneally -- who herself spent 30 years in theater production while raising her kids, being on the PTA, making Halloween costumes and attending Little League games -- said she "can understand their struggles as much as anyone my age can."
"Many of them do have loving mothers and fathers, but they don’t understand how it is to live in a city and keep your dreams and aspirations together,” she said. “It takes a lot out of you."
She's also interested in counseling young parents who may not have family around on how to manage their new role.
But she made it clear: "I'm not going to baby sit or anything though."
Keneally's business got off to a slow start last week, she said, because she couldn't quite figure out how to create a website. "My son said it would be so easy," she said.
But she finally got up and running and now the requests are coming in, she said.
One woman, she said, simply wants Keneally to sit with her while she cleans out her closet and offer "non-judgmental" advice on what to keep and what to toss. "My mother would just die if she knew," the potential client wrote in her inquiry to Keneally. "Would you be interested in chatting with me while I work and keeping me on task for a couple hours?"
Another wants to have a letter correspondence, complete with "paper and stamps."
Which, given all the trouble Keneally had setting up her website, suits her just fine.
The cost is $40 per hour, though Keneally said she would also consider charging on a "sliding" scale for someone who couldn't afford her services. "I'm a mother," she said. "I have a soft heart about these sorts of things."
Keneally’s website also includes a disclaimer that she “is not a professional therapist or counselor. … If you need professional help in any area, NeedAMom can refer you to real doctors, therapists, treatment centers, etc. or help you to find the right person or place to help you.”