Ask any recent college grad (or living human being) who the most important person in their life is, and if the answer isn’t “my mom,” (or “my dad!”) they’re either lying or just haven’t seen the light quite yet. You can alternately love ’em or hate ’em, but everyone knows that when push comes to shove, the parental units are the most dependable two people on the planet. Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of living in the same city, same state, or even same country as the people who brought us into the world, which is why Nina Keneally, a mom for over 30 years, has introduced NeedAMom, the service that allows you to rent a mother for the most dire of your days.
It’s an interesting concept — one that turns the oft-taken-for-granted role of motherhood into a full-time career, and Keneally’s résumé makes it clear that her list of accomplishments far exceeds giving birth to her children (though I’m sure that remains one of her proudest). On her Squarespace website, Keneally notes that she’s been a “Tony-winning theater producer, an assistant stage manager, an assistant to directors, producers, press agents, and (very briefly) to Betty Buckley,” and has also “worked for the state government of Pennsylvania, the trade publication Pension & Welfare News and (very briefly) as a restaurant hostess.” All this while raising a family of her own.
Which is to say that whatever you’ve got, Keneally can handle, much like your real mom. Touting her services as one of a “short-term, temporary mom,” Keneally won’t:
- Question your lifestyle choice
- Be judgmental about your hair, your wardrobe, your friends, your vegan diet
- Compare you to your sister Maggie or your cousin Jake
- Expect presents ever (or even an e-card)
- Keep you on the phone for 45 minutes talking about the neighbor’s cat or your uncle’s gout
- Ask you to be in a selfie with her
- Listen to you over a cup of joe, hot chocolate, or wine
- Review your résumé and edit documents
- Iron your shirt for that big interview
- Watch a movie with you when you just don’t want to be alone (and bring the popcorn)
- Make that pecan pie that you really really love
- Buy your real mom’s Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa and birthday presents, and wrap and ship them
I mean, what more could you want?
Keneally just launched the service this past week, but reports that she’s already had a number of inquiries come through her contact form. “I figured there must be others out there who could use a temporary mom without the baggage,” she said in an interview with SFGate. “They are all great, smart, ambitious and hard-working but sometimes just need some perspective, hard-earned life wisdom or a sort of personal mentor.”
Based in Bushwick, all six of her existing clients are also based in Brooklyn, and have given the New York Post some pretty rave reviews. Natalie Chan, a 34-year-old who is one of Keneally’s temporary kids told the Post, “All the friends and people around me are the same age, and shrinks are just kinda impersonal.” But the woman behind NeedAMom is different, Chan says. “She doesn’t judge. She just kinda, like, smiles and says, ‘Stop doing that.’ She’ll never say, ‘You’re stupid.’”
So if you’re ready to shell out $40 to get motherly advice when your own mom is just too far away, look no further than Nina Keneally.