Meet a Mom – Nicole Lenner | Essex County Moms


1.How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
4 children ranging in age form 11 -17 (6th, 8th, 10th & 12th Grade).

2. How long have you lived in Short Hills/Millburn/Livingston and what made you decide to live here?
I have been in Short Hills since the start of 2003 and was in West Orange before that.  We fell in love with our house after attending a 1 year old birthday party in the area. The reputation of a great school district and proximity to my husband’s work all played a role in our decision.

3.Tell us about your business and what other local things you are involved in!  And how did you get started?
My business is being a stay at home mom and navigating the many crazy academic, extracurricular and social schedules of my household. I also volunteer for various causes that affect loved ones. I have been involved in FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), previously FAI, since my son was diagnosed with life threatening food allergies over 13 years ago. While most of the events have been in NYC, my goal has been to bring FARE into our local community. I have co-hosted intimate gatherings and made introductions to further the work that FARE does. Last year my family was one of 8 local families involved in a Food Allergy walk that raised close to $60,000. We now have FARE’s national support as we aim to surpass our previous number of walkers and amount raised. We have also attained local sponsors. It takes a village to keep individuals living with food allergies safe!

4.Favorite thing to do when you need “me time”? 
Some form of exercise! I love my running group of moms or my many friends or sisters that I walk with around the neighborhood or lake in West Orange.

5.Favorite place for dinner with kids? 
Depends who you ask. As a family we enjoy Cheesecake Factory, Legal Seafood or CPK at The Mall at Short Hills.  The kids would definitely say Benihana of Short Hills.  So much of our meal choices depend on safety in preparation of food for my son. Oscar’s in Millburn is a favorite stop for us, especially breakfast, as they know us and are willing to accommodate our specific food allergy needs.

6.Most enjoyable place to hang out?
Backyard by the pool with family and friends.

7.How do you balance your career and being a mom?
This one is easy since I haven’t practiced my career as a Physical Therapist since I became a mom (well not officially!). With kids that play a range of Hockey, Soccer, Lacrosse, Gymnastics and tried a dozen other sports over the years, my short career as a PT comes in handy. One of my kids are always in need of some treatment.
Also, I remind myself everyday that most of the chaos is by choice and we can make things simpler at anytime.  In general I try to slow down time and not wish it away.

8.Proudest mommy moment(s)?

So many options…. It is the simplest things that make me proud. When my kids look out for each other without prompting.
Halloween is a hard holiday for families with allergies and I find siblings step up and help raise awareness, especially during October.  I am lucky to have my parents around and involved in my kid’s everyday activities. Now that they are old enough to make their own plans, it is nice when I find out that they shared a meal or went over to visit and hang with their grandparents.

9.Can’t believe that happened mommy moment!
Left my car running at the Short Hills Train station while I went to NYC for dinner and a show. Hours later when I returned, the car was still on and waiting for me.

10.Best advice you have gotten from a mom?
Sometimes you have to put yourself first. You cannot take care of the rest of the family if your needs are not being met.

11.Best piece of advice you can give other moms!
Don’t try for perfection…. You will most often fail!

Find people one step ahead of you… they are your best resources.
Ask for help… even if you will not be able to reciprocate immediately, One day you WILL pay it forward.

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