It was just another typical Monday when I found this ad innocently sitting in my Inbox: “Need a Mom? NYC Millennials Can Rent One.”
My first thought was: How do you rent-a-mom? The second was: Why would you want to rent-a-mom?
I was skeptical.
But after visiting her website, I realized, this business is for real.
The rent-a-mom’s name is Nina Keneally. She’s a 63-year-old Brooklyn resident. She and her husband moved to New York from Connecticut two years ago and they have two adult sons.
Nina began her business after noticing that the millennials her neighborhood started approaching her for advice. She met them at coffee shops, yoga class, and whenever she walked her dog. They just seemed to gravitate towards her.
So for $30 an hour, Nina will spend time with you talking, shopping, watching a movie, and so on. She’ll only give advice if you ask for it, but otherwise, she’ll simply listen.
I decided that I had to try her services out for myself, I drafted an email:
My name is Caithlin. I’d like to talk to a mom for an hour sometime this week about daily life. I enjoy talking with my own mother but sadly, there are a few things that I’m not very comfortable talking about with her.”
Her response came a few hours later:
I’d be happy to speak with you. Your situation is exactly why I began a service like this.
After a few e-mails, Nina and I arranged to meet . When I arrived, she was waiting for me outside; I immediately recognized her from her photos.
I first noticed her smile. It was very kind, motherly, and welcoming.
“So I don’t really know how this works,” I admitted to her, fiddling with the tea I’d ordered.
She smiled. ” Just tell me anything that’s on your mind.”
To be honest, I wasn’t really planning on opening up completely. I had a list of questions prepared but for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to ask them.
Instead, I just started talking.
Actually, I rambled. She listened attentively to all of my issues and I became comfortable with her. The topic we talked most about was my desire to move out of my parents’ home.
“How did you react when your sons wanted to move out?” I asked her.
“Well, as a mother, I was worried and a little upset at the thought of it,” she admitted, “But I knew it was bound to happen eventually and it’s something every parent should expect.”
She told me some parents with adult children living at home tend to still baby their child , which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but can be difficult for an adult wanting to live his/her own life. She advised me not to spring the idea on my parents but rather, start giving them clues.
“But be firm and let them know that you plan on moving out, whether they want you to or not,” she said. “As parents, we raise our children and give them wings. But what’s the use of those wings if we don’t let our kids use them?”
She knew and understood.
Nina assured me that even if I feel lost and unsure of my life now, I’m young and I have a lot of time to figure things out.
Nina also revealed that when she was my age, she had also found herself in a big city, alone with not many friends, trying to figure out her path and wishing she had a mom-like figure to go to, especially since her mom didn’t live nearby.
And that’s what she hopes to be for her clients. Not a mom in these senses, she’ll treat you like the greatest treasure in the universe but a mom who’s a guide.
The hour-long experience was better than I could’ve ever hoped for. Plus, as opposed to therapy sessions where you’re in an office talking about your thoughts and feelings, you can meet Nina in a more comfortable environment and do things you both find fun.
When our session was up, I thanked her profusely for the conversation and the advice. I felt much lighter and happier afterward.
As we were about to leave, I subconsciously opened my arms for a hug, like I would with my real mom. Nina wasted no time in giving me one, telling me to take care and hoped we’d meet again.
I hope so too, Nina. I hope so, too
Originally Published on YourTango