NeedAMom: How One Woman Has Monetized Her Mothering

Moms, I’m sure some of you out there wish your kids would pay you for your maternal services. But what if you found out that while your kid is “busy” ignoring your phone calls, he’s out paying another woman for her motherly advice? Well, behold! It’s a thing.

Personable 63-year-old Brooklyn mother Nina Keneally spent the past two years living in the Bushwick neighborhood in New York, giving 20- and 30-somethings advice, before she finally thought to start charging them for her nurturing counsel.

“As I started to live in the neighborhood, do yoga and frequent coffee shops, I’ve noticed that a lot of young people in the neighborhood wanted to talk to me about what was going on in their lives,” she tells Bushwick Daily in an advertisement for the new service.

Keneally’s brainchild, called NeedAMom, offers her splendiferous and sellable mothering at a rate of $40 an hour. For her credentials, she cites her 30-plus years of experience raising her two sons, now 27 and 30, her stint as a theater producer and a rehabilitation counselor.

Since the advertisement went out in the Bushwick Daily, Keneally’s media fame hasn’t been reflected in her number of clients. But thus far, she’s accompanied one to a colonoscopy, tweaked another’s resume and helped a third write a passionate letter to his landlord who’s refused to return a deposit. She’s turned down only one fellow who requested a “hate session” in memory of his mother, she tells Today.

“I’m pretty good at picking out the weirdos,” Keneally says tells Today. “I have good radar, and I have good boundaries.”

For instance, she refuses to get drunk, clean up after or simply act as a friend to any clients. And she won’t be your shrink, but she can refer you to one. But Keneally will iron your shirt, bake you pies, watch a movie with you (and pop the popcorn) or buy your real mom presents and even wrap them, according to her website.

The service proves essential for those who live far from home, and, “New York can be the loneliest town sometimes,” Keneally tells Today.

“It’s so full of people, but sometimes it seems like everyone else is so busy and out having a great time and no one has time to talk,” she adds. “You just need someone to be there for you.”

But Natalie Chan, 34, wants age-old wisdom.

“All the friends and people around me are the same age, and shrinks are just kind of impersonal,” Chan explains to the New York Post. “(Keneally) doesn’t judge. She just kinda, like, smiles and says, ‘Stop doing that.’ She’ll never say, ‘You’re stupid.'”

ABC New reports that another potential client messaged Keneally requesting the woman sit with her while she revamps her wardrobe and offer “non-judgmental” advice on what to toss. “My mother would just die if she knew,” the client writes. “Would you be interested in chatting with me while I work and keeping me on task for a couple hours?”

A distant potential client requested letter correspondence, complete with “paper and stamps.” Given all the hassle Keneally experienced in creating her NeedAMom website, she says snail mail’s just fine.

I think I’d be frightened for my child’s well-being and lacking sense of friendship if on the cusp of adulthood she hired a “mom” to accompany her to doctor’s appointments, make her baked goods and assure her it’s not her unorthodox haircut that’s keeping her single.

Meanwhile, Keneally’s real family is amused by her entrepreneurial endeavor and doesn’t mind sharing her, she tells Today.

But the rest of us need only click on Keneally’s website for amusement.

“Remember, NeedAMom is like the Magic 8-Ball, but you don’t have to shake her and turn her upside down.”

What do you think of this service? Tell us in the comments section below.


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