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New Service Allows NYC Millennials in Need of Motherly Advice to Rent a Mom

Once they reach a certain age, lots of women find motherhood exhausting, but not Brooklyn-based Nina Keneally. The 63-year-old still has lots of ‘mothering skills’ that she’s actually more than happy to rent  out through a unique service called ‘NeedAMom’.  Her motto is “When you need a mom… Just not YOUR mom.”

A former theatrical producer and drug-rehab counselor from Connecticut, Nina now spends all her time using her motherhood experience and her associate degree in counselling to help millennials in New York. For $40 an hour plus expenses, Nina will listen to all your problems, offer advice (free from ‘I told you so’), help you plan and shop for a dinner party, sew your buttons back on, bake you a cake, and do all sorts of other things a real mother might do. She’ll even buy and wrap a present for your actual mother.

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Photo: Need a Mom

Nina and her husband moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn, from Connecticut two years ago, after 30-odd years of raising their own two sons. And she realised early on that young adults back home were different in many ways. “Connecticut millennials have other goals – it’s all about jobs, houses, permanent relationships,” she said. “They go into almost a young middle age. Here, it’s a more bohemian, artistic lifestyle.” But more freedom also leads to more problems, and Nina often found herself counselling millennials who reached out to her in yoga studios and cafes.

“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 told Bushwick Daily. Like this one man who was upset over losing a job and ended up pouring his heart out to Nina over a cup of coffee. She ended up rewriting his resume. Soon, so many young people were approaching her that Nina realised she could really help them by being a mother-figure in their lives. And that’s how NeedAMom was born. It’s a fairly new business and she’s had about six clients so far, all from Bushwick.

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Photo: Need a Mom

Nina’s biggest ESP is perhaps her unconditional empathy. “I’m not judgmental about anybody’s life choices; I don’t compare them to their brothers and sisters,” she said. “I have a therapeutic background, although I’m not a therapist. I can talk you through it but if you have a serious problem, I have a list of resources and can send you to a doctor or a specialist.”

“All the friends and people around me are the same age, and shrinks are just kinda impersonal,” said 34-year-old Natalie Chan, who sees Nina once a week after their Thursday yoga class. “She doesn’t judge. She’s just kinda, like, smiles and says, ‘Stop doing that.’ She’ll never say, ‘You’re stupid.’”

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Photo: Need a Mom

Nina doesn’t have a fixed price list yet, so for now, everything she does for you will cost $40 an hour, right from bringing you chicken soup when you’re sick to watching a movie with you. But she draws the line at cleaning – “Don’t expect me to clean your closet or do your laundry,” she says. “I’m not your maid!”

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