This Meet a Mom Interview kicks off a new aspect of this popular interview series. Once per month in 2022, I’ll be publishing an interview that highlights a mom who is active in a local non-profit or community organization. Today, I’m introducing Maggie Kenneally. Maggie was nominated for this interview by another local mom due to the positive impact she is making in Lynnfield and beyond. I hope you enjoy getting to know Maggie!
Where are you from originally and what town do you live in now?
I’ve lived on the North Shore all of my life. I grew up in Revere, MA and now reside in Lynnfield with my family.
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
I have two beautiful girls, Keira who is age 8 and Alexis who is 5.
What’s your favorite family activity on the North Shore?
We have spent a lot of time outdoors and especially since the pandemic started. We enjoy local beaches and pool time with friends in the summer, hitting local farms in the fall and my husband got us all into skiing in the last few years in the winter. It is nice to get fresh air, be active and spend quality time as a family.
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop on the North Shore?
I live near MarketStreet in Lynnfield so it is an easy go-to for dining and shopping. I also like to support small businesses when I can. I really like Christine’s Cafe in Lynnfield for breakfast and lunch. It is a hidden gem. I also enjoy Daniella’s Cafe in Danvers. When I am out and about, I find it fun to find local boutiques to shop in as well.
You are one busy mom! Please tell us about your background and how that led you to your current career and business.
I have worked for the State of Massachusetts in various roles for the last 19 years and currently work for a local state agency in their public affairs department. When I became a mom, I kept working in my public affairs role but my passion for photography grew. I picked up the Canon Rebel my husband gifted me during my pregnancy and became eager to learn everything I could to take better photographs of my family. I would take pictures during every day outings, social events, vacations, etc. I also spent countless hours reading, watching tutorials, taking classes and creating backdrops in and outside of my home so I could get a better sense of how to shoot in different types of lighting. I started to share my images on social media and it evolved into a photography business I have been running since 2015. My niche has been family and children photography but I have also enjoyed photographing engagements, newborns, social events, local businesses, officials and events.
Your work in the community is inspiring and actually one of the reasons you were nominated for this interview! Can you please tell us about the various volunteer roles you hold with the Lynnfield Moms Group, Read to a Child Program and local Girl Scout Troop?
Thank you! When I moved to Lynnfield, I didn’t know anyone but I quickly discovered the Lynnfield Moms Group (LMG). As a group, they are a non-profit that organizes social and charity events for families in town to connect and get involved within the community. After a couple of years attending so many great events, a friend in town invited me to join their board as Co-Director of Special Events which I served on for two years. It allowed me to get involved more within my community but also introduced me to a great group of women that I’m still lucky enough to call friends. Since photography was my trade, I would bring my camera to any organized LMG event to capture highlights that I thought would be helpful to share on the group website, social media page and monthly newsletter to promote the success of the events but most importantly to bring awareness to the valuable work these women were doing as a whole.
I have also been a mentor for the Read to a Child Program for the last 5 years at a school in Chelsea, MA. It is a national nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization that inspires caring adults to read aloud to at-risk children to create better opportunities for their future. It is something I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to each week. The student’s enthusiasm to meet and read with me is 100% worth my time.
In addition to mentoring, I recently teamed up with another mom in town and became a Girl Scouts Troop Leader for my daughter’s kindergarten class at Summer Street School in Lynnfield. There are 21 girls and we meet once a month and participate in group activities, play games and learn about our community and how to get involved. It has been a great way to connect girls within the same school and same grade. I find it especially helpful for shy or more reserved children like my daughter and it is one of the main reasons I decided to get involved.
How can other moms get involved with these organizations?
The easiest thing you can do is go directly to the organization’s website or any of their social media pages to find out more information. I think a good start is spending some time reading about an organization that interests you, deciding what causes you care about and determining how often you can volunteer. Some websites to visit if you live in the Northshore Boston area:
Do you have any tips for balancing career, volunteer roles and motherhood?
I think moms put a lot of pressure on themselves trying to balance it all. I’m a type A personality and I want to do it all, but I quickly learned that it is a difficult task when I became a mother. It has taken me a long time to realize that it is ok if I don’t do everything on the timeline I have in my mind. My advice is to take the pressure off yourself and do what works for you. I try my best to block out the noise and prioritize what is important to me and my family.
What is the best piece of mom advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice I received is to learn how to delegate. It is easy to become a mother and think you need to do everything yourself even if it is overwhelming. Sometimes you are running late from work, sometimes you might need to go to an appointment or sometimes you just need time for self care. If you have family nearby, utilize them. If you have mom friends willing to help out, take their help. There is nothing wrong with leaning on people when you need them. It really does take a village.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me” time?
I’m a lover of all things fitness, I will try any sport at least once. I am an avid runner and I have run many road races and completed several marathons. Running has always been a passion of mine and what keeps me motivated. Over the years, I have picked up cycling which has also become a favorite of mine as well. I have participated and raised funds for local charity bike rides which include Reid’s Ride and I recently completed a 40 mile Coast to the Cure bike ride for Neurofibromatosis. I also combined my love for both sports and completed my first duathlon this past fall.
Fitness aside, I’m a social person and I’m lucky to have a great bunch of girlfriends in my life that are supportive of one another but also fun to hang out with too. When our calendars all align, we spend our free time hanging out locally or dining together.
If you know another mom who is active in community service, local volunteering or part of a non-profit organization, and might be a good fit for this series, please nominate them to Laura at [email protected].