Meet the Moms

Working Moms Against Guilt is powered by these wonderful women, from different places, backgrounds, family situations and work lives. Meet the moms who write for this working mom blog and feel free to connect with us at the links provided.

Current contributors

Susan Wenner Jackson

susan-headshotSusan Wenner Jackson cofounded Working Moms Against Guilt in 2006 with three of her working-mom friends in Cincinnati. She’s been a writer as long as she can remember, and a blogger and mom since 2006. She lives in West Chester, Ohio (a northern suburb of Cincinnati), with her husband, Jerry, and two children (ages 9 and 6).

Susan earned a master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Miami University. She’s VP of Content Partnerships for Ahalogy, a Cincinnati-based startup that’s helping the world’s top brands win on Pinterest. Susan serves as editor of WMAG, and she contributes to the Family Friendly Cincinnati blog and iBlog Magazine.

Connect with Susan:

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Marcia Ayacaba

marcia-acayaba-200x221Marcia is a married mom of three (one toddler boy/tornado and 2 elementary school girls/fairies/artistic directors) who believes that women are half of the sky and they should be able to create (and fully enjoy) lives that actually fit their talents and life aspirations.

She prefers “and” to “either or.” She focuses on creating more “and” opportunities for women around the world.

As a self-care coach. she supports successful working moms (SHOW Moms) through her business You Only Better. She helps the SHOW moms who are having a hard time keeping the super-mom act up, stop the downward spiral of exhaustion, create more time, regain control of their to-do list, enjoy the life they have created and prepare for their next step (a new baby, a promotion, a change of orientation, etc)

Marcia is also a strategic advisor to the Trestle Group Foundation, a fantastic non-profit that works to empower and develop women entrepreneurs in emerging countries, while developing talent in corporations.
During her time in corporate, she was the recipient of a Diversity & Inclusion Award for her groundbreaking work around women representation & cross-functional collaboration.

Born in equatorial Guinea (a tiny Spanish-speaking country in Africa), raised in Switzerland (another tiny country) she smiles when her children are asked where they are from… the fair skinned straight haired says she is African, the olive skinned with wiled curls is American & baby boy is 4 years old (!?!) She is now enjoying living in a continent-sized country, the USA, with her family.

Connect with Marcia: Facebook

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angela-adriatico-200x219Angela Adriatico

Angela, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, has lived in sunny Southern California since she was 4 years old. Besides studying English in college, Angela has ghostwritten several projects over the last five years. She is now the mother of two wonderful (don’t we all think our kids are totally wonderful?) kids, ages 15 and 2.

Even though life seems a bit hectic at times she still has the need to find the time to visit her family back in Cincinnati regularly because of her family-oriented nature. On the other hand, with two kids and practically being a single mother, she has difficulty finding time for her hobbies: reading, reading, and more reading. (She is probably “allowed” about 20 minutes a few nights a week right before bedtime.)

While her kids are a handful (aren’t all kids?), Angela finds that they inspire her to be a better person, and teach her things along the way. Throughout her journey she looks forward to sharing her stories with you and hopes to help you through the guilt here at WMAG. :-)

Connect with Angela:  LinkedIn

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Allison Bell Bern

allison-bell-bern-200x231“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” – Plutarch

This brief quip eloquently describes Allison’s philosophy of education, the topic most dear to her heart and to her pen (okay, keyboard). After receiving her M.Ed from Vanderbilt University and spending most of eight years as an educator in schools, she decided to take her educational interest outside of the classroom. She is the founder and Creative Director of SchoolReady, publisher of the Ben and Emma series of children’s books that use fun stories to teach essential academic vocabulary. She also blogs regularly on education-related topics on the SchoolReady blog, “Getting Our Children SchoolReady.”

Outside of work, Allison enjoys typical things: time with family, crime and mystery shows, good food (lots of good food), and the time usually between mid March and mid April we call MARCH MADNESS. With an almost two-year old at home and another on the way, Allison sometimes takes time out to be frightened of the fact that she has little idea of what life will be like in the next few years. After a moment, though, she sucks it up, sets the guilt aside, and plows through most days with more smiles than frowns.

Connect with Allison: Facebook  Twitter  pinterest

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Sara Bennett Wealer

sara-bennett-wealerSara is an author, copywriter and live event producer who blogs when she’s not working on a new novel or spending time with her two children. Sara started her career as a newspaper reporter, covering everything from city council to arts and entertainment. She went on to design theme parks and work on the websites of major consumer brands before taking her current position as a scriptwriter and producer for an experiential marketing firm.

Sara’s first novel for young adults, RIVAL, was released in February 2011 by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins. Sara earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas.

Connect with Sara: Twitter LinkedIn

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Jennifer Blodgett

Jennifer lives in the amazing state of Montana where she currently works for the Department of Child and Family Services. Although the safety and well-being of others is a high priority for her, she is working on finding balance as a working mother.

jennifer-blodgett-200x213Jennifer has two young children and a great husband who is supportive and likes to do the dishes. Jennifer enjoys the summer months in Montana with her family by attending the local farmer’s market and any local downtown event. A goal for her each year is to get out in the community more and to spend more time in nature. This goal is rarely met but hey, nobody’s perfect.

Jennifer has worked in many different organizations over the years including Family Planning and Head Start. She has found that young children and their families are a passion of hers and she tries to make her work at DPHHS meaningful.  Jennifer serves on the County Health Center board and is an active member of the Best Beginning Council in her area.

Being creative is one of the few outlets that Jennifer has at the moment and she enjoys giving away her jewelry pieces to close friends. During the dark and cold winter months in Montana, Jennifer can be found crocheting brightly colored hats for children and friends. Pinterest and SongPop are addictions that Jennifer cannot deny.

Jennifer stumbled across Working Moms Against Guilt after the birth of her second child and found the website to ease the stress of parenting. She is very honored to be included with such an inspirational group of women.

Connect with Jennifer:  LinkedIn pinterest

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Kristi-blust-headshot-200x212Kristi Blust

Kristi is part mom, part clown, and 100 percent imperfect human being. She and her husband are the parents of a deliciously mischievous preschooler, P, and a handsome little fella they call E. Her days are spent working as a school psychologist in a rural school district in Pennsylvania.

When she’s not working, or cleaning up poop, you can find Kristi engaged in rousing games of peek-a-boo, exploring local playgrounds, and/or simultaneously drinking merlot and binge-watching Netflix.

Kristi has always felt torn between a steady, predictable career, and a creative, less predictable one. By blogging, she hopes to offer some much-needed comic relief to her fellow mamas, as well as generate some thoughtful discussion about work, life, raising children, and trying to maintain some sanity in the process.

Kristi’s personal blog is “C” Minus Mama.

Connect with Kristi: Facebook Twitter

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Terry Brooks

Terry is a single, traveling, career mom of one little boy and one little dog. She grew up and currently resides in the beach town of Pensacola, FL.

terry-brooks-200x212She attended the University of West Florida and received a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her first job out of college was as a high school teacher, and later transitioned to corporate America. She created her current position as a Supply Chain Management consultant for a Fortune 20 company. During the day, and many nights, you can find her on planes, trains, and automobiles throughout the US. She works remotely from home, but travels about 75% of her work time.

When the roller bag gets put away for the weekend, the mom takes over. Terry and her son love to spend time cooking, taking pictures, exploring the beach, playing old school Super Mario on the Wii, riding bikes, building wooden train tracks, and singing songs. She and her son’s dad have an amazing co-parenting relationship and take pride in knowing that they can both be wonderful, involved parents (and friends!) despite not living under the same roof. During her few non-traveling, free days a month, you can find her at the beach with friends, exploring Downtown Pensacola, blogging, or cooking and organizing a friend’s pantry.

She is also an advocate for Epilepsy Awareness. Terry was diagnosed at age nine with Epilepsy. She had seizures as a child, but experienced 19 years seizure-free until 2011. While at 30,000 feet in an airplane, she suffered her first seizure of her adult years. She is actively involved in her local Epilepsy Society to help bring awareness to the condition.

Terry’s personal blog is Wheels Up Mama, where she shares recipes, stories, travel, career and kid things.

Connect with Terry: Twitter pinterest

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Verena-Brown-200x216Verena Brown

Verena is a mother of a rambunctious and smiley baby boy, a wife to a wonderful husband, and a pediatrician. 

She is grateful that her husband can cook because she cannot, and she is a terrible housekeeper.  She excels at dancing in the living room with her son and hubby, procrastinating, and drinking cappuccinos.  

Verena’s career interests lie in child abuse prevention and advocacy.  

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Tela Durbin

Tela is a working mom with a son, O, who was born in July 2006.

See all articles by Tela

Dana Ferraro

dana-ferraro-200x232Dana became a mom later in life, blessed with her son, Joey, when she was 37, and her daughter, Charlee, at 39. A born-and-bred New Yorker, she transplanted to Connecticut upon the birth of Joey in 2010. This fall will mark year 13 teaching students who have shuffled in and out of her eighth grade classroom in Westchester County, NY. When asked how in the world she can teach middle schoolers, she says, “they make me laugh every day,” or “maybe I’m just as immature as they are!”

She received her bachelor’s degree from Fordham and a master’s degree from Pace University, her husband’s alma mater. They met at a conference for English teachers, and to family and friends’ delight or disgust, they spend summers together entertaining, indulging and now parenting. Dana has relished her second stint of maternity leave, but will return to school in the fall and resume the juggling act of mommy, wife, teacher, etc. Aside from being passionate about her family and career, Dana also loves to swap stories, share knowledge and absorb any help she can get from working moms!

Connect with Dana:  Twitter pinterest

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Monica Froese

Monica FroeseMonica is a working mom who lives in Buffalo, NY, and has one daughter, Lydia, who is 11 months. She has a fantastic husband, Rob, who has encouraged and supported her through the tough transition into working mommy-hood. Her passion is to empower other women who choose to work after having kids and to bring attention to the antiquated policies that plague working mothers in the United States.

Monica has worked at a Fortune 100 tech company since she was 20 years old. She started while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in legal studies with the intention of going to law school. She ultimately decided to achieve her MBA and is currently a Program Manager supporting federal and state programs in the IT world. She enjoys taking time off to have mommy & me days with her daughter and spending quiet nights watching late night TV with her husband to unwind from a long day.

Monica’s personal blog is Redefining Mom.

Connect with Monica: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

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christie-gibson200x194Christie Gibson

Christie is a working mom and writer.  Professionally, she is the Director of Marketing for a Fortune 1000 company and a regular speaker on Social Media, Online Reputation Management (SEO), and Communicating with Different Generations in the Workplace.  She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in English and attended graduate school at DePaul University.

Her road to motherhood was like the rest of life, hard, but she wouldn’t change that journey or the perspective it brought her. Being a working mom makes her a better mom, period.  Christie works better under pressure and overcoming challenges in the workplace strengthens her ability to handle #firstworldproblems at home.

Connect with Christie: Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus pinterest

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10516695_10202951677967541_3508423168035140597_nBecky Gruebmeyer

Becky has been a single mother of four since 1998. Her children, ranging from 13 to 25 years old, have been her focus while meeting all the challenges that come with being a working mom. She is currently an IT Manager Consultant for Sogeti.

While raising her children and working full-time, Becky completed her college education, earning a bachelor’s degree in Technical Management and two master’s degrees – one in Project Management and the other in Business Administration. She began writing as a guest blogger for WMAG back in 2009, and joined as a regular contributor in 2011.

Connect with Becky: LinkedIn

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kathy-holsonbake-200x218Kathy Holsonbake

Kathy has earned wages as a working cowboy, writer, reporter, housekeeper and media consultant. However, her most challenging (and rewarding) calling, earns her no salary. Her roles as mother, wife, amateur veterinarian, novice fence mender, and enthusiastic chainsaw operator fill her heart, time and life.  She currently works full time as a home health and hospice marketer. Previous professional careers include member services liaison for Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives and television news reporter in Sin City (Las Vegas).

Holsonbake married her high school sweetheart after the pair was reunited 14 years after they first fell in love. They live on a small acreage in Slaughterville, OK, with their 19-year-old daughter, Kelsey; 8-year-old son, Levi; an ancient horse (Samson is 35), 25 chickens, 4 cats, one 3-legged dog named Xena, a leopard gecko, numerous fish and a host of wildlife that drops by regularly.

Connect with Kathy: Facebook  LinkedIn  pinterest 

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Sara Jacob

sara-jacob-200x199Sara is a re-married, working mama of one (two step-kids), living in Columbus, Ohio. She and her husband currently live in Columbus and Cincinnati, respectively, while they navigate the blending of their crazy family! With a degree in Communications from Indiana University strapped to her hip, she is still searching for a career that allows her to harness her creative prowess, while supporting her family.

Until then, she spends her days crunching numbers and using her house, kid(s), husband and friends as guinea pigs for her pent up creativity, crafty projects and mostly edible recipes. Sara is enamored with her incredibly active, impulsive, creative, hilarious, smarty-farty, 2nd grade son, Beckett. When she’s not at Target or on Pinterest, she can be found riding scooters in the cul-de-sac, watching cartoons in the basement fort, traveling on I-71 or looking for ways to make life just a smidge easier.

Connect with Sara: Facebook  Twitter  pinterest

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Julie Head shot

Julie M.

Julie has two young daughters who are less than two years apart in age. The oldest, her sweetness, is both sweet and gentle with a bit of wacky and rambunctious thrown in. The baby, her happiness, is a snuggle bug and also a serious daredevil. Julie has found being a mother has brought more joy and more challenges than she could have ever anticipated. Julie is married to a loving husband who recognizes the value and importance of each of their contributions both inside and outside of the home. This joint partnership certainly helps everyone in the family stay happy and healthy, but that doesn’t stop mama guilt from still striking periodically.

Julie earned her bachelor of science in nursing and began her career as a registered nurse in an intensive care unit. While this was highly rewarding work, she decided to take on a new challenge after the birth of her second child. She now works as a nurse in an outpatient mental health clinic and enjoys the new skills she has gained in her current position.

Julie has always dreamed of being a writer and hopes to fulfill part of this dream by writing for Working Moms Against Guilt as well as her personal blog, Don’t Lick Your Sister, where she writes about her journey of motherhood.

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Jenny Mundell

jenny-mundell-200x195Jenny is a working mom of one adorable child and one (usually) adorable husband, both with whom she resides in Northern New Jersey. By day she works in higher education and occasionally teaches writing. At night, on weekends, and during various holidays, she spends her time devising plans to build a time machine that would allow her to extend her day by approximately 4 hours, thus allowing for one extra hour of sleep, one hour of yoga, an hour to read a book, and one hour to do … whatever.

Before becoming pregnant, Jenny wrote a semi-humorous blog about marriage called Matrimonious. Since becoming pregnant and subsequently having a baby, she spends too much time googling and on Facebook, seeking out that which constitutes “normal” about parenting and babies. To date, she has discovered a lot of conflicting information.

Connect with Jenny:  LinkedIn

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Anna Reed

anna-reed-200x196Anna was born in Poland. Her parents sought political asylum in the US via what was then West Germany (her dad was a leader in an underground anti-communism movement). The family came to US in 1984. They were very poor and did not speak English. Her parents worked incredibly hard putting both of themselves through college as they worked full-time. Anna completed her undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins in Biophysics, went to medical school at UVA and completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL.

Her oldest daughter, Isabel, was born during her last year of residency. The family moved to Baltimore in 2007 for work and have stayed there since. They had two more beautiful daughters in the last 4 years. Anna has a variety of pediatric work experience as for the last eight years as she has struggled to both work in a demanding job and be home as much as possible.

This summer, Anna shifted gears and decided to go for it. She finally advocated for what she wanted in her career–giving up guilt!–and ended up in a leadership position at a local hospital with a strong focus on community. It is the first full-time job she’s had in seven years, but it is the most rewarding, which makes the juggle with home less stressful then she anticipated. No regrets!

Anna’s personal blog is The New Superwomen.

Connect with Anna: Twitter  pinterest

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Lauren Reidlauren-reid-200x280

Lauren sometimes admits that she is a lawyer, but she mostly likes to talk about being a wife to her college sweetheart and a mother to two amazing little boys, born in 2009 and 2012. She has often considered leaving the oh-so-glamorous legal life for the Washington Ballet for all of the times the men in her life keep her on her toes.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Denison University (Ohio) and her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, she is happy to be back in her home state, living in a suburb of Washington, DC.

Though her actual career provides her with plenty of opportunities to write, she is thrilled to have the chance to share her musings on motherhood with WMAG readers. She is a (really big) closet geek who loves to research, so she encourages readers to reach out to her with topic ideas.

Connect with Lauren: Twitter

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Tanya Shuckhart

T80f65b8b731b056d4e383efd78266af5anya is a newly transplanted Orange County, CA, resident, wife, mom to two beautiful girls, and step-mom to two handsome boys. In 2004, she founded a boutique Public Relations agency focused on implementing best PR, mar com and story-telling practices for the technology, clean-tech, domestic and international luxury resort industries. She has successfully helped private/high-growth start-ups break through market clutter and media hype to help drive sales and increase brand awareness, which has lead to secured investments and boosted company valuations of more than $20M for some clients.

On sabbatical since 2012, Tanya is embracing her new life as a mom of four and parlaying her silicon valley tech experience, broadcast journalism roots, and entrepreneurial spirit into the trident of her new business ventures.  Tanya honed her skills as a reporter working in television for both ABC and NBC affiliates as an on-air reporter, field producer, associate producer and editor. She’s even been known to dust off the old reporter notebook and pinch hit to cover stories for her colleagues from time-to-time.
A classically trained ballet dancer in R.A.D., Imperial, and the Cecchetti Method, Tanya has also held board seats with the Desert Youth Ballet and the I.D.E.A. Dance Academy. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Connect with Tanya: Twitter LinkedIn

reine-solomon-200x219Reine Solomon

Reine is a copywriter, mommy, wife and self-proclaimed “geek.” When she’s not working and spending time with her family, she enjoys blogging, working on her books and studying film. Reine started her career as a writer while in college when she became an entertainment contributor for a humor blog. She went on to work as a copywriter and content strategist for several well-known companies before becoming a senior copywriter with the internal creative studio of an international hotel group. She has two children, both under the age of 4.

Connect with Reine:  LinkedIn

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Stephanie Tsales

Stephanie lives in the sunny south, in an area of Florida most consider one of the happiest places on earth. stephanie-tsales200x216She splits her time between a gig in higher education, lots of crazy hobbies, and her family: husband Mr. Handsome, their new daughter Peachy, and a rescue pug named Meatball.

Stephanie is an avid music fanatic and contributing blogger at the music blog Blinded by Sound. She’s also constantly crafting, usually drinking wine, and forever challenging the boundaries of the statement necklace.

New to the working mom world, and…well…the mom world in general, Stephanie is still fighting the guilt monster almost daily. She tries really hard to not carry working mom guilt, but when she does she carries it in a pretty fabulous handbag.

Connect with Stephanie:  LinkedIn  pinterest

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Illustrious alumna

cara-reeves-200x200Cara Reeves

Cara was part of the original WMAG crew. Cara contributed to the blog until stepping down in 2009 to pursue her work as a freelance copywriter and to manage a household of hooligans. She likes spending time on creative projects and hobbies.

Although she’s no Martha Stewart, she does consider herself somewhat crafty. Check out her website, Cara Reeves Creative.

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Casey Stump

Casey is a copywriter/COO in the Dallas Fort Worth area. She is married to Jason and they have a four year old son, two year old boy/girl twins, a cat, a dog, and six chickens.

She works with her father and husband in their family business which makes her relationships with them complicated—in a good way.

Her goal is to live guilt free for 24 hours and to help others feel good about being good enough through humor and honesty.

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