This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with Meghan Salonia, the mom behind Newtown Moms, one of the CT sites of The Local Moms Network, encompassing Newtown and the Danbury area. This mom of two (Isabelle is 4 and Abby is 17 months) first started following The Local Moms Network’s earliest sites—Greenwich Moms and Darien Moms–when she lived closer to those areas when she first became a mom. “As a new mom, I found it really helpful and it sure is much easier than Googling things. Once we were settled in Newtown, I reached out to find out if I could start a site in the Greater Danbury area and now here we are!” says Meghan. Newtown Moms officially launched on November 1, 2018. Here’s a bit more about Meghan, Newtown Moms and what it’s like being a part of The Local Moms Network (TLMN) team:
Can you tell us a bit about your area?
Newtown has a small town feel and a close knit community with tons to offer families. I’m originally from Brookfield (town next door) and spent 15+ years out of the area between college, working, getting married, and starting a family.
We moved to Newtown three years ago from Stamford, CT and picked Newtown because we both loved the community, as well as the relative proximity for a down county commute. We also had the luck of looking at houses during the town’s Annual Holiday Festival, so we were pretty much sold on how Main Street looked on that December Sunday in 2017!
What is your background in and does that help you in your role with TLMN?
Before having kids, I spent my entire career in Brand Management within the consumer goods industry. The bulk of my experience was at BIC, where I had the opportunity to work across many different products during my eight years there. My background in Marketing & Branding helps provide an additional perspective to the partners I work with. Social Media & Digital Marketing has always been something I’m passionate about and have a lot of experience in, so I believe that also helps me manage the Newtown Moms platform.
What is your favorite part of being part of TLMN?
The best thing about TLMN is the flexibility that comes with managing a site. The role has allowed me to continue to work on something I love, while still being present for my family. The community we have as an organization and the ones we’re each building in our suburbs is something incredibly special to be part of. I love the fact we’re a 100% mom operated organization and we draw on each other’s strengths to grow and evolve.
What is your best working mom tip?
I know it sounds cliche, but blocking out my time and making a list of what I need to accomplish is what helps me stay focused. Being attuned to when I’m feeling stretched too thin is another thing I focus on. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so we’ve all have to find some time to take a break!
What has been the hardest part of quarantine for you and how have you dealt with it?
Abby, my youngest, turned 6 months right at the end of February and I breathed a huge sigh of relief because she was “fully” vaccinated. She was a preemie so we were incredibly careful for the first six months of her life trying to minimize the risk of RSV and the Flu. I never expected to get hit with a global pandemic right after!
To be honest, we’ve been dealing with it similar to how I think many others have. We’ve been wearing our masks, spending time outside, and trying to make our decisions based on science/recommendations. We know these times are not normal, but I feel a lot of hope because of how CT has handled everything and with the vaccine rollout.
How are you doing for school at this point?
Isabelle’s been back since September at a Preschool in Newtown. It’s her 3rd year at the school, so both Pete & I felt very comfortable with all the protocols and policies the school follows. Abby’s not in school yet, but will join her next September for a Two’s program at the same school.
What’s your favorite quarantine activity?
Hands down it’s reading – either me reading to the kids or me reading on my own. I think we can all use some good books to transport us elsewhere right now!
We love supporting local businesses. Can you please share your fave places in your area (for locals or anyone visiting!):
Go to dinner as a family – The Farmhouse or The Foundry
Have date night – Zargoza (in New Milford) is mine. Barnwood Grill (Newtown) is my husband’s
Have fun as a family outdoors – Fairfield Hills/CVH Animal Sanctuary/Horse Guard – so much outdoor space to explore right in town. For my kids, it’s 100% Dickinson Park.
Workout – Barre Boutique! Right now it’s Peloton all the time for me, but I’m looking forward to going back to in-person classes soon!
Get your hair done – I’ve gone to the same hair stylist for years! Antigona was with a larger salon and then started her own salon in the Suite Space on Route 6. Check out Hair by Antigona!
Get your nails done – Literally every shopping plaza in Newtown has a nail salon, a pizza place, and a liquor store, so they’re many options. My go-to is Gina’s.
Go shopping (for kids, yourself and gifts) – For the girls (and any gifts we need for friends/cousins), we love The Toy Tree in Newtown & Turning the Page in Monroe. For me, I like shopping at any of the three boutiques within a quick drive: Traveling Chic Boutique, The Mason Jar, or Strength & Grace.
There are a lot of great places to purchase unique to Newtown and one of a kind gifts here in town. My go-to’s are BD Provisions, Castle Hill Chocolate, and of course Ferris Acres gift cards!