10 Apr Introducing Our 100th Mom of the Week – Shannon Gallagher!
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
I love to do anything outdoors with my boys. If we’re outside then they can’t make a mess of things inside (kidding, sort of). We play a lot of hockey in the driveway and quickly rifle through the other sporting equipment in the garage ranging from golf and tennis to lacrosse and basketball, while intermittently breaking to play with bubbles and chalk. With a 4 year old, 2½ year old, and a 9 month old, it’s always challenging to find an outing that will suit their different developmental stages. However, I’ve found that playing outdoors interests all three of them (even if that includes Quinn napping in the stroller).
My greatest wish for them is to be happy and for them to know they can accomplish anything with a definite work ethic and ambition.
Who has had the biggest influence upon you?
My family, but more specifically, my parents, have had the greatest influence upon me. My mom and dad are both extremely hard working people and while I didn’t appreciate all they did for me at the time, I am forever grateful for their unconditional love and support and the sacrifices they made in order to give my sisters, brother and me the best childhood.
What quality do you most admire in a mother?
The greatest quality I admire in a mother is her ability to embrace the simple joys and less glamorous moments of being a mom. It’s easy to just focus on the big moments and major milestones, while blaming each tantrum on a stage and wishing for time to pass, but in doing so we tend to miss out on life’s smaller moments. I wish there was an easy way to do this! I also admire a mom who is genuine, honest, and real about not only the peaks, but the valleys of motherhood (and there are many). I admire a mom who chooses her “good enough” style of parenting over the quest to be a “perfect” mother.
Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed? And what are your strongest qualities?
Pre motherhood, I worked in institutional equity sales at FBR Capital Markets, a boutique investment bank headquartered in Washington, DC. I started my career with them in DC and transferred to NYC soon after getting married. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the sales and trading floor, the fast paced nature of the business, the competition, and the “work hard, play hard mentality.” When Kennedy (my oldest) was 6 months old we made the inevitable move to the suburbs and I left finance altogether, to be at home. While at home, I spent a couple of seasons coaching hockey at the Greenwich Skating Club and then eventually decided to pursue a lifelong passion of teaching and working with girls through Greenwich Academy’s Associate Teacher Program. Last year I began this new career and taught kindergarten while also pursuing a masters in education. I’m looking forward to returning to the GA campus in the fall after taking the year to be home with our newest baby, Quinn.
Were you happiest in elementary, middle high school or college? Please explain why.
I think I was happiest at Middlebury, but I also loved my high school experience. Taft prepared me academically, socially and athletically for college and I don’t think I would have had such a positive college experience if it hadn’t been for the teachers, friends and mentors who guided and supported me along the way.
I played on the women’s ice hockey team at Middlebury and while winning 3 NCAA Championships made me happy, it was the time spent on and off the ice with my teammates that made me happiest. Three of my teammates were bridesmaids in my wedding and continue to be some of my closest friends.
What do you like to do for fun and what is your idea of a perfect day?
The start of a perfect day begins with a cup of coffee in bed (thanks, Curt) then breakfast at LPQ (I have a minor addiction to their avocado toast) followed by a workout at Equinox (which I don’t really enjoy, but I feel good afterwards)… after this start, it’s hard to go wrong.
What is one of your favorite books? Movies?
Blink and Outliers by Malcom Gladwell are on the top of my list, but if you’re looking for a mindless and hysterical beach read, I’d recommend The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (full disclosure: it can be inappropriate and vulgar at times). It has been awhile since I’ve seen a really good movie, but the one movie I can watch over and over again is Good Will Hunting.
What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook?
I am not a big cook. When you have three miniature customers regularly rejecting your food before trying it, you lose all interest in cooking. However, I have managed to win over their hearts with tacos and pizza made on the grill, two of my favorite meals!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
This depends – with or without kids? I’ve been dying to go to Bora Bora – something about the bungalows over the water has won me over. My dream family vacation (once the boys are much older) is an African Safari… I should probably start convincing Curt now.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what’s your drink of choice?
This interview has made me realize that I need to read and party more because both questions required an embarrassing amount of brainpower. I love a good house party, but with little kids this can be challenging… I love margaritas from Boxcar and Truck and my winter go to spot has been Elm Street Oyster House, a forgotten gem with happy hour 7 days a week.