Meet – A – Mom Stefanie Hilarczyk
Today is a special meet-a-mom treat. Our very own Ocean County Mom curator, Stefanie Hilarczyk, is our special feature today. Stefanie is a mom not to be missed. She wears many hats from mom, business owner, author and humanitarian. Read below to find out more about her!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I was born and raised half of my childhood in New York! I moved to New Jersey when I was 10 years old and I’ve loved it ever since. I have always felt that New Jersey has everything you need just moments away from each other! You want the beach- we have it! Want the country- we have that too! We moved to Jackson nearly 15 years ago and still feel like we are too far away from the shore. A move in our future might be coming!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have a 16 year old girl and a 13 year old boy!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I met my husband on a blind date my mother set up!
My mom was working at a Chiropractor’s office and my husband’s brother was a patient there! One conversation led to another and somehow Tim and I were on a blind date months later! Nearly 20 years later, and 18 years of marriage and it’s been the best decision he made! hahaha! Just joking! It really was love at first sight for him -with a little convincing for me! hahaha! I’m not kidding that time! But, for real, he’s my best friend, partner in crime and love of my life.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
It would have to be my mom and grandmother. My mother taught me to keep moving! When I had my first baby at 22 years old, my mother said “have baby, will travel, “ is her saying. Those words really stuck to me. We never let having a child slow us down. We are still a lot like that. Every opportunity is made for making a well rounded child! My Grandmother always says that ‘this too shall pass.’ Sometimes we get so caught up in the moments of life that we forget that they do pass. That goes for both good and bad things that might arise. Slow down and don’t forget to take it all in!
Favorite things to do with your kids?
We love being anywhere near the shore! Manasquan is our go to place for the beach and hanging out. My husband spent his summers as a child there. It’s the place my husband took me to tell me he loved me. Manasquan is a very special place to us. You can seriously find us everywhere along the shore!! Point Pleasant has some epic shopping and the cutest bookstore! Paddle boarding, fishing, and taking nature walks! When it’s not beach weather, you can find us in museums and art galleries. We love exploring the great history NJ has to offer! If we are home – we love creating arts and crafts and tie dying anything we can get our hands on! Being that my husband is a carpenter- we always seem to be doing some type of project at home with the kids!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
My husband and I run a family carpentry company together called Shoreline Specialties! We do various projects for commercial companies and even some small residential things.
When I am not busy with Shoreline, I am often writing children’s books and currently working on my memoir- a story of our journey with our son who has a rare genetic disorder called Mosaic Trisomy 18.
I am a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and also a Certified Mindfulness Coach.
I wrote three books! Ages preschool to 3rd grade! The Adventures of Tooth Fairy Tommy, tells a story of a silly tooth fairy and his journey to learn empathy! Tooth Fairy Tommy Lost His Sparkle, is about mindfulness and all those big feelings we can have! It’s a great tool for social emotional learning. It even has discussion questions in the back for teachers, written by teachers! The third book is a journal that really anyone can use. My daughter and I both worked on that one! Daily gratitude writing is essential to a healthy mind! It has been my dream to write children’s books and now that my children are big and teenagers – I have some time to make my dreams happen now.
I also run a Facebook volunteer group with nearly 900 women who do various “Good Deed” projects throughout the state and beyond. Each year we do an annual Christmas drive for Good Counsel Homes. It’s a homeless shelter for pregnant mothers. When we aren’t busy with Good Counsel -we also work with Elijah’s Promise, various Kids in Need School supplies drives and helping Foster Children.
I am also a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Ocean County! Protecting children without a voice is something I am extremely passionate about. I have been an advocate for special needs children for nearly a decade. Working as a CASA volunteer has now given me another way to serve another community of children who might be less heard. I encourage anyone who has the time to find out about their local CASA organization.
I guess in not so many words; I wear many hats to many people! HAhahaha
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The community often serves me more than I serve it. I have had a stressful life with lots of twists and turns and the one thing that always grounds me is my community and the ways I can serve it. Whether through volunteering or working- people who reach out to others usually are happier and healthier. We all might be different but being that way makes us such special people! Learning to mesh that all together makes the world so much brighter! Psychologists say that often the best way to combat stress is by helping someone who cannot help you back. I have often used that technique all my life. Which is why I say the community means more to me than vice versa.
I recently took Ocean County Moms page over with my sister. I’m beyond honored to be able to work alongside her for this awesome organization. This platform has allowed us to meet some pretty amazing people over the last month! I can not wait to see where this journey will lead us!!
What is your favorite restaurant in Ocean County?
This is a hard one! I’m going to have to say a few- I don’t think I can just say one! I’ll share one we just experienced the other night! The Edge in Jackson! Delicious and not only gorgeous! Shipwreck Grill in Point Pleasant is always delicious as well!
What is your favorite activity to do with your child(ren) in Ocean County?
Beaching or hanging out at the Manasquan inlet with a good pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich and watching the boats go by! Paddle boarding on the glimmer glass or just strolling the streets of Point Pleasant or going for a drive to LBI! Unless it’s Sunday, then you can find me at my parents home for our weekly Sunday Dinner! I might have a polish last name but I’m still an old school Italian girl at heart!
What are your Mom Goals?
One) to stop and pause more and be grounded in knowing that this too shall pass. Two) watching more old movies from the 80’s and 90’s with my kids! Three) Getting back to my daily yoga practice!