Mom’s That Rock

They’ve mastered the art of making motherhood look easy, all the while remaining true to themselves as women.

STEPHANIE SAYFIE AAGAARD
“Steph Sez” Columnist, The Miami Herald; Senior Director, Major Gifts, Corporate Relations and Marketing & Events for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis/The Buoniconti Fund

Miami
Mom to Anders, 14, and Austin, 9

About her:
Friends and colleagues call me the Energizer Bunny, since I keep going and going and going! I truly believe we should grasp every single moment and live it to the fullest. I absolutely love life and the opportunity to relish my sensational family, my boys and my hubby every day. My parents live two blocks away and all four of my sisters live in Miami, and get this—our kids attend school together. I wake up each morning and say “Hooray!” I have another full day to indulge in accomplishing my favorite things: teaching my boys something new and vice-versa, creating unique fundraising strategies to find a cure for paralysis, covering the latest charity, celebrity, sports and fashion news in South Florida for my “Steph Sez” column and giving back to my community.

The biggest payoff of motherhood:
I absolutely love watching my boys thrive in school, compete in sports and activities, and follow their passion for helping others. I am so thrilled to see their positive family interaction. I love to see them smile and happy when they accomplish a robotics project, finishing a golf tourney or singing proudly in a voice competition.

The biggest challenge:
Technology these days presents the biggest challenge and the biggest advantage.

How she keeps her sanity:
I stay positive every single day and look at the upside to whatever comes my way. I’m lucky enough to have the support of my phenomenal family, who is a phone call away or a quick car ride away.

On quality time with the kids:
Anders, Austin and I love playing tennis, ping pong and cards together. We absolutely love being on the ocean to fish, wakeboard and waterski and going to the beach. My boys are amazing wakeboarders and water skiers.

Her greatest hope for her children:
In addition to giving them all my love, my goal has been to supply them with all the correct tools to build spectacular lives for themselves, starting with a phenomenal education and a hard work ethic so they grasp this information and create incredible lives.

JULIANA KRYS
Jewelry designer/ Juliana Krys Jewelry

Coral Gables
Mom to Olivia, 17; Julia, 15; Ruben, 14; and Zachary, 5

About her:
Art has always been a big part of my life. I did my masters in Contemporary Art History and have always surrounded myself with art professionally and personally. What truly makes me happy are my close friendships. I’m that friend who wants to have everyone over because I love to entertain. Oh, and I’m an avid skier.

The biggest payoff of motherhood:
Having the privilege to help raise my three stepkids since they were 2, 3 and 5 and watching them grow into smart, creative and kind young adults has been quite rewarding. My “big kids” taught me so much about how to be a good, connected parent before I had my own son.

The biggest challenge:
I have to engage in the constant exercise of taking a step back and checking myself to make sure that I parent in a mindful way and recognize that I am their stepmom, not their mother. And shifting gears between pre-school tantrums to teenage tantrums can be a bit tricky.

How she keeps her sanity:
Sanity?  What sanity?

On quality time with the kids:
I love going out on our boat with everyone because they have no choice but to hang as a family for a few hours. I also love skiing with the kids. Doing a top-to-bottom with my little one was one of my happiest mommy moments.

Her greatest hope for her children:
I hope that my kids find their true callings and become free-thinking individuals. For our kids to take advantage of all the opportunities that they have to find their passions.

MARTINA BASABE BORGOMANERO

Miami Beach
Mom to Brando, 8

About her:
I graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in advertising, and marketing/communication has been my job always. After I got married, I stopped working, and frankly nothing has been better than enjoying my husband and, three years later, my super-cool son. When Brando started going to Montessori School, I got the working fever again and decided to focus it on my longtime passion of interior decorating. I call it a hobby, because that is exactly what it is. I only work on projects that interest me and only for friends. My only means of promotion is word of mouth, as I neither have a website nor business cards—and I am going to keep it that way, as being a fullish-time mom is a way more fulfilling aspiration of mine than anything else.

The biggest payoff of motherhood:
The opportunity of seeing everything through the eyes of a child. Everything is amazing and fresh and a new discovery.

The biggest challenge:
Right now, to steal a kiss. I am not sure when children started being teenagers at 8, but I am absolutely positive that my son finds me terribly embarrassing and totally uncool, and his lack of enthusiasm towards any form of my affection, especially on school grounds, is borderline offensive.

How she keeps her sanity:
The ocean and I have a steady love affair and a day at Soho Beach House, alone or with my girlfriends, is a fast cure for anything. I also like to go to the movie theater by myself, as I find it very relaxing and it is pure check-out time—“Please quiet your cell phones” always feels so amazingly good to hear.

On quality time with the kids:
Lego. I do get a little dominating during construction and kind of put Brando in the corner when he tries to participate, but luckily he indulges me because he is proud of Mom being a Lego boss—a fact that has won me both favors at home and street cred on the playground.

Her greatest hope for her children:
Freedom. Freedom in any form. Importantly, the freedom that comes with the certainty that he could be anyone he wants to be and do anything he loves to do and his parents would love him fiercely and forever, no matter what.

MICHAL YAARI
Architect and Interior Designer

Aventura
Mom to Amit, 15; Daniel, 13; and Adi, 4

About her:
I worked in several architectural firms for a total of 4 years, but couldn’t find the balance between work and family. I missed my kids’ birthdays in kindergarten because I couldn’t skip a day of work in the firm. At that point I decided to go on my own. I opened a company in 2007 and called it ADAMA. The meaning is “earth” in Hebrew and I find it to have a strong connection with architecture and what it should be all about, environmentally friendly. It is also the initials of all my immediate family, the kids, my husband and myself. A-Amit; D-Daniel; A-Adi; M-Michal; A-Asaf.

The biggest payoff of motherhood:
The biggest joy for me is the small things that my kids do or say. Just coming up out of the blue and hugging me and kissing me and say thank you for being the best mom in the world.

The biggest challenge:
Balancing life. Putting everyone and everything in a schedule, making sure all are happy.

How she keeps her sanity:
Sanity? Does it exist? One of my resolutions for 2017 was to spend more time with my girlfriends. One of my best friends last year texted me: “I am divorcing you, you don’t have time for me.” I laughed, but it did sink in. My new resolution this year is once a week to have lunch (which I don’t usually take) with a friend. I love it. It does help a bit with the sanity.

On quality time with the kids:
I love to go on trips with my family, and I am one of those moms who is always asking them to pose and take a picture. We can all sit once in a while at the computer and just look back on moments we had together, laugh, talk about a specific event and start looking for a new location to travel to. I love it.

Her greatest hope for her children:
For them to find passion. Passion for life. If you are passionate about your work, your family and your friends, you are on the right track.

ANDREA LUBELL
Co-Founder & Cohesiveness Captain at Innergy Meditation

Hollywood
Mom to Alli, 18, and Matt, 13

About her:
I am passionate about making the world a better place. So I am thrilled that we have just opened the first (of many to come) Innergy Meditation Studio in South Beach for people to come and do something super positive for themselves.

The biggest payoff of motherhood:
Seeing the amazing human beings my children have become. Watching them grow and change and bring happiness to others.

The biggest challenge:
“The Juggle”: trying to balance being there for my husband and kids with work and community commitments.

How she keeps her sanity:
Meditation and exercise are my must-do’s for sanity. Both help me to slow it down, focus and chill out. That’s my time.

On quality time with the kids:
I love family activities—outdoor activities like hiking together or riding bikes. Vacations are the best-of-the-best time. When no one is there but the four of us hanging in a hotel room and everyone can totally be themselves and let go. We have the most fun for sure!

Her greatest hope for her children:
That they (stay) are contributing, self-sufficient members of society and do not have the need to depend on others, but have others to depend on.

ERICA KORMAN
Psychic/Medium

Miami
Mom to Chloe, 9, and Lola, 6

About her:
Outside of my family, my work is my passion. I’m a former psychotherapist from New York City, but when I moved to Miami four years ago and finally was able to relax for the first time in years, I discovered I had the ability to read people’s energy as well as communicate with people who have passed on. This gift has been the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me. It doesn’t feel like work. It is my calling and what I’m here to do. It is the most beautiful, healing, amazing thing I’ve ever experienced and I’m beyond grateful to have the ability to help people heal in the way that I do.

The biggest payoff of motherhood:
Seeing them happy, kind and following their dreams and passions. Looking at these two little humans that my husband and I created is the most wild and amazing thing ever.

The biggest challenge:
Doing it all! Keeping up with them and their lives, family time, my work, my husband and my own social life. But I do the best I can and I’ve accepted that I can’t be in two places at once.

How she keeps her sanity:
I’m really good at self-care, as I teach it to others. If you don’t have your oxygen mask on first, you can’t help anyone else. I make exercise, meditation, turning off technology, rest time, setting boundaries, talking to friends, etc., a priority.

On quality time with the kids:
We ride our bikes a lot as a family, we jump on the trampoline, play games, go shopping, swim, go out for frozen yogurt and just spend quiet time reading. Cuddling and chatting with my girls is the best!

Her greatest hope for her children:
For them to follow their own passions and to do what feels right to them and what lights them up inside! I want them to be their own people and not care about what others around them are doing.

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