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This is Why You'll Love The Mint Chip Mama

This is Why You'll Love The Mint Chip Mama

Stacey Gish Wallenstein, aka The Mint Chip Mama, is a stay-at-home mom who knows the best of what to do in the NY metro area.


Meet Stacey Gish Wallenstein, the Long Island mom of three behind the popular blog The Mint Chip Mama and it's Instagram and Facebook pages. Wallenstein is a NYMetroParents Influencer We Love—and here's why you should follow her!

Stacey Gish Wallenstein, aka the Mint Chip Mama, made the transition from high-end customer relationship manager (think Christian Dior and Chanel) to full-time mom in 2010. A few years later she left behind her beloved Manhattan for Long Island, where she and her husband now live with three children (ages 9, 6, and 3)—and she is an active PTA member and Girl Scout troop leader. When her life was dramatically uprooted by parenting, she kept her sanity by writing—and after publishing a piece in the Huffington Post, she was ready to dedicate herself to this pursuit.

“I realized that I wanted to write thought pieces, cover cool events around the area, and also share information about new products I came across.” So in 2014, she launched The Mint Chip Mama, a blog where, in addition to her Instagram and Facebook, she does exactly these things. “I have so much fun traveling with my family all over the place and to attractions and shows and then reporting back to my readers.”

Why follow Mint Chip Mama? We love her enthusiasm for mothering and her honesty when it comes to being a SAHM of three in the ’burbs.

Blog | themintchipmama.wordpress.com
Instagram | @themintchipmama
Facebook | @TheMintChipMama


What are your favorite books or movies on parenting?

I always think of a scene from the 1989 movie Parenthood. Helen Shaw’s “Grandma” tells Steve Martin’s “Gil” that life is like a roller coaster. Later in the movie there’s a scene of utter chaos when his three children are going coo-coo bananas. His vision of this chaos before him distorts to the left and then to right as the sound of a creaky wooden roller coaster plays over the scene. He is viewing the chaos of his life like the ups and downs of a roller coaster. It is the perfect scene to describe life as a parent. I literally think of this scene several times a week. 


What do you think is a parent’s hardest job?

I think life is a balancing act and parenting is like someone pelting balls at your head nonstop. If you work from home, work outside the home—it doesn't matter. We are all just people trying to keep our act together when our kids have not yet put on their shoes and the bus is a minute away. (Why is this a surprise every morning!?) There is always something to return to the store for, someone who needs to go to an activity, dishes in the sink, and those little people who look at you with love in their eyes—who need to eat three times a day, every day.

There's homework help needed on "new math," which I don’t understand. There's the guilt that you don't do enough. There's the guilt that you do too much. There’s girl drama. There are kids who are mean to your kids—and, of course, you want to fight your kids’ battles for them. Oy!

Personally, I try to do the best I can every day and if I get to their bedtimes without having yelled that day, I consider it a win. Then, of course, bedtime comes and I can sit, exhale, and enjoy 5 minutes to myself, or I can start cleaning, cooking, and scheduling for tomorrow. This is why I stay up until 2am every night. Sometimes, after all is said and done, I just need to stare into space and have a little "me time" to decompress (kind of like the "natural release" on my InstaPot). So to answer the question, I'd say, "all of the above!" Ha! You need to have a sense of humor or you will lose your mind.




What’s your favorite place in the New York City area to bring your kids?

I just can’t narrow that answer down to one, so I’ll go ahead and name 50…we have annual traditions like going to the New York Botanical Garden for the Holiday Train Show and going to the New York Aquarium and then Coney Island (where my kids swear the chocolate ice cream is the best on Earth) in the summer. We go to the Bronx Zoo in the Fall, and to a Broadway show in the Spring. We often visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art for Start with Art and the American Museum of Natural History to visit the dinosaurs and Teddy Roosevelt statue. The New-York Historical Society is a recent favorite and, of course, no one can overlook the absolute perfection of a leisurely stroll through Central Park on a nice fall day.

My daughter and I love going into Brooklyn to glass-blow at Urban Glass. My sons love feeding the animals at the Queens Zoo. Heading out of the five boroughs and into Nassau and Suffolk counties, we love the Nassau County Firefighters Museum in Garden City, the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum, and the Long Island Carriage Museum in Stonybrook. We’ve spent hours watching the ducks at Heckscher Park in Huntington, stealing snails to become our pets at Tobay Beach in Wantagh, playing in the Outdoor Nature Explorium at The Middle Country Library in Centereach, and walking on The Green Belt trails in Plainview.

We’ve also spent great days at Adventureland in Farmingdale, Splish Spash in Calverton, and riding on the Long Island Live Steamers in Brookhaven. We’ve fed the fish at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and traveled back in time at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. We have also fallen in love with Greenport (on the North Fork of Long Island), which has become our annual summer vacation, as is a visit to Harbes Family Farm and Magic Fountain Ice Cream in Mattituck. I always try to pair an attraction with a unique mom-and-pop local restaurant. This could mean funky grilled cheese, crepes, or any old-time luncheonette we can find.


What is the best thing about raising kids in the New York city area?

I love that in a crazy expensive city there is so much you can do for free, and that you can provide your family with the most cultured life regardless of your income. From pay-as-you-wish admission to museum passes from the library, the possibilities are endless.

For years my parents have given us a zoo membership for the holidays. One of my favorite phrases is “memberships are the gift that keep on giving.” When we lived in the city, we frequently visited the same museums. Since I’m a lover of longitudinal studies, I started taking pictures of my kids in the same spot every time we visited. I’ve developed quite the portfolio! It’s fun to look back now and see how the kids have grown and how our family has grown. But New York has stayed (mostly) the same.

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Stacey Gish Wallenstein

Author:

Stacey Gish Wallenstein, aka The Mint Chip Mama, is the Long Island mom of three behind the blog of the same name.

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