Amiga Moms Founding Story
In November of 2018, Vanessa De Jesus Guzman worked for an agency doing in-home therapy for at risk youth and families. Although children were the primary clients, she had much interactions with the mothers as well. One day after arriving at a particular home, a mother broke down to Vanessa with parenting-related stress weighing heavy on her shoulders. Vanessa immediately thought, "While I'm here for kids, if no one is helping moms, what good am I doing?" That is how the concept of Amiga Moms was born.
Within 6 months of that visit Vanessa created Amiga Moms' name, logo, launched on social media, and held a sold out conference taking place in May 2019. That year Amiga Moms had an in person event each month until the end of the year. There were also plans for a conference in 2020, but all was halted due to the pandemic.
Amiga Moms hosted virtual events throughout 2020 and 2021, and finally pivoted back to in person events in 2022. In 2023 Vanessa Squared became a team. With newfound energy and higher needs to be met, Amiga Moms is excited for all the upcoming offerings in 2023 and beyond!
Vanessa De Jesus Guzman, LPC, NCC
Just like other moms, my world is non-stop: helping my son with homework, driving him to extracurricular activities, and in between trying to cook dinner a few times a week (although that doesn’t always happen). I love spending time with my boys (my husband, son, and goldendoodle) and my family - who all drive me crazy, but who I love very much! I also enjoy slowing down when I can and fitting in self-care... like hopping on the Peloton, salsa dancing, and drinking coffee while it's still hot.
Professionally I'm a former educator of 18 years, and now a Licensed Therapist specializing in working with kids of all ages and of course, with moms, at my private practice - Free to Be Mindful - located in Ridgefield, New Jersey. I am the host the Free to Be Mindful Podcast which provides bite-sized tips on mindful living, mental health and personal growth. I am also a public speaker and enjoy providing personal and professional development and workshops for schools, parent organizations and businesses - all focused on mindfulness and mental wellness.
My life's passion is helping kids and moms not lose their cool, and specifically helping moms find a balance between traditional "old school" parenting vs. modern day styles of parenting while keeping cultural values in mind - this was also part of "my why" in founding Amiga Moms. As a first generation Dominican-American mom of a young child, I understand firsthand the stressors mothers face with balancing cultural expectations and career success.
Vanessa Paula, MSEd, MS
Bio coming soon!
Early in 2022 Vanessa Paula attended a monthly Real Mom Talk, back then known as a Monthly Mindful Meetup. Vanessa De Jesus Guzman, the founder of Amiga Moms, was immediately drawn to Vanessa Paula's energy and passion about mom self-care.
About a month or two after the following Mindful Meetup, Vanessa De Jesus Guzman asked Vanessa Paula if she would be interested in doing more with Amiga Moms. Vanessa Paula enthusiastically said yes, and the seed was planted.
Late in 2022 Vanessa De Jesus Guzman was finally at a place in Free to Be Mindful - Amiga Moms' parent company - where she was able to comfortably bring on Vanessa Paula as a team member. Jokingly one day Vanessa Paula referred to the two of them as "Vanessa Squared," and that's how they came to be!
"Vanessa Squared" Facts
Both were former teachers
Both have been school counselors
Both have lived in the Bronx
Both love pizza
Both don't know how to swim
Both of their dads have the same first name
And both of them have the same first AND middle name!