Meet Erika: That Kind of Mom

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that momHi Fairfield County Moms! My name is Erika, and I am super excited to be joining the team. I am an academic mama – a professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies, and a mother of two kids (a girl and boy). During the day, I do drug design research (I am trying to make new, safer, better antibiotics). And on the weekends, I use my experience from being a cheerleader throughout middle and high school to make sure I embarrass my kids by cheering loudly from the sidelines. I am also the mom who probably brings her laptop along to too many events so I can finish up something or who can be spotted hiding in the car or coffee shop to get a moment of quiet to help me think.

My husband and I relocated to Fairfield in 2008, as transplants from Pennsylvania and Michigan by way of New York City, where we met and fell in love. It has been amazing being in Fairfield, while raising our kids – in the proximity of all of the benefits of NYC, with more space, great schools, and better access to the beach.

But sometimes it is a real struggle, each of us having our careers which we love, but with our families being so far away so that our kids know their grandparents, not from Sunday dinners, but from phone calls and visits that happen a few times a year. Like many moms who relocated as an adult, I have been lucky to find some great friends (who are now like our extended family) thanks to my kids, but sometimes I have just wanted to “have my own friends,” and that is what drew me to Fairfield County Mom.

As a scientist mother, I enjoy sharing my love of science with others, creating demonstrations and activities to bring the excitement and joy of science to everyone from toddlers to adults (so you can probably imagine how much slime is made in my house each year).

As a working mama, I am that person who will schedule a date night or drinks with my girlfriends four weeks in advance and who sets alarms to remind myself to drink a relaxing cup of tea before bed. As a mom who moved far from my hometown (and has lived in 32 places across five states as of today), I am a creative problem solver, who is the first to suggest carpooling and who is eternally thankful for the friends we have found that love our kids like their own.

I am that introverted mom who is excited to have a bit of a commute for work to listen to an audiobook or podcast that isn’t rated G, or so I can have a regular time to catch up with friends on speakerphone from the road. I am also that extroverted mom who will strike up a conversation with total strangers and enjoy hearing stories from all different perspectives and experiences.

I look forward to sharing stories of my many colored and varied days. I shall certainly share information about how science relates to events in our days. Still, I also anticipate that we will have other conversations about things you didn’t know about cows (thanks Midwestern upbringing) or the one hundred-and-one ways I am trying to stay sane parenting tweens and juggling work.

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Erika is a professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies and mom to two kids (2010 and 2013) plus two cats (2005 and 2019). A Midwestern transplant who has lived in 32 places, she has happily called Fairfield her home for the past 12 years. At work, she directs a program to support first-generation and underrepresented student success in science. In town, she can often be found driving her kids back and forth to their respective sporting events and teams or sitting in a coffee shop using the wifi to get a little work done before pick up. Erika loves spending time enjoying the water, cooking, theater, reading, and hanging out with her husband.

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