When Tara Clark, our NJMOMpreneur of the Week, launched Modern Mom Probs on Instagram in 2017 as a creative outlet, making a career out of her humorous quips on 21st-century parenting was far from her mind. But with a social media savvy background from Nickelodeon and her witty and inspirational posts that hit a chord with moms all over the world, her account grew to well over half a million followers. Today, she’s a content creator, an in-demand podcast guest, and now the author of the recently published Modern Mom Probs: A Survival Guide for 21st Century Mothers, a guidebook that’s both intelligent and funny, perfect for women navigating the good, the bad and the ugly of being a modern mom. We caught up with this Closter mom of one to find out which Nickelodeon character is her claim to fame, how she saw the pandemic as an opportunity to lean in, and the places you can find her all over the state this summer (from the shore to a country fair).
Feature Image Photo Credit: Karen Leano Creative
Please tell us a little bit about your family and what you do.
I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Sam DeMaria, and we live with our 8-year-old son, Jack, in Closter. It’s a small Bergen County town that almost feels like a secret. The first time I saw it, I immediately fell in love with it because it reminded me of Kinnelon, where I grew up.
I am the creator of Modern Mom Probs, a website, Instagram, and book, Modern Mom Probs: A Survival Guide for 21st Century Mothers. Through the site and the book, I weave humor and inspiration together to help women realize they’re not alone in their experiences as modern mothers.
What is your career background, and how did it play a role in launching Modern Mom Probs?
Before my son was born, I worked at Nickelodeon in the digital marketing department, handling social media. This was 9 years ago, so we were primarily focused on Facebook and Twitter since Instagram was in its infancy. I was Dora the Explorer on Facebook — I wrote all the content for her, a role my mother was particularly proud of. Working at Nickelodeon was terrific, but after my son was born, I opted to stay at home rather than go back full time.
But, after three years of being a stay-at-home mom, I realized I wanted to have a creative outlet, too. In 2017, I began creating content on an Instagram account focusing on parenting humor and inspiration. It took off, and I started to get ads, which helped officially make it a business. Before long, I became part of a wonderful community of women and other content creators all over the country and the world. This was on the early side of Instagram, and I was one of the first in the parenting space to do it.
How did the pandemic affect what you did on Modern Mom Probs?
The pandemic brought everyone home and so many women needed advice or a laugh, or just someone to be there for them, and I was happy to be that person. I didn’t pull back on what I did and went all in work-wise. I leaned into all of us being together at home, and I focused on my business and even wrote my book last summer in just six weeks during the pandemic.
Please share your proudest mom and business moments.
At my son’s school, they practice ICARE which stands for integrity, caring, attitude, respect, and empathy. My son always scores the highest ICARE marks, and his teachers tell me he’s a model ICARE student. I couldn’t be more proud of him. Regarding business, I don’t consider myself a writer—I’m more a writer of short quips and one-liners– so when I secured a book deal and had it published, it was the best feeling. My book was the culmination of all of the work I did on my digital platform put into analog form.
Ha! What’s downtime? Seriously though, I do love going to the beach with my family. So much so that we recently bought a condo in North Wildwood and have been spending quite a bit of time there. With Jack doing remote school, we spent the first two weeks of June there, and we all had lots of fun.
What are some of your favorite local NJ businesses?
If it’s Friday night, chances are good we’ll be ordering in from Ma Mi Eatery, a fantastic Vietnamese restaurant in Closter. We get the same dishes every time, Chicken Pad Thai and Beef Pho, because they’re that good, and on the rare occasion that we skip it, we crave it all week long. Restaurant-wise, we head to Mr. Crabby’s as often as we can. It has the freshest, most fantastic seafood and an excellent bar for watching sports. I love shopping Little Words Project for a gift with meaning, a company based out of Montclair. They make handmade custom beaded bracelets with messages on them, but they also have many available to buy. You can purchase them online, and they ship all over the US.
What do you love doing in NJ with your family?
We love North Wildwood. It’s a magical beach to spend the day at. The boardwalk is a blast, and the beaches are long and very clean. We also like to hike the Palisades because it’s practically in our backyard and the views of NYC are gorgeous. And hands down, a family favorite is the Sussex County Fair. We love the animals and the food and the rides so much that it’s now a yearly tradition!
What’s the best advice you can share with another mompreneur thinking of taking the leap?
You can delegate. I didn’t use to, and I’m much better at doing that now, and I’ve found help with quick one-off projects. But my best advice for anyone on the fence about starting something—stop thinking about it and go for it.