Meet our Meet-A-Mom of the week, Tracy Garguilo, MS, OTR/L Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Tracy is a New Yorker at heart but has made Hazlet, NJ her home for the past 14 years. She has her masters in Occupational Therapy and has been practicing for 17 years, wow! When she isn’t busy working at Shore Kids Pediatric Therapies in Oceanport you can most likely find her enjoying time at the beach with her family. Read more about this impressive mama below!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I am originally from East Meadow, NY, which is in Long Island. I am a true New Yorker by heart. After I attended The University of Delaware I moved to LA for a few years and then to Manhattan to get my Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University. I then moved to Staten Island and now NJ!! I have lived in Hazlet for the past 14 years and I love being close to the Jersey Shore and all that it offers.
Children and Ages?
I have two amazing boys!! Alex is 13 and Brody is 10.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I grew up dancing competitively and it was my passion!! I loved to perform, compete and be on stage. I still love to dance anytime I can!! I used to dance for an entertainment company, at Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and all types of parties. It was the best job ever!! Getting paid to dance, party and have fun!!!
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Oh 100% my family!! My mother, father and older sister! We are a really tight family and they have helped teach me that there is no rule book on how to raise kids!! You learn as you go! They have shown me the meaning of unconditional love and the importance of supporting each other and our children. Things are soooooo different then when I was growing up and to just be there, be present, support, encourage, discipline, love hard and raise Good People that are compassionate and giving!! Being a mom is the hardest and best thing I have every done! Having the support and role models of your family is everything!!!
Favorite things to do with your kids?
Well, there are so many things I love to do with them. They play basketball and baseball so we really enjoy going to college and NBA games along with MLB games! Really anything sports related we are in!! They are both adventurous kids and love things like zip lining, which gets me out of my comfort zone. Honestly, my favorite thing is to watch my kids play sports!! I really have become one of those crazy basketball/baseball moms ha-ha!!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I have been a Pediatric Occupational Therapist for 17 years. I have worked with children in a variety of settings from early intervention, schools, outpatient settings and hospitals. Five and ½ years ago I took a huge leap of faith and went on my own with a partner and opened a pediatric therapy center here in Oceanport called Shore Kids Pediatric Therapies. I have recently bought my partner out and I own the practice 100%. Our vision when we opened was to have a multi-disciplinary approach to therapy for the children and families we help. We wanted all our therapies/services under one roof in order to make life easier for parents and for everyone to collaborate and communicate. We offer occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, counseling services, academic testing/tutoring services and behavioral services. It has been an incredible journey for me. There have been ups and downs, self-doubt and amazing joy. At the end of the day it was the best decision I have made and I truly love it. I continue to work in a public school part time as well as run Shore Kids. Working with these children and their families is the most rewarding part of my job!!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Since opening my practice 5 ½ years ago, it’s amazing how my community has grown. I have met so many people that I never would have otherwise met. I collaborate with doctors, social workers, schools, psychologists, learning consultants and other therapists. I am so lucky to have the best team of therapists and teachers behind me. They make Shore Kids what it is. They are dedicated and passionate about what they do and helping children. I feel very blessed to have this amazing community behind me. I am also so grateful for my husband; family and friends who encourage me support me and make my dreams possible. It does take a village-not just to raise kids but to help families and run an amazing business that I am so proud of!!!
What is your favorite restaurant in Monmouth County?
Ohhh that’s a hard one-there are so many great ones in our area. I love Osteria Cucina in Marlboro, Old Glory in Keyport and anything by the beach!! I love brunch so Over Easy and Turning Points are staples!!
What is your favorite activity to do with your child(ren) in Monmouth County?
We really enjoy the beaches here in the summer and going to Holmdel Park. We enjoy going to the indoor arcades and trampoline parks in the winter. The movies and dinner is always our go to as well!!
What are your Mom Goals?
Well, being the mom of two athletic boys I just try to get through the day without any broken bones haha. My mom goals are really to instill in them the love of family and the importance of being there and supporting the people you love. I want them to be well rounded, kind, compassionate people to everyone they meet and to follow their dreams not matter how crazy they may seem to be!!!