Interview with Moria Flynn Riordan: Cultivating Gems at Work and Home

While she is best known for her super hip and gorgeous jewelry boutique (M. Flynn), Moria Flynn Riordan spends her time outside of the store managing a whole other team: 6-year-old Jack, 5-year-old Paddy, and 2-year-old Maggie. Over a glass of white wine and while our combined 6 kids disappeared somewhere in the house, Moria and I sat on the floor of my living room and chatted about her experience adding 3 kids to an already busy life, the ups and downs of trying to make it through the day flexibly, and what she really hopes for as a full-time, working mom.

Tell me a little about yourself:

I am a mother to 3 children – 2 boys (6 y/o and 5 y/o) and a daughter (2.5 y/o). I also have a store in the South End of Boston (M. Flynn) that I run with my sister. I am just trying to keep it all together! 

What are the top three things you want your kids to learn as they grow?

I am always trying to promote independence (which is hard, especially with the first). Confidence. I always like the idea of flexibility – I want them to go into new situations and be comfortable with new people.

How Do You Put that into Practice?

In controlled environments, I try to give them more independence. Last night, we were out to dinner and I let the boys go to the bathroom by themselves.  In terms of flexibility, I try to introduce them to new people and change things up (i.e. camps and activities). The confidence part comes from both of these. I think if they can be empowered to do things on their own, then the confidence comes as a result. I don’t know, I am feeling it all out! It’s an experiment!

What are some things you are proud of?

I am proud when I see the boys being kind or gentle to their sister or to other people. Treating others well and treating each other well makes me proud. Ultimately, I want them to be good people and be conscience of others. And honestly, in the day to day, if everyone has pants on and ready to get out of the door, I count it as a win!

What challenges you?

There are so many moving pieces and that’s hard. Every fall, my kids put their pants on and they are all too short. Keeping up with that, sports, medical, and everything is challenging! Ha. I just found out I forgot my 5-year old’s yearly physical. It was just off my radar! Just keeping everything together is a daily challenge. And, I have a lot of guilt about mealtimes. Sometimes I just make p.b.& j. because that’s all I have in me. Like a lot of mothers, I am working at 100% capacity, so if something goes wrong, if stick gets caught in the spoke, it kinda throws me for a loop. Just keeping everyone straight is a goal.

What would you share with a new parent?

Give yourself a break. There aren’t any rules with parenting. Just do your best. And secondly, Mom needs to take of herself because nobody is okay if you aren’t okay. And, let your kid go, let them explore. Everything you need to know, you learn on the playground. The less you can intervene as a parent, the better.

Moria’s Go-To Dinner: Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 Medium Red Bell Peppers (seeded and cut into quarters)

2 Medium Yellow Bell Peppers (seeded and cut into quarters)

1 lb. orecchiette or short pasta

2 tsp. olive oil

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing (Moria uses Applegate Chicken Sausage)

1 TBS. butter

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat boiler. Place the peppers, skin side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until charred, 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 2-3 minutes. Using a paper towel, rub off the skins, reserving any juices in the bowl. Thinly slice the peppers and place them back in the bowl with the juice. Set aside.

Cook the pasta until al dente and reserve ½ cup of pasta water.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the sausage (breaking it up with a spoon if it is real sausage) or just until browned. Add the roasted peppers and cook until heated through.

Transfer the sausage to a large bowl, add the pasta, butter, pasta water, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Serve!