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Humans of Samsung: Navigating Motherhood My Way

by Maddy Nicolosi


My Sicilian parents immigrated to the U.S. when they were in their twenties, and even though I grew up in Flushing, New York, I spoke mostly Italian, went to Italian shops, and watched Italian movies. After my son Massimo was born, my parents continued this tradition by speaking exclusively Italian to him. He’s now three and a half and my husband and I are focusing on building his English skills. However, I do love hearing him say Italian words once in a while, like when he tells me he wants aqua, instead of water.

I’m raising Massimo differently than how I was raised. My parents, due to their upbringing and the level of poverty they saw in Sicily after World War II, developed a rigid mindset. They were set in their ways of how things “should” be. Despite our family having three children, our house was immaculate. My siblings and I were assigned chores practically from birth. As soon as you could hold a rag, you had to join in the family cleaning. And questioning our parents was not an option.

But family always came (and still comes) first. During the first year after Massimo’s birth, my mom stepped in to help take care of him while I was working in New York City. I felt like she was mothering me again, cooking for us and doing our laundry. I don’t know what I would have done without her.

While I’m not as strict as she is about cleaning, I do teach Massimo to tidy up after meals. Ultimately, my husband and I want to raise a kid who’s aware, considerate, confident, and happy. These are the top five things that we do to instill a sense of abundance and joy in our household:

1. Read and play together. We read together every day. Massimo adores Dr. Seuss books and anything to do with Thomas the Tank Engine. He also loves building trains. He has a very elaborate set of wooden train tracks, the ones that you can piece together. We sit and build and rebuild them for hours. When we get tired of that, we switch to building Legos. I think these moments of playing together are so important because I can help him when he gets stuck and encourage him to push forward in his projects.

Maddy Nicolosi and her son playing with a train set

Maddy plays with her son Massimo

2. Minimize TV time. We don’t have a TV in the living room anymore. Instead, we have the Samsung Freestyle projector, and we play that for special movie nights. He thinks it’s magic and finds it to be an exciting family moment. His first request will always be “Can I have some popcorn?”

3. Take moments for deep breaths. When I see that Massimo is upset or he’s getting agitated, I take his hands, and I tell him, “Let’s take a deep breath together.” We both pause, he closes his eyes, and we breathe in and out. I didn’t learn the value of deep breathing until I became an adult, so it’s really great to see my three-year-old son beginning to grasp this skill.

4. Scream funny words. Sometimes, during playtime, we’ll exert pent-up energy by screaming funny words like “Stinky Feet!” We’ll scream together as a whole family and then have a good laugh about it together. The infectious laughter from my son just melts my heart.

5. Just dance. Massimo loves the song “I’m a Gummy Bear” by Gummibär. He asks me to play it every morning for him. Then he starts to dance, and he’ll grab my hand to dance along with him. It’s definitely the highlight of our mornings – and it sets a great mood for the rest of the day. I go to work feeling like my heart is full.

When I was pregnant, I wasn’t sure what kind of mother I was going to be, and I was afraid of how hard it was going to be. Being a mom is a lot of work, but I love it and wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else.

About Humans of Samsung
Inspired by Humans of New York, our blog series features intimate stories from Samsung employees sharing their triumphs over diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) challenges, immigration experiences, coming out journeys, cultural celebrations, and accomplishments in the face of abilities-driven obstacles. Join us as we shine a spotlight on the impressive individuals shaping Samsung’s inclusive culture, showcasing their resilience, and celebrating the strength that diversity and inclusion bring to both personal and professional journeys.

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