Hi Detroit Mom community, I am so excited to be here as a new writing contributor for Detroit Mom. I am a Detroit suburbs mom, and have lived in Oakland County all of my life minus ten months in college when I thought I would be a professional actress . . . but that’s a whole other blog.
Fun Facts About Franki
Putting my “mom hat” aside for a moment, I’d love to share a little bit about me. I love music–80’s and 90’s rock and pop, showtunes, folk, 70’s music that reminds me of my Dad that I would have never admitted enjoying as a teen, and even some of the newer hits that my teens and tween play for me. These days I’m more of a “beach read” rom-com type of reader, but I love a great book and went through a major Jane Austen phase. I love to travel, with or without the fam. I’ve been to Southeast Asia, South America, Mexico, and Europe. This summer we are taking the whole family to Alaska, a new destination for me!
After I put the acting dreams aside (and decided I’d rather go watch a musical then audition for one) I studied Elementary Education at MSU (go Spartans!). It was very difficult to get a teaching job in 2001, and I ended up working at a local independent school, Eton Academy. It was in this first professional role that I realized my passion for inclusion and supporting those who are neurodivergent.
I grew up with ADHD, anxiety, and some major school struggles. Let’s just say, my kids know to ask Dad for help on math homework and steer clear of me. I didn’t really understand my unique brain until I started working with students with their own challenges. Flash forward 22 years later, and my work continues to center around inclusion advocacy!
After many twist and turns in my unique career, some that I chose and some that were chosen for me, I became a small business owner in 2019. After some COVID interruptions, and the large pandemic purchase of a second masters degree in May of 2022, I launched my second small business, Franki Bagdade Therapy.
Through both of these businesses I specialize in ADHD, anxiety, autism, and parenting. I’m a public speaker, consultant, author, therapist, and ADHD Coach. It’s my style to be honest about my own lived experience, including my struggles as a parent. My first book, I Love My Kids But I Don’t Always Like Them! was published in fall of 2021. The title gives you a bit of insight on my sense of humor. I am quite fluent in snark and sarcasm!
Okay, putting my “mom hat” back on now! I live in West Bloomfield with my three kids, 16, 14, and 10; my three-year-old Morkie, Rocky; and my husband of 19 years, Jeff. As a mom of 16 years I have tried on many personas. Some stuck around, such as “Mom of 3”; some didn’t last long, such as “make everything from scratch Mom.” My current identities would be #entrepreneurmom, #specialneedsmom, #workingmom, #momofnonbinaryteen, #LGBTQIAadvocatemom, #foodallergymom, #jewishmom, #adhdmom, #anxiousmom, and I’m sure there are so many more!
Why We Love Living in Metro Detroit
My family and I love living in Oakland County. One of our favorite things to do is plan a surprise tour for our kids. In metro Detroit you can drive 30-45 minutes and be in a totally different community. We will give the kids clues along the way and make three to five stops in an area we haven’t explored recently. Our favorites include:
- Mongers’ Provisions for grilled cheese and tasting all the things (full disclosure: my brother, Zach Berg, is one of the owners, but I don’t think you could keep me away from a cheese- and chocolate-focused store even if we weren’t related!).
- Shake Shack for shakes of course
- Walking the Detroit River Walk or Dequindre Cut
- Howell Nature Center
- Driving remote control boats at Mill Pond in Brighton
- Oh My Lolli! in Brighton for nut-free treats
- Bagels and Bites in Brighton for lunch
Thanks for learning a little bit about me. I can’t wait to connect with the Detroit Mom community!