Mamas of SF: Seven Questions for Cara Delzer

Editor's NoteI met Cara Delzer a few months ago at a focus group about breast pumps. She is the CEO of Moxxly, a startup working to revamp the pumping experience from the flange up! I immediately loved her, her team and their mission. If you're a pumping mama you can read more on their website, We had a refreshing chat about not freaking out over schools and the living the glamorous mama life in San Francisco. Enjoy! ~Lesly

Cara and baby Sullivan! Photo by Brooke Ashlyn Photography

Cara and baby Sullivan! Photo by Brooke Ashlyn Photography

Name and age
I’m Cara Delzer and I'm 33 years old.

What neighborhood do you live in, and where is your hometown?
We're in Glen Park, just across from Glen Canyon Park. I grew up in rural South Dakota and I lived on a farm. I went to college back East and after 22 years of being cold, I high-tailed it to California and have been here ever since.

Tell me about yourself.
My husband (Andrew, a product manager at Flickr) is originally from the Bay Area and he is partial to staying here. His family is here which is wonderful. We have lived in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Mountain View and we chose the Peninsula when I was going to grad school at Stanford, bought a house and thought, ok we're going to live here because the schools are good and this is a good place for us to start putting down our roots.

We thought, why are we here in the Peninsula, our kid is a baby, he’s not going to school for at least five years, we’ve got this hellish commute, why don’t we just be where we are? And that’s San Francisco.
— Cara Delzer

And then a couple of things happened after I graduated from school. One, my husband had a terrible commute to the city. He was commuting to Berkeley for a while, and then to San Francisco, so he was spending 2+ hours per day just getting to and from work. We had a baby, so that also impacted the time he had with the baby. And another thing we noticed, there were exceptions, but a lot of our friends weren't moving to the suburbs. We thought, we’ll be down here in the Peninsula, and when they all get married and start to have kids, they'll come to. But they weren't coming.

Again, with exceptions, we had great friends in the Peninsula, but we felt like our community was back in San Francisco still. So we thought, why are we here in the Peninsula, our kid is a baby, he’s not going to school for at least five years, we’ve got this hellish commute, why don't we just be where we are? And that’s San Francisco. We'll worry about the schools when we need to, and quite frankly, I'm not worried about San Francisco’s public schools right now.

It all came together last fall with my husband having a job in downtown San Francisco. I wanted to start at company so we thought let’s get to San Francisco and streamline our life. We love Glen Park. It’s a very family friendly place. I feel like it’s a very chill neighborhood. When I’m doing casual chitchats with moms in Glen Canyon Park about preschools, I don’t come away stressed out like I often do in certain neighborhoods, or with certain parents who are like “Oh you are not on this list or that list?” That doesn't seem to be the tenor. I think my little guy still has a good chance of going to college if he’s not on those lists.

Tell me about your son!
Sullivan is 16 months old. He’s so much fun and a lot of work and such a joy. He’s just beginning to speak. For work, I went away for 8 days, the first time I had ever been away from him. I had to go to China, and when I got back he was so excited to see me, and he got up in his crib so fast and he pointed at me and said “Daddy!” So, you know, there’s that. He’s a good little guy.

Cara, hubby Andrew and baby Sullivan!

Cara, hubby Andrew and baby Sullivan!

What is one tip that you have for parents raising kids in San Francisco?
San Francisco is an expensive city, and there’s plenty of ways to spend money, but there are so many ways to entertain the family without spending a dime. We go to parks—Dolores Park is one of our favorites and across the street from us is Glen Canyon Park. But we also do urban hikes as a family. We'll just load up Sullivan in the stroller and put on our walking shoes and spend six hours going up and down the hills of a new neighborhood. It’s such a fun and refreshing great workout while you explore the city for free.

What’s your favorite stroller friendly restaurant in San Francisco, and your favorite family activity?
I would say Tyger Coffee Shop (2798 Diamond St. at Chenery) in Glen Park. It’s just this 100% no fuss diner. And it opens early, so we can roll down there with Sullivan right after he wakes up. It’s a tiny place but the love that they give Sullivan and the understanding when he throws milk all over the table is wonderful. It’s such a stress free, no frills place to go.

Our favorite family activity is the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings by the Ferry Building. He’s had the most gourmet-grilled cheese already at 16 months. It’s such a great way to teach him about new food to try and to try new things.

In one word, how would you describe raising children in San Francisco?
Glamorous. We live in San Francisco, we have a baby, and we go to the Ferry Building. That seems like a very glamourous life, right?