Oct 1, 2013

Another Kind of Mother...

In this week's installment of Mommy Shine we chat it up with Monica Jones, a teacher and family lifestyle blogger, who candidly shares her struggles to conceive a child, yet is a mother in many ways to her family and students. Meet Monica everyone...

Monica JonesME: What do you do for a living?
MONICA: I've always had a love for children, so it's no surprise that I am a Special Education Early Childhood teacher in New York City. I work as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher. I travel to various schools throughout the city and work with my students one-on-one and in small group settings.
ME: How many children do you have?
MONICA: I actually do not have any children of my own. Motherhood is something that my significant other and I have yearned for and have been working towards for the past two years. We have faced a few challenges including several fibroids, one of which is pushing on my fallopian tube, and the loss of my right ovary.

ME: Have you considered adoption, or other ways to conceive?
MONICA: We have not ruled out adoption or other ways of conceiving. I have a great gynecologist who is helping me put the pieces to this puzzle together slowly and ultimately help me find the best option for me. The fact that I have an amazing man by my side who supports me through all of this definitely helps me on those tough days.
ME: What is the one piece of advice you would impart on a woman sharing a similar journey?
MONICA: Somewhere along my journey to motherhood I have realized that it's okay to talk about my situation to other women, because oftentimes they share something they've experienced that can possibly help me. One of the biggest pieces of advice I'd impart is to never be afraid to get a second or third opinion and ask questions—as many as you want.
Monica Jones Godson
ME: You have a blog, what is it about?
MONICA: Yes, I have a blog called So Family. It's a family lifestyle blog where kids rule. I enjoy reviewing products for kids, discovering activities that families can enjoy together, trying new foods and snacks that could possibly end up on a family's dinner table or in a lunch box and sharing all of it with the So Family readers and followers.
ME: What made you start your blog?
MONICA: I originally started my blog for the parents of my students. Since I work so closely with the families I found myself always giving advice and tips on what to do at home with the kids, what toys to buy and more. So, I decided to make all of that information readily available anytime of the day or night for them.
So Family was born from that thought process and has evolved into product reviews, vlogs and a web series called "Out and About with Monica J," where I'm on the hunt for the best products and services for kids.
ME: Can you share how you are mothering the children around you?
MONICA: As an educator I feel a personal connection with my students, especially since I get to work with them so closely. Parents entrust their children to me and have faith that I will take care of them when they are not there. It's an extremely important job and I take it very seriously. I treat all of my students as if they were my own. I educate their minds with care.
I'm also an auntie to two fabulous nieces and one nephew. I adore them all so much. Every chance I get to spend time with them, I do. They don't live in the same state, so I don't get to run to every show, sporting event or play, but I try to play a a very important role in their lives. My oldest niece just spent two weeks with me in the summer. It's times like those that I really cherish. 
ME: I know you love all things ‘mommyhood’ but what are the three biggest rewards to having a blog centered around families?

MONICA: I get to dream about being a mom, try all of the things that I would want to use with my children and connect with moms from all different walks of life. As a blogger I'm invited to many events that allow me to meet many women who are moms and some who are not, but they all have a story.

Monica Jones Nephew NiecesME: Fill in the blank. My top 3 mommy/family blogs (other than both of ours of course) are...

MONICA: I really have two top mommy blogs that I love, "Elizabeth Street" and "Tia and Tamera." I would list my third top mommy blogger as "June Ambrose," however I follow her Rock Mom Chronicles on Instagram not on her blog. She's the coolest mom and makes balancing mommyhood, career and life look achievable.
ME: Fill in the blank: "My mother always taught me to..."
MONICA: Have patience because good things come to those who wait and work towards their goals. So, I'm working towards mommyhood with patience.

ME: As an educator, what would be the one piece of advice you would give to parents about their kids and social media/technology?
MONICA: Get involved! I believe it's important for parents to understand what forms of technology their children are using. For younger children I always, always encourage parents to interact with their children when they play games on the iPad or smart phones. The last thing you want to do is to put a game in front of them and walk away. There are many teachable moments that can happen when engaging in technology with your child.
For older children join the social networks they join, so you can understand what it is they are doing. You don't have to be a stalker, but if you understand the networks they're on then it's easier for you to make appropriate boundaries or rules for your child.

ME: What do you do for ‘me time’?
MONICA: My 'me time' is so precious to me. It's often challenged by everyday life, but I manage to fit it in when I can. I just hope that I will be able to balance it all once I reach motherhood. I love my African Dance classes at the Alvin Ailey Extension School and my Zumba classes at my gym. In my other life I must have 

ME: What are the top five things on your bucket list?
1. Of course to become a mother and get married.
2. To overcome my fear of heights.
3. To jump off of a yacht.
4. To finally complete my open water test for my scuba diving certificate.
5. To waterski.

ME: What’s the last beauty product you bought?
MONICA: I just purchased a new matte pink lipstick from NARS. I love pink lipstick, lip gloss and nail polish. I probably need to try a new color, but I'm a creature of habit. Plus, pink always brightens up my day, and this teacher loves brighter days!

What a great interview. Yawl' clap it up for my girl Monica and wish her the best on her journey to motherhood.

Instagram: @MonicaJ_SoFamily
Twitter: @Sofamilyonline

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