Mo' Mommies is my personal account of motherhood meant to be a resource and a support for the parenting community. This has been possible both in person and virtually with Union Square Play, a "home away from home" where there are workshops, support groups, classes and thoughtful programming for both parents and children.
Jennie Monness began her career in early childhood 12 years ago after receiving her Master's from Teachers college, Columbia University. Her first job was teaching English to 18-24 month old native Mandarin speaking children, helping to prepare them for entrance to the most prestigious schools in NYC. She then became the Educational Director of several early childhood centers for 8 years, creating programs that used research-based best practices. Additionally, she taught as an adjunct professor for Touro College undergraduate students obtaining their degree in Early Childhood Education. About two years ago, Jennie decided to take a decades worth of knowledge in early childhood education, and share her learnings with new parents to educate and empower them through her blog Mo' Mommies. She teaches classes, speaks at events, and uses social media, to provide timely information about her own parenting and toy recommendations that new parents deeply need and desire. Her aim has been for moms to connect, support and empower one another She has co-founded a play space, Union Square Play, to bring these ideas to life through developmental, sensory, music and creative classes in addition to a thoughtful open play space. Her methods center around open-ended play materials and objects, so that babies can be engaged rather than entertained, creating their own "curriculum" and learning in the most natural, innate way.
Creating Mo' Mommies came from the love I have for not only infants and toddlers but for the mothers who bring them into this world. So many moms don’t know where to go or how to navigate this new role they are given. They spend their life planning on having children and then the day suddenly comes that they have one growing inside them. It can be an easy path there, or a more difficult one. Either way, the feeling is often, “now what?” Not only that, but 9-10 months later, their baby finally enters the world and moms need friends, support, encouragement and a safe, intimate setting to go to with their new babies.
No one is immune to needing a community. I am someone that thought doing things myself and knowing how to do it all without needing help meant something heroic about me. That’s not heroic. Being able to lean on community, be there for people and accept support myself has been the most eye opening part of all of this. As the co-founder of Union Square Play, I can say that I basically built the one thing I thought I never needed, and the one thing that I now see I always needed the most. No one is too cool for community.