Being a mom is hard work. Being a mom during the pandemic is doubly hard, especially with remote learning. Being a mom and running a large group to share advice and support, that’s a tall order. Jennifer Monness is more than up to the challenge as educating parents is her passion.
New York-based Jennifer has an impressive education, holding a master’s degree in teaching from Columbia University. Her first job was teaching English to very young Mandarin-speaking children to prepare them for the most lauded schools in NYC. She then served as the director over many childhood centers for 8 years. This work included creating research-based educational programs. In 2017, Jennifer decided to use her extensive experience in early childhood education along with her own philosophy and gained knowledge to educate new parents.
As one of Jennifer’s daughters was conceived via IVF, this created a need for a supportive community. The blog Mo’ Mommies was launched to offer such a space, plus parenting and even toy recommendations. The other goal was to empower new parents for their journey. Jennifer also openly shared her struggle with infertility and became an ambassador for IVF.
The blog led to the formation of mom support groups, and the culmination of this work is the Union Square Play (USP) app. This app connects a large community network of parents with each other and carefully vetted specialists to share advice.
Due to the enormous number of direct messages, emails, and texts Jennifer received on a daily basis, she decided to make a business out of her expertise. She is rightfully proud of the community she has built and how much faith people put in her. She now considers herself a parenting influencer as she has 29,000 followers asking the question “What would Mo’ Mommies do?”
When the pandemic hit, USP had to switch to an entirely virtual platform. Jennifer is very happy with the ease of which this transition occurred. A tri-state area created a home away from home using the app, which saw an increase of new members looking to be a part of USP for the long run. Needless to say, web-based parenting support has been a welcome resource in these trying times.
Jennifer doesn’t only help out other parents, but proudly supports her community. She has worked with Welcome Baby NYC to distribute infant essentials to mothers in need and raised money for shelters. The USP app has an option for donations to fight racism, and 100% of the proceeds go to Black Mamas Matter. Jennifer has gone beyond offering advice, she has created a network devoted to providing optimal care for children and creating a better society to raise them in.