There’s so much knowledge in the world that can make our lives easier and more orderly. Understandably, this knowledge is scattered and stored in smaller pockets, especially when the knowledge has been passed down from one generation to another. But today, with the help of the internet we can tie the loose ends of things we know by meeting other people. Mothers of today, find it more difficult than ever to connect with their children. The gap has widened so much and so quickly between generations that many have been overwhelmed by the impact. Enter Jennifer Monness’ Union Square Play through which she aims to connect, support and empower mothers.
Union Square Play is an app which connects parents with each other and with some vetted specialist. Although the app is ideal for parents, Jennifer says her main focus was mothers. She says, “Mothers are a busy bunch. I am a mother to two daughters and clearly remember the days when I felt I could use some extra help, especially if it came from another mother as she would be able to understand my situation better than anyone. Once I realized that I felt I can’t be alone in feeling that way. Hence, I decided to set up an app that helps women connect with other mothers. I wanted the app to become a go-to center for information, suggestions, ideas, and solutions to questions that mothers have but don’t always know who to turn to for answers.”
Jennifer’s diagnosis about the paucity of places of information for mothers is correct. As our traditional values undergo metamorphosis, people are often at odds with the ideas they wish to preserve and pass on and the ones they need to forego. Mothers, who in some sense give form to the future often find themselves short of having and finding vital answers. As they look back to their own parental figures for guidance, they are often struck by how different the methodologies, aspirations, doubts, and even problems have become in the two generations. Though they understand where their mothers and fathers come from, they soon realize that they need advice that will resonate better with their children, the progeny of a new era.
For Jennifer, this was a personal struggle. She often had to seek out friends, friends of friends who were young mothers and dealing with the same issues as her. She says, “As a mother, you want to be able to understand what your child is asking. Sometimes what they need is different from what they ask for and other times, we as parents fail to comprehend and understand what they might really be asking us. I have realized that being a parent is a matter of practice and careful listening. It’s important for parents to remember that they too were children once, and no matter how distant that time may feel, in order to properly connect with their children, they need to remember their own struggles and desires as a child.”
Jennifer’s world did a 180 after her children were born. She found herself looking at old problems with fresh, renewed eyes. She started to trust her gut and the inherent intelligence of children. She says, “Children are simple people. Unfortunately, adults are often far from being simple. We all become complicated and complex in our own way. However, if can learn to be patient and faithful to the intelligence inherent in children, we can learn to unknot our own complexities. And especially with Union Square Play, I have come to see the changes that many mothers experience after they truly activate their listening when it comes to their children. They start to form stronger connections, feel more secure, and ask questions that are not just about what they are unable to do but how they can improve what they are becoming efficient in.”
Although she never specifically set out to build a community, USP was clearly in the direction of becoming one.“To help ourselves, we must help one another. For me, that’s the founding principle of any thriving community. Today, we may be far from our ancestor’s sublime understanding of what a close-knit society is but we can very well find and give support by utilizing technology. The USP app is a place for mothers to offer support to each other, especially during crises and even during celebrations. This support can go a long way in making mothers feel more secure and less alone."
"Connecting with and supporting other mothers, can help every woman feel empowered. USP is a place that values knowledge, encourages creativity, and leans on strong mothers to help other women discover their potential as well."
Union Square Play is an app that helps mothers come together to learn from each other and in doing so improve the quality of their connection with their children and feel at peace within themselves.