11 Questions with… Monica Morong. #bdk11Qs
25 Sep 2017
Welcome to “11 Questions with…”. This edition’s guest is Monica Morong.
11 Questions with… Monica Morong
1. Elevator pitch… tell us about yourself.
M. is my artist name but if you know me personally you can call me Monica. I am a rapper, wife and mother of three gorgeous girls. I create clean, commercial sounding rap music that is accessible to everyone. My mission is to up the vibration of rap music, which tends to get a bad rap (no pun intended).
2. Your spouse… tell us about him.
Sean is my soulmate and biggest supporter. He’s super hot, inside and out (literally… he’s from the Caribbean so his body is always warm)! He is a wise and caring father to our girls and is a pleasure to spend any amount of time with. He’s the yin to my yang. I wouldn’t have evolved the way I have without Sean’s guidance. I basically married my best friend, lover and life coach all in one!
3. Your kids… tell us about them.
Nya Papaya is 10.5, Talia Dhalia is 9 and Alana Banana is 4.5. As the eldest, Nya tends to be the most maternal and concerned about her sisters’ safety and security (it’s super cute to witness). She loves to draw and create skits, play soccer, eat large amounts of ice cream and sushi, have playdates, veg out in front of FoodTV shows, and watch DIY and comedy vlogs on YouTube.
Talia is our sweet middle girl and loves gymnastics, being on stage, performing, dancing, playdates, mac and cheese, anything American Girl Doll, boy celebs on YouTube, and entertaining people.
Alana is our little firecracker. She can socialize with anyone, is very headstrong and opinionated, and happens to be ADORABLE with her cute little afro and big brown eyes.
We are so blessed to have 3 angels to wake up to every day. All of our children are conscientious, care about the planet, care about other people, are super loving and empathetic, heart-centred and competent, and we are so proud of who they all are. As parents we prioritize emotional intelligence over grades, abilities, accomplishments and outcomes. If our kids grow up to be jerks we’ve failed (so far things are looking great)!
4. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
We are all excited to be welcoming an American bulldog into our family at some point, probably within the next year when mommy says she’s ready for the extra responsibility… ’cause y’all know when kids “say” they’ll do “everything” it doesn’t always turn out that way right?! Since Sean is the only boy in the family the bulldog will be Sean’s buddy and sidekick.
5. What have been your biggest challenges as a parent?
I’d say my biggest challenge as a parent has been feeling alone. We moved from Toronto to Vancouver when Nya was 1.5 and I was pregnant with Talia. We left all of our family and friends so that Sean could advance his career. While Sean worked 10 hour days in Vancouver for the 7 years we lived there I chose to be a stay-at-home mom and “tried” to do some project work on the side from home in the area I was trained in (PR). I’d arrange playdates and activities and hang with other moms but didn’t have a village or community to help with those moments when I was sleep-deprived and needed help. We ended up paying a lot of money for babysitters and childcare so I could get a break now and then, do a bit of work, and so that Sean and I could go out and take a few alone trips (so important for marital health!). Not having community was rough.
Once I realized I didn’t want to do PR anymore and got the idea to build my rap dream, my second biggest challenge became connecting with like-minded moms who are BIG dreamers like me… women who have an outlandish dream that hasn’t been done before… other “inventors”. Being a parent doesn’t automatically connect you with other parents, especially if you’re like me and like to go deep, discuss life, fulfilling one’s destiny/purpose, and not have surface-level interactions.
We moved to Sacramento, California almost 3 years ago, again for Sean’s work, so I had to start all over again in the community department. It’s slowly starting to form and I am responsible for my part in seeking out like-minded souls. I feel I have shifted into more of an introvert over the years (is that common?) and am highly selective with who I choose to share my energy with. My online Vancouver community is the bomb and I still feel very connected to my conscious female peeps in Van (thank you Facebook!).
6. If you could pick any career in the world for yourself, what would it be, and why?
I’m doing it! I am in the process of building my brand as a clean, rated F (for family) rapper. It’s still under development and we are funding the dream ourselves at this point (any music execs reading this, call me!). The world needs female rap role models for our youth. The world needs clean rap music. The world needs women to feel empowered via music. We need to eradicate sexism, misogyny, profanity and so much more in rap lyrics. Over the next 10 years, I envision having an international brand as a clean rapper and performer, and growing from an artist into a record label owner that helps other artists create conscious rap music.
7. Growing up, who inspired you the most?
Unfortunately, I did not have any inspirational role models. I grew up in a dysfunctional home and was consumed with family trauma and all I wanted to do was escape to be with my friends. My outlet was writing poetry and rhymes in my bedroom to songs on the radio. I admired rappers and rap groups like Run DMC, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Biggie Smalls, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and so many more! At that time I didn’t aspire to be an artist but I was in awe that each artist I liked had their own identity and flavour.
8. How do you balance work life and family life?
Since I got my “download” to be a mom rapper I’ve felt like there’s been two voices inside my head… the mean and ugly one that says “Ugh these kids are so much work! If only I didn’t have 3 kids or had a nanny I could get so much accomplished and be living my dream!” and the more rational voice that responds “Monica, they are the reason you’re doing this rap thing anyway and you’d be empty and lost without your family. Put them and your health first and everything will fall into place.” As soon as I (recently) started paying attention to the rational and loving voice, my morning bouts of anxiety disappeared. I began to TRUST that everything would work out fine for the best interest of all, and my work-life balance actually felt balanced (by the way I try not to use the word “work” when referring to my rap mission). Now I write and record when I feel inspired, I spend time on my branding and social media when I can, and most importantly I prioritize FEELING GOOD as my guiding compass, not how much TIME I spend in the “work” or “family” category.
9. What advice would your “current self” give to your “just about to have my first child” self?
Our own intuition is ALWAYS the best advice. People will give you their views, doctors will give you their take, family will stick their nose in, friends will have their opinions, but nothing beats listening to your own heart. Close your eyes, breathe, take in all the opinions, then listen to the one that resonates the most with your HEART and FEELS the best. Let the voice of your heart be louder than the voice of fear (cuz that voice will be LOUD when your kid falls, has a fever, isn’t talking, isn’t eating, isn’t isn’t isn’t…)!
10. Has there been a piece of advice you were given about parenting that really stuck with you?
Raise your children to be “as straight as pins and soft as silk.” ~ Mama Iris, Sean’s paternal grandmother, currently age 103!
11. What advice would you give to new parents?
Please please please hire a professional baby sleep consultant. Sleep deprivation is so hard on us as new parents. Getting babies and kids on a schedule with routine is THE BEST! Heck we need it too. And please re-read #9 again. And when your intuition conflicts with your spouse’s intuition, PRAY together for the answer. This conflicting opinion issue between Sean and I has caused a few fights. Okay, a lot. Remember you’re on the same team and want the best for your little creations. Also, read “The Conscious Parent” by Dr. Shefali Tsabary – it’s the only parenting book I EVER read!
Get social with Monica Morong!
Be sure to visit Monica’s blog, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud and Instagram.
Stay tuned for our next “11 Questions with…” feature.
Thanks for reading!
“11 Questions with…” is an on-going feature. I will be interviewing parents with the same 11 questions, who like me, live in the digital world. The goal is to examine different perspectives, advice, challenges, and experiences from how people parent their children, and live a successful work / life / online balance.
With all the challenges of parenting these days, we could all use stories from fellow parents, who may have already gone through a similar experience, or were offered advice that you could use.
If you would like to be interviewed for an upcoming edition, please contact me at email@example.com.