Boss Mom of the Week: Patricia Monahan
Patty Monahan was born and raised in Brazil, lived in Hamburg, Washington D.C. and Madrid and is currently based in Birmingham, MI with her husband and two daughters, Sofia (7) and Julia (5). Our Whole Village is the result of her lifelong passion for traveling and her newfound mission of becoming the best parent she can be. She’s a lawyer by cosmic irony and a social entrepreneur by choice. She is Our Whole Village’s CEO & Chief World Explorer. firstname.lastname@example.org
*affiliate links present*
Tell us a little bit about your family and your Boss Mom journey.
We are a pretty international family. I was born and raised in Brazil, my husband is American/Venezuelan and we met in Germany. Our girls were born in Washington DC and we have also lived in Madrid and Michigan.
I’d say my Boss Mom journey started when I held my daughter for the first time. I’m sure other Boss Moms can relate to that feeling of immense joy and overflowing love. But it also felt very much like a wake up call, an invitation to show up. I knew right away I had to be a better person in order to be a better parent. And that meant figuring out my core values, my purpose in life (better late than never, right?).
Long story short, I left a legal career behind to explore something I’m truly passionate about. At Our Whole Village, we find adventures and activities that help families connect with the world, its people and cultures. We look for transformative experiences that nurture important values in our children while helping us parents grow with them. We want families to creating long-lasting memories and raise good global citizens while making a difference in the world (50% of our profits go to projects and organizations that promote education and conservation worldwide). It’s been a long and sometimes tough journey, but worth every minute of it.
What are some of your favorite go to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?
I make this super easy, one-pot Middle-Eastern rice dish that the girls love. It’s basically ground beef (or lamb), rice, cinnamon, nutmeg and chopped mint cooked in chicken broth. It’s served with plain greek yogurt and it’s so tasty. I also make lots of veggie soups.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I’m at my very best and most inspired when I’m out in nature. Hiking is one of my favorite things in the world. I’ve found Kundalini yoga earlier this year and it’s prompted an intense journey of self-awareness.
In addition, I rely a lot on communities like Boss Mom, where I can find practical information and advice from like-minded people. There’s also a website I love called Project Me that offers motivation, inspiration and solutions for busy moms.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?
I always have at least two books on my Kindle or bedside table. One for work/personal development, and one for just fun. Currently up are Girl on the Train and a short, but powerful book by Marshall Rosenberg: Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way.
I love podcasts, but have not found much time for them lately.
A few of my favorites:
- Zen Parenting Radio, for super fun discussions by Cathy Adams (“a spiritual and emotional mom”) and Todd Adams (“a logical and practical dad”);
- Song Exploder if you’re into music;
- Modern Love for super inspiring stories;
- Amy Porterfield for online marketing advice;
- Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert for an extra dose of courage.
What is one piece of business advice that you’d give to a mom just starting out?
Have a plan, but trust your instincts! Having focus and clarity are important for everyone, but they are absolutely key to busy moms trying to balance work and everything else. If you don’t have a roadmap, it’s very easy to feel scattered and overwhelmed (speaking from personal experience here). On the other hand, it’s equally important to trust your instincts and make necessary changes along the way. Persevering is one thing, but being stubborn is quite another. Have your end goal in mind and don’t be afraid to change what isn’t working.
What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?
Oh, there are so many quotes I love… Here are a few:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but seeing with new eyes.” Marcel Proust
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama
“You will teach them to fly, but they will not fly your flight.
You will teach them to dream, but they will not dream your dream.
You will teach them to live, but they will not live your life.
Nevertheless, in every flight, in every life, in every dream,
the print of the way you taught will always remain.”
In one word, sum up your life as a Boss Mom.
What are three core values of your business and how do those values relate to your motherhood?
My favorite aspect of being a Boss Mom is the freedom to dream and design a business that is fully aligned with my own personal values.
Here are three core values of Our Whole Village, which are also values I want to nurture in my children and strive to model myself:
Curiosity: Whether in business or at home, I believe in cultivating a curious and open-mind so that we’re actively learning and growing. Curiosity helps break down barriers, making us more appreciative of other cultures, views and values. I’d say curiosity is the first step towards empathy, a much needed trait these days.
Compassion: At Our Whole Village we stand up for those who are vulnerable while teaching our children to do the same. Compassion fosters greater connection and a sense of community. As a mom, I want my girls to be kind, loving and generous and to to see the world as, well, their village.
Joy/Playfulness: Everything’s better with joy and laughter. Often times we take ourselves way too seriously. We forget to be playful and simply enjoy each other. Our Whole Village is all about promoting experiences that help us bond with our families and create lasting memories. And that happens naturally when you’re having fun. Our daily routines can be pretty stressful. It’s by no means easy to be light and playful when you’re late for school or work, but guess what, it works better than screaming. And when you can’t control yourself and realize you are “that crazy parent”, it feels good and liberating to be able to laugh at yourself and move on…
Connect with Patty @Our Whole Village: