How can one describe a mom? You may list a ton of attributes you think a mom has or should have but in reality, moms come in all kinds of packages. Motherhood does not follow one standard set of rules, and boss mom Simona Noce embraces the unpredictable wins and losses that motherhood and ultimately life bring.
PHOTO: DMV Africans
Noce is a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom of three. In addition to her home life, she has her hands full with her special events firm and District Motherhued. According to their website, District Motherhued is "DMV’s premier organization for millennial moms of color." When you see photos of Noce’s undeniably cute family and thriving professional projects, you may think she has everything figured out, but she is very honest about what she has learned from the trials she's faced throughout her life.
21Ninety caught up with Noce to learn more about how she uses her mommy-platform to inspire and assist other women:
21Ninety: You are the mama of three beautiful children. When you first became a mom, did you ever think motherhood would inspire you to create an organization for millennial moms of color?
SIMONA NOCE: No way! First off, let me just say I'm still awed at the thought of me being a mom. It's unbelievable, especially given the circumstances at the time, I was knocked up by my then ex-boyfriend who know is my fiancé. I absolutely did not think in a million years that I'd be "thriving" in motherhood, let alone create the premiere organization for millennial moms of color in the nation's capital. I was so caught up in my own nerves, fears and excitement. However, I always say God has a plan for everything. He could see past my initial shock, which is why he allowed things to happen the way it did.
21N: Motherhood is an intimate and truly personal experience. What are five of the biggest lessons you have learned from being a mom so far?
NOCE: First lesson: being transparent with other moms about how beautiful, yet terrifying, this journey can be is key. Being open to sharing your story allows others to share with you and humanizes the experience, which is certainly needed in motherhood. Two, it's taught me that I really can "Boss Up" when I'm put to the test, and motherhood will challenge you to rise to the occasion and make decisions that not only benefit yourself, but your little (one). Three, it's taught me to slow down and be more present with my little ones, which is hard for a woman like me because I'm always on the go — mentally and physically. Four, I've learned to be way less judgmental and hard on myself and other moms. Nothing makes you check your ego at the door like motherhood. It's really a learn-as-you-go process, and whenever I have moments where motherhood masters me vs. the other way around, it reminds me that I'm still learning and to extend that same grace to others. And lastly — the fifth — I'm really doing the best I can, and I have to remind myself that.
21N: As a millennial mom influencer, what are the challenges you face or challenges you hear from other moms?
NOCE: I think the term influencer lends itself to a social media word, and there in itself lies the challenges. Social media brings a heap of mom shaming, mom judging or mom comparing. Smiling kids, perfect vegan sandwiches and fun summer art projects on another mom's curated feed can (make) another mom feel like they're not doing this mom thing right. Reminding ourselves that we were specifically chosen to mother the children we have, and that we're doing a great job being superheroes in our homes, can sometimes lessen the anxiety.
PHOTO: Black Enterprise
21N: So you took your experiences and the experiences of other moms to create District Motherhued (love that name by the way), what is the mission of your organization?
NOCE: District Motherhued is an organization providing millennial moms of color in the DMV (District, Maryland and Virginia) area with resources that are useful for new and seasoned mommies, a social media space highlighting and connecting moms of color with each other, (and) with the most creative and unique mommy-and-me events to build a dope mom tribe.
21N: In serving the District Motherhued community, you have hosted several events such as The Mom Loft, Mommy en Blanc and the first-of-its-kind Momference. How do you come up with the premise for these events and how are they conducted?
NOCE: My co-founder, Nikki Osei-Barrett, and I are champion(ing) #litmomsmatter. With that being said, we stay away from the typical "Moms Night Out" events, and create events that are relevant to our everyday mom lives yet also fun, chic and informative. We put a chic and unique spin on picnics, conferences, pamper nights… and I believe that's what attracts our moms. We marry dope events and a chance to meet other moms, and the community is there. Nikki and I are a 2 person team — so we do this by ourselves!
PHOTO: The Momference
21N: Zooming in on the Momference, being as it was the first event of its kind, did you feel any pressure about "getting it right?"
NOCE: The pressure was on, sis. On! Nikki and I are firm believers of "do it well or don't do it at all." So the pressure was on because we knew we wanted to provide a fulfilling experience for our moms, but, also, there were eyes on us. If the production of the event didn't go well, we'd never be able to live that down. We had amazing sponsors backing us up, and we certainly couldn't let them down. Especially for me, as an event producer, the stakes were high because this was my baby. Thankfully, we had 20 mom friends who volunteered in producing this event, and we were all on the same page in terms of the energy, information and reputation we wanted The Momference to leave. Most importantly, the moms were excited! Knowing that moms were flying from all over the nation, picking outfits and making childcare arrangements… was definitely pressure I felt every second.
21N: What was the response from the attendees?
NOCE: Honestly, hard to put into words. Life Changing is was we heard, but #TheMomference hashtag will get into it. Get into it!
21N: What’s the next event we can look forward to from District Motherhued? Any plans to take your events to other states?
NOCE: Mommy En Blanc is coming up August 10th. It's our Mommy & Me spin of Dine En Blanc. We're also gearing into our Fall Events, and of course planning Momference 2019.
21N: Before we let you go, among all the planning, managing and things that come with being a boss mom, how do you make sure Simona is getting what she needs to be the best version of herself for her brand and her family?
NOCE: I'm still figuring that out. I think the one thing that has helped me is that when I feel overwhelmed or needing a break, I don't judge myself for it, you know? I may not have my self care routines down, but as a mom pushing past the guilt of needing self care is step one. At least for me it is. I also have an amazing fiancé who holds the house down if I need/want to go for happy hour with my girlfriends. Honestly, I couldn't breathe as easy as a mom as I do, if it weren't for him.
21N: Do you have any advice for new moms, expecting moms or moms-in-planning to have a family and still follow your dreams?
NOCE: Motherhood is tough, but so are you. It's also the most magical experience ever. There's no other job that brings this much purpose.
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