Parent of the Year 2019: Monika Kreidie
Mother. Community Leader. Friend.
Her Nominator Says:
I am nominating Monika because she is just the most amazing mother, community member, and friend. Monika started an organization called NLArts that has provided art curriculum and camps to the Northern Liberties neighborhood for many years. This organization gives scholarships to kids who can’t afford camps and extracurricular art education. She serves on the board of NLArts and also is a board member of the NLNA (Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association) all while working full-time at Turning Points for Children. At Turning Points, Monika is further cementing her dedication to the community by creating and orchestrating events to raise funds to help children in foster care in Philadelphia. She is just incredible! Not only that, she helps me run a community garden in Northern Liberties as well. Not only does she do all of this community service, she is a supportive friend and neighbor who helped me through difficult times early in my role as a mother. Did I mention she did all this while raising three incredible children—two who are currently in Philadelphia public high schools, and one in college? The world would be an incredible place if every community had a Monika in it.
Get To Know Monika
What is a favorite quote that inspires you?
I am not someone who reflects much on quotes, but I am definitely inspired by people who do remarkable things. There is a Ben Franklin quote that sums this up well: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Sometimes public figures do great thing and sometimes ordinary folks do great things. It doesn’t have to be solving world poverty to be worthy of greatness, it can be something as simple as giving your hand to someone who needs help getting on a bus or shoveling your neighbor’s sidewalk.
How do you find balance?
There are weeks that I feel totally balanced and other weeks that I feel hurried and bothered. Having a family meal at the end of the day is very calming to me even when I have to do the dishes after. Balance has been easier for me since my children have gotten older (16, 18 and 20 years old) and I have time to spend on me and my interests such as gardening, music, and laundry (maybe not laundry, but I do really like to iron).
If you could go back in time, what is some parenting advice would you give yourself the day your first child was born?
I am happy to talk about parenting advice to myself, but not parenting advice to others. I really believe that there is no right or wrong answer to parenting. You have to do what is best for you and your family. Each one of my kids is completely different from the other and my parenting of each is therefore different as well. My advice to myself is: relax, it’s a long and sometimes tedious ride with a few rewards along the way.