We continue to get to know the members of our network in our “5 Minutes” series with Jessica Murphy of Macaroni Kid NYC Downtown. Jessica reports on the best of NYC for kids and provides a valuable resource to parents all over the city. We’ve loved getting to know Jessica. She clearly loves theater as much as we do, as she has been an avid attendee of all our shows and she shares a love for NYC. She has two young children and surprisingly doesn’t have a writing background. She’s also one of the nicest members of this community you will find. Find out more about her, her blog, her passions, her goals, her feelings on the “Mommy Wars” and more below.
MamaDrama: Tell us about your blog. When did you start writing and what do you write about?
Jessica: I started publishing Macaroni Kid NYC Downtown almost two years ago. I had two young children in NYC and was always searching for new and exciting family-friendly activities. When the opportunity to join Macaroni Kid presented itself, I was thrilled to finally have a way to share with other city parents how many great events there are in the city for children, especially in the downtown area. In addition to listing local events, I also share reviews and tips about the shows or places I have taken my kids as well as information about product that I love.
MamaDrama: How has being a mother changed your life?
Jessica: I have never been as happy as I am when I am with my children and my husband. I really try to just relax and appreciate our time together as much as possible.
MamaDrama: What is your vision of motherhood? Any comments on the recent talk of the “mommy wars”?
Jessica: I am really shocked by how judgmental people can be. Everyone’s situation is different and as a family everyone has to figure out what works best for them. Since having kids I have worked full-time in an office, not at all and part-time from home. I tried to remind myself in each situation that I wasn’t going to be perfect at everything and that it doesn’t matter what other people think as long as my children seemed happy and healthy.
MamaDrama: What have you learned about yourself through your writing?
Jessica: I have a background in engineering so I don’t have much confidence in my writing ability. I tend to write how I speak, but it took me a while to write what I actually thought. People come to my site because they want an honest, straightforward opinion.
MamaDrama: What are some of the topics or causes you champion?
Jessica: My son has many food allergies and severe eczema so I spend a lot of time learning more about how to keep him safe and researching what is being done in the field. They are still trying to determine why there is such a rise in extreme allergies and come up with ways to prevent the reactions. I also try to help educate others with allergies or anyone cooking with allergies. We never leave the house without an Epi-Pen, Benadryl and safe snacks.
MamaDrama: What’s in store for you and your blog in the upcoming year?
Jessica: As my kids get older, it is easier to do more so I am looking forward to being able to share more helpful reviews.
MamaDrama: You see a lot of shows/films in NYC, what have been some of your recent favorites (with or without the kids)?
Jessica: We all loved Traces. This Urban Acrobatic show was 90 minutes with no intermission so I was worried about taking a 3 year old girl and 5 year old boy by myself, but we were all mesmerized the entire show. My kids still talk about The Ohmies so I hope it comes back to NYC soon. My husband and I both enjoyed The Book of Mormon and Peter and the Starcatcher. My son cannot wait to see the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular in August.
MamaDrama: Lastly, your favorite theater memory?
Jessica: I grew up in Western Pennsylvania so did not go to the theater very often, but I did have an opportunity to go to see a show in London when I was in high school. I was seated in the row behind Prince! That has been hard to top.