Kimberly Elmore, an Identity Staff Writer has dedicated her time to “Scratch the Surface” and focusing on one woman each issue. Kimberly’s interviews to highlight any woman who feels that she has achieved in her life. Whether you’re a mother, CEO, nurse, or an entrepreneur, we want to scratch the surface and find out how you got to where you are today and what have you learned.
Jodi Ciampa is a former 7th grade reading and writing teacher, mother of an 8-year old son and 5-year old daughter, and aspiring author. What started out as a joke made by one of Jodi’s girlfriends – about how Jodi should have her own TV show giving advice to new and expectant moms – has turned into a new life goal.
“When my son was first born, I began keeping notes on what worked in regard to feeding, caring, sleeping, etc. for him. My husband and I knew we wanted more children, so my notes came in handy when our daughter was born,” said Jodi, who currently resides in Jefferson Township, NJ.
A fun-spirited conversation with a girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time and would come to Jodi for advice, is what sparked Jodi’s interest in creating an outlet to share advice with moms. That outlet came in the form of a book.
“I just want all mothers to know that it doesn’t matter what age, race, or part of the world you are from, we are all on this journey together,” Jodi said. “Being a mother is what bonds us together, and no one should suffer in silence. Motherhood can be a lonely job, but it doesn’t have to be.”
Jodi is in the midst of writing her book and faces many challenges.
“Honestly, I find, still, the most challenging part of writing and trying to publish my book is finding the time to do the legwork and research,” Jodi said. “I am a very involved stay-at-home mom, and although my book is all about them, I can’t seem to find the time in between their busy schedules to squeeze in time for me – let alone my writing.”
Jodi feels that making the time and pursuing her dream to publish an advice book for moms is worth it. She wants to help other women by letting them know they aren’t alone in how they feel – their fears and insecurities about being a good mom, making the best decisions, etc. Jodi says it’s important to create a sense of camaraderie amongst moms to know that there are others who can understand, relate, and learn from one another.
“The most rewarding part of writing my book is being able to share with others, knowing how much I have helped,” Jodi said. “Even if it is just so they know they are not alone in the way they are feeling or what they are going through, that makes me feel so good inside.”
When it comes to motivation and inspiration, Jodi doesn’t need to look that far! Her children, she said, motivate her to be a better person. “Motherhood is such a hard job,” she added. “It makes you feel so much better to know that there are others who have gone through the same trials and tribulations. I’m inspired because one person can make a difference in many other lives.”
Jodi is thankful for her husband, who supports her in her advice book endeavor. She says that when it comes to balance, she makes it work because it’s that important to her.
“I do struggle with trying to figure out the best option for me to publish my book,” Jodi said. “I feel the hardest part is finding the time to sit down and research all my avenues. Ideally, I would like to find an agent to represent my book, but that has been difficult. This is such a subjective industry, and I haven’t yet found the one who clicks with my writing.”
So, Jodi is working towards having her book published. One day, Jodi says, she’d love to see her writing in print either in magazine or book form – to reach as many mothers as possible.
“If I could share a ‘pearl of wisdom’ to mothers it would be to know they are not alone,” Jodi said. “It is so important to find a support group to share your feelings and problems with people who will understand. Just knowing other mothers are out there who can have compassion for what you might be facing, makes a world of difference.”
Jodi Ciampa answers the Identity Five
1. What have you accepted in your life that took time?
What I have accepted in my life is that I cannot change the things that are out of my control. I have accepted them, and why I am the person that I am. Everything happens for a reason. I live my life believing that.
2. What do you appreciate the most in your life?
It’s not a ‘what’ for me; it’s a ‘who.’ Who I appreciate the most in my life is my husband. He has given me so much emotionally. I know I would not be the person I am today if it was not for him coming into my life. July 21, 1996 – was the best day of my life.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life?
Of course, my children are the most rewarding achievements. I look at them and they make all the little dumb stuff seem so insignificant.
4. What is your not-so-perfect way?
I am critical of myself and don’t always look on the positive side of things. I can do it for other people, but not always for myself.
5. How would you complete the phrase, “I Love My…”?
I just love my life. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. Sure, I’d love to be prettier or skinnier or have more money, but I wouldn’t change a thing in my life, neither past, present, or future.