Monika Jager’s Mission to Assist Families Raising Children with Special Needs
Estimated reading time: 9 min
Gratitude, Faith, Mission. These words describe Monika Jager’s attitude to life in the best way. She is a mother who has chosen the life mission of providing comprehensive support to families raising children with special needs. In light of her upcoming children’s book, ‘Alex and the Creatures of the Enchanted Forest’ which will soon be released in England, we reached out to her to hear about her life, mission, and what inspired her to build a community that supports and unites affected families.
-Through social media, you offer advice to thousands of families, provide strength to often desperate parents raising children who are not entirely healthy (in your words, “facing challenges”), and have created projects that make life easier for these families: a foundation, your clothing brand, and a comprehensive parent community. You’ve also written a children’s book for sensitizing, soon to be available in England, called ‘Alex and the Creatures of the Enchanted Forest’ aimed at promoting social acceptance of children living with physical or intellectual challenges. Could you tell us what drove you to this mission?
– Hi Readers, I am Monika Jager, a mother of three, and a single parent. Based on my life events, I chose the life purpose of assisting families raising children with special needs. My youngest child, Alexander, who is now 9 years old, was born prematurely but healthy. However, when he was four days old, he suffered a severe stroke, followed by another one at 2.5 months old, and at 6 months old, he had a life-saving shunt surgery. Since then, he has been undergoing constant therapy. Throughout his development and the fight for a better quality of life for him, I have encountered the challenges that parents of children with special needs face every day.
They require special clothing and other accessories, constant supervision, social acceptance, and support for parents – to name just a few key areas. This led me to create the “Believe in Me” Programme, which is one of the largest comprehensive parent communities in Hungary, providing abundant assistance and valuable information. I also established the Alexander for and the Believe in Me Programme Foundation, as well as my clothing brand for children with special needs, called the Alexander Family Collection. We design special clothing items such as unique bibs, bodysuits for children with tight muscle tone and gastric tubes, neck and head support pillows, tube padding, and more. Additionally, this inspiration motivated me to write a sensitizing children’s book.
I always look at the beautiful side of life, the side that helps me move forward.
– I understand that you lost your middle child in a car accident a few years ago. How did you emotionally cope with these tremendous tragedies and losses? How do you continue to stay emotionally strong and even help others?
– For nearly five years, I have had to face this enormous miss, profound pain, and emptiness. Alexander and my work are my therapy. I try to make the most out of every day. Life is not an option but a present, so I strive to make each day colourful, see the wonders in it, rejoice in every small thing, and draw strength from the blessings we receive from God! I know precisely that I received Alexander as a gift, and with his arrival, a completely new dimension opened in my life. He is a true wise old teacher, and I cannot be grateful enough for him!
There is no doubt that challenges aside if I could turn back time, I would still choose the same path. Of course, it doesn’t mean that there are no difficult days – there are, but I allow myself to weaken. During such times, I retreat, have a good cry, wash my face, and continue my journey with my head held high. Thank God, this rarely happens, but sometimes, a good cry helps a lot! I am thankful for my life, my environment, my friends, my colleagues – for everything that surrounds me. I feel immeasurable gratitude every day. I believe that my son, Benett, is watching over us from above.
Those who have received enormous challenges in life are much stronger than anyone might think.
– Because of the tragedies you’ve experienced, you can help other families facing similar difficulties…
– Yes, I help by setting an example with my own life. I show that there is always a solution and that one must persevere even in the most challenging circumstances. Parents raising children with special needs face a difficult path, and they have the right to feel weak, and experience initial panic, and fear about the future. However, these feelings should not be pushed away because they poison our present.
We must look ahead, see our children’s successes in light of the circumstances, and, even when it’s not easy, change our way of thinking and look positively toward a happier and better future. I believe that the greatest help for our children is when they see their parents in balance, which makes them feel secure, and they don’t feel that their parents are unhappy because of their condition. Among other projects, I also assist parents in dealing with this aspect.
– How do you recharge? How do you manage to handle so many tasks and roles? Do you find time for relaxation?
– To give to others, I must be well myself. Besides my faith, my relationship with my son and my work gives me a lot. Until now, I’ve had minimal time for rest, but I’m changing that now. Alexander required 24-hour supervision for the first 8 years, but now that he is attending school, I have a little more time for myself. Work is therapy for me, and I discovered my creative vein through it. I sleep about 6 hours a day on average and spend many hours working, all while focusing on Alexander’s needs.
– Lastly, could you tell us a bit about your children’s book, “Alex and the Creatures of the Enchanted Forest,” which will soon be released in England?
– Certainly! This is a sensitizing children’s book, aimed at promoting the broad social acceptance of children with disabilities (special needs). Children primarily learn through imitation and mimic the behaviour patterns they see in adults. If adults naturally show acceptance, love, and care towards children who are not entirely healthy (or, as I call them, “facing challenges”), then healthy children will accept them too. The stories in my book teach children and their parents about acceptance through the charming adventures of the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest.
– Thank you very much for the conversation!
/The exact date of the book’s UK release will be announced. Stay tuned/.
Name: Monika Jager
Profession: Contemporary writer, businesswoman
Family: Divorced, mother of three children.
Hobby: I like reading, hiking and trips.
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