The Maternal Gem: Dr. Barbara Joy Jones-Parks

Photograph courtesy of Noor Ul Hannan, @noorinthestu

The role of a mother can be characterized in a multitude of ways. A nurturer. A teacher. A role model. Each mother’s journey is different and lends to their experience with their children. For Dr. Barbara Joy Jones-Parks, motherhood has been the ride of a lifetime as she balances being the owner of a private medical practice, wife and mother of twins, Jillian & Lewis II.

The adventure of motherhood is a deeply personal experience of devotion, culture and resilience. Dr. Jones shares with The Bold Maven™️ the highs and lows of her passage through motherhood thus far to one-year old twins with the help and guidance of her mother; a beautiful quirky Asian lady who rose from very humble beginnings to nurture four children into adulthood. Butong Sing Sa Nun, affectionately known as “Momma Joy” was thrust into a maternal role out of necessity.

Orphaned at the age of seven, after her mother passed away from an asthma attack because they didn’t have access to a hospital in rural Thailand, Momma Joy moved in with her aunt and baby cousin. While her Aunt was at work, she was responsible for the baby and other domestic responsibilities, thus developing her maternal instincts. These instincts gave Momma Joy her first official motherhood experience and laid the foundation for what was to come with raising her own children, and grandchildren, in the future.

Photograph courtesy of Noor Ul Hannan, @noorinthestu

“I’ve learned so much from her,” Dr. Jones reveals. “She slept on a dirt floor during her adolescence, was only able to progress through the second grade and none of this held her back. She is not a victim of circumstance. She has high self esteem and is the master of her ship. She raised me and is a crucial part of my success. Now that I am a mother myself, it further magnifies how incredible she is.”

Through Momma Joy’s resourcefulness, Dr. Jones has learned many lessons from her mother, including the true essence of what children really need to thrive. “Babies just need your love, attention and home made meals. Even though I’m a physician with a terminal degree, they couldn’t care less,” explains Dr. Jones.

Becoming a mother has marked a transformative chapter in Dr. Jones’ life; one filled with both joy and challenges. While her babies have been her biggest blessing, her experience with infertility in addition to a geriatric high-risk pregnancy, opened her eyes even more to the complexities of maternal health. Her experience truly put into perspective the nuances of navigating maternal healthcare as both a patient and physician.

Carrying twins is already a challenge within itself, from being put on bed rest at 28 weeks, to delivering early via c-section at 34 weeks due to preeclampsia, it was the advocation for herself that Dr. Jones found to be the most impactful from her birthing experience. As a physician herself, she found that nothing compares to a patient’s own intuition. As a Woman of Color, she encourages expectant mothers to speak up for themselves when they find they aren’t being heard or something feels off.

“I’m a whole doctor and there were still things that happened during my experience,” Dr. Jones reveals. “I can actually advocate for myself with confidence. But I thought about how many non-medical people have no clue and they think that what is happening to them is what has to happen. No. Ask for clarity. Have a support person with you.”

Photograph courtesy of Noor Ul Hannan, @noorinthestu

Leaving a hospital-employed physician job, to now owning her own practice has been a game-changer, offering the flexibility to prioritize her role as a mother. “Private practice helped me become a mother and helps me stay a good mother,” she acknowledges, underscoring the importance of work-life balance in her journey. Being available for her doctor’s appointments during IVF and pregnancy while having an avenue to provide for her family satisfies her desire to ensure her twins have everything they need to become superb human beings. Dr. Jones’ work even gives her the opportunity to become more than just a rockstar physician, but an established business woman; quite a different experience from Momma Joy.

“One of the biggest differences between my mother and me, is that she was a stay-at-home mother while my father financially provided. She was able to be a magnificent homemaker and really invest in that,” states Dr. Jones. “I’m a professional woman and a mother.” Dr. Jones admits that because she allows herself to be fully immersed in her career while she is at work, she is able to be more present and intentional with her family when she gets home.

“America has it wrong when it comes to motherhood and maternity leave. Corporate America considerers pregnancy to be a burden. Women go through nine months of pregnancy, give birth and then come back to work in three months with minimal support; like their baby isn’t still waking up every night, like they aren’t still breastfeeding and pumping, like their bodies aren’t still full of hormones,” says Dr. Jones. “I even found myself exhausted, with no patience, tearful and overwhelmed when I returned from maternity leave. While I have excellent support, I can’t even imagine the average American woman with minimal support, going to work everyday after a night of no sleep.”

The hormonal changes, combined with lack of sleep and heightened levels of anxiety from being a first time mom takes its toll, however Dr. Jones is fortunate enough to find support and solace in Momma Joy’s additional role as the twins’ nanny. This luxury affords Dr. Jones the opportunity to still be able to tap into her true self; not Mom, not wife, but simply Barbara Joy.


“I’m really proud of my daughter. I don’t know how she does it all, taking care of the babies while working hard in her career,” says Momma Joy. “I always tell her that anything she needs, 100% I’ll be there to help her in any way I can.  I love all my children, I tell them that I love them often!”

Dr. Jones’ approach to motherhood is grounded in lessons from Momma Joy; such as a commitment to holistic health and wellness, an interest birthed from survival by foraging in the woods of Thailand when she was just a little girl. From breastfeeding to preparing fresh, organic meals, Dr. Jones illuminates her dedication to laying a foundation for her children’s future.

In the tapestry of motherhood, Dr. Jones’ story shines as a testament to the power of resilience, the beauty of cultural heritage, and the transformative journey of nurturing life.


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