About Joanne Ilaqua
Hey There- I'm Joanne (a.k.a. MamaSoup!)
Welcome to my little corner of the internet!
I’ve spent about 25 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I also have 4 kids so I know first-hand how lonely and isolating it can be to be a mama. That’s why I created Mamasoup.
Most days you can find me working away in my home office (without a bra on), bopping out to Hip Hop (which I’m WAY to old to listen to, btw- but I just can’t quit it!) and searching my teenagers’ rooms for all the plates and bowls.
I’m mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and saying the things that most people are thinking. (And not necessarily in that order!)
The things I am most passionate about in life are my family (I mean, duh.), my Golden Retriever Archie, napping, shopping locally and cultivating a judgement-free space where women can lift each other up.
People often refer to me as confident, caring, brave and honest. But to be honest with you right now, I don’t always feel any of those things.
I love serving the world by providing pregnant and postpartum women with information and a social platform. I’m proud that I’ve created a space that provides information you can trust, and support you can rely on. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future. No pressure, right?
I love to help women connect to each other. It lights my fire to watch the inspiration and support unfold in our community, and that’s why I created this innovative way for women to have real and honest conversations about being moms; not just a bunch of staged photos.
My Mamasoup community is real, raw, funny and totally into lifting each other up! It’s so cool to watch women bonding over serious things like infertility struggles and not-so-serious things like what to watch next on Netflix.
I’m incredibly lucky to inspire women to support and learn from each other. As the founder of Mamasoup, I’ve been featured on Global Television, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes, MyKawartha and the Peterborough Examiner. I've also been on numerous podcasts and if you want to check out any of these, click here!
When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me on Instagram posting awkward Reels, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, wondering where all our cutlery went, playing MÜber (Mom Über) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. (Seriously, we love that place so much we named our rescue kitty Cabo!)
If you’re dying to hear more, here are 5 things you may not know about me:
1. I was married, divorced and a single mom with 2 kids living on welfare by the age of 23.
2. I met the love of my life, my hunka-husband, on an online dating site 22 years ago when I was ready to find a real man.
3. I was a franchise recruiter for “A Buck or Two!” when I decided to head to school to become a nurse, as a single mom.
4. I grew up on a farm in Meaford, Ontario. I’ve been known to herd cattle off of the road with a minivan, while slapping a pair of running shoes. (My husband, a city boy, swears that was the moment he truly fell in love with me!)
5. I left my nursing career about 5 years ago after I was sexually assaulted by a patient, which sucked. But it inspired me to act on my dream to create a place for women to connect online to support each other - Lemons, meet lemonade!
Ann Doulas, Canadian best-selling author & parenting expert for CBC
If you haven't had the chance to get to know Joanne yet, you're in for a treat. I love the fact that she keeps it real. My favourite photo of her (which you can find over on her Instagram feed) is the one of her dancing and wearing a funky pair of sunglasses. I also love the fact that she brings her own life experience to all things parenting. She's been through tough times and she's willing to share that to help another mama along. I find that super inspiring and I'm pretty sure that you do, too.
Lisa P, Career coach for women
Yes, I love Joanne's straight talk. And, her Instagram feed is hilarious! (This is because she is so relatable -- she nails it!)
Abby M, Amazing mom
I really wanted you to know, your words, your email changed my whole approach! I was just awarded a A-HA moment and for that I THANK YOU !! Keep on doing what your doing and I’m not sure how many ppl have told you , but you f@&king rock sister! I’m so happy to know you ! Your words inspire!