Being a mom is always humbling. I mess up more often than
I'd like to admit, but the kids seem no worse for wear. Being the
editor of a parenting magazine is just as, if not more so,
I happily come in to work every day, planning and editing
this magazine with my great staff, always with you and your kids in
mind. Finding just the right mix of stories is hugely important to
me, so it isn't out of the ordinary that I'll be rearranging and
tinkering with the story list right up till the last
Then out of the blue, something happens that makes me
pause. I hear from one of you and I feel humbled.
One out-of-the-blue moment came a few weeks ago when a
handwritten note arrived in our office. Araceli described herself
as a homeless, single, unemployed mom with a 15-month-old daughter
"trying so hard to move forward." They had no TV where they were
staying, but they did have a radio and often played at a nearby
She wanted to thank us for the stories we publish and for
helping keep her and her daughter entertained and thinking
Yes, I thought, that is the goal. Thank you, Araceli, for
reminding me that is exactly what we are trying to do here-provide
all of you with an amazing calendar jam-packed with things to do
with your kids and great stories that entertain you, make you think
or give you information you might need on your parenting
Another out-of-the-blue moment came around the same time
as Araceli's letter.
When I put out a call last month for the new parent panel
we are forming this fall, I admit I was a little skeptical about
the response I'd receive. A handful of you would reply, maybe, I
thought to myself. In reality, I shamefully underestimated
So many of you overwhelmed me with e-mails expressing your
interest and passion for Chicago Parent that my inbox nearly
imploded. In your e-mails, you shared details about your family,
your thoughts about Chicago Parent and its role in your life and
your philosophies on all things parenting.
You made me laugh out loud. I enjoyed how many of you
described yourselves with such amazing humor, to which I could
instantly relate. You made me cry as you related some of the
challenges you and your family have faced together, including one
mom who finds out this month if her doctor's heart-wrenching
diagnosis is correct that her baby will die soon after
I felt an instant connection to everyone who wrote
So I didn't want to say no to anyone but knew I couldn't
have a parent panel of hundreds of parents.
The good news is that besides the parent panel, which will
be announced soon, there are more ways than ever to get involved
with Chicago Parent. You probably already know that twice a week,
Assistant Editor Kate Pancero offers up great prizes, either
through the Monday Treasure Chest or Thursday Weekend Scoop e-mail
newsletters. The questions she poses and the answers you provide
are often used in upcoming issues of Chicago Parent, with stories
or standing alone. So if you haven't signed up for our
newsletters or visited our contest page recently, now is the time
to do it. The chances of winning something cool and fun for the
kids are pretty good.
While you're poking around the site, you can also help
other parents by making comments, good or bad, about the places you
visit or resources you use. You can comment on the stories that
appear in Chicago Parent, sharing your own related experiences or
We are always searching for funny or serious "it happened
to me" and "imperfect parenting" moments. Don't be intimidated if
you're not a professional writer; some of our favorite pieces come
from moms and dads in the trenches who simply have a good story to
As a parent myself, I know there are days when you think
you've done everything right for once and days so bad you think
your kids will grow up to write a version of "Mommy
Let us all laugh with you and cry with you and share in
those moments when you know you really are a Chicago parent. And
remember, to quote my girls' favorite song from "High School
Musical," we're all in this together.
Tamara is the editor of Chicago Parent and mom of three.
See more of Tamara's stories here.
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