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Thursday, December 21, 2006

The New Yorker of women's magazines

How could I be a writer and an intellectual, thinking mother and not know about Brain, Child magazine? It is fabulous and smart! And while I'm thrilled to now finally be a subscriber, I'm bummed that I didn't know about it for the first three-and-a-half years of parenthood. I proudly shout it accolades as a reader and I aspire to be a contributor. Along with completing my non-fiction book, it is a 2007 goal. I'd like to thank Aspiring-Writer Friend for introducing me to it. And not a moment too soon. Please excuse me if the rest of you already knew about it.

The articles remind me of the bright and thought-provoking pieces I read in Literary Mama, the compilation of essays assembled by Andi Buchanan. Brain, Child is the antithesis of mainstream parenting magazines. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that can't get beyond the child part of parenting. The ones with all the how-tos on creating a well-rounded, good-natured kid who is a good eater and a good sleeper and is good at sharing and never bites and always picks up his toys before starting a new project. Those kids always eat all of their peas and can wipe their own butts the moment they figure out how to climb up on the potty themselves. And if they don't do all of those things--or didn't do them at the right moment on the developmental chart--well, then you probably didn't read the articles properly.

Don't get me wrong. I subscribed to those magazines in the beginning too--probably before my baby was even born. I even saved articles that I believed would eventually come in handy on the aforementioned topics. But then I realized much of what they offered was mostly gloss with little substance. They fed my desire to create the perfect kids and to be a smiley, happy mom, but my brain was hungry for information that pointed towards the more realistic side of parenting. The part that acknowledges that parenting is hard, is not always pretty, and does not always include the time to make the really cute cupcakes. Brain, Child nurtures the moms in the two-person parenting equation.

I've been savoring every article in my first issue as a Brain, Child subscriber. I've enjoyed it so much that subscriptions--and/or copies of the Greatest Hits--have been given to friends for Christmas. I even subscribed my friend on the receiving end of our Secret Santa gift exchange. I'm singing its praises because I want this to be a successful magazine that continues to fuel the brains of smart moms everywhere. I especially enjoyed the current issue's debate on prenatal sex selection. It amplifies what my lively debates with Laid-Off Dad for Oxygen Media's Oh! Baby blog were missing--the space to delve into a topic. Oh! was pithy and fun, while Brain, Child's version offers substance and compelling arguments without being dry.

So there you have it. Read, learn, think, grow. Finally a parenting magazine for me.


  1. Anonymous5:54 AM

    Hi Suzanne -

    I knew about this magazine from Mothers & More - if you're a member, they give you a discount subscription to it. We have a lot of writers in our chapter - one of our members recently started her own magazine, The MotherHood (of Maplewood\South Orange, NJ). You should check out Mothers & More - - if they have a chapter in your area, it may be worthwhile for you (shameless plug by a former chapter leader!)
    Love you! Keep up the writing!

  2. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Oh My! I must get my hands on this magazine. A definite must read! :-)