Letter from the Editor January 2010

Jenna Hammond

The New Year's babies on the cover likely bring to mind the incredible possibilities presented by another year. Maybe you particularly relate because you're a new mom.

If that's the case, congratulations! Now, take a deep breath; the deep breath you may have needed since your eyes adjusted back to reality after holding your beautiful newborn.

New parents: We have a fabulous, albeit hilarious, article just for you in this issue. We realize raising your first-born child, while wonderful and awe-inspiring, can also be hair-raising. All of the vast possibilities of a brand-new life, a life dependent on you, amount to what may seem like mission impossible: How do we as new parents raise our child without an instruction manual? Some of you might dub this the WOW factor, as in What?! Our Whole responsibility!

Nobody candidly tells you how difficult child-rearing is, especially in the first few months. Until now. Enter Vicky Glembocki, author of The Second Nine Months: One Woman Tells the Real Truth About Becoming a Mom...Finally (Da Capo Lifelong books). Flip to Glembocki's article "Mother on the Verge of a Breakdown" for a personal take on becoming a parent— and surviving the experience despite your fears, others' stares and your newborn's cries. With brave honesty and brazen wit, the author reflects on her frightful days (OK, months) following childbirth, and the defining moment when she learned that pretty much every new parent is scared beyond belief at some point. Glembocki closes the article with four nuggets of wisdom that will have you raising babe happily and properly in no time (OK, not too much time).

Of course, many of you seasoned readers have the new parent stuff down pat. But what about adopting new habits to raise your children with unconditional love, openness and honesty? If you are committed to making 2010 about sharing quality moments with your family and strengthening your role as a parent, then turn to "A New Year, New Parent" by Leslie Leyland Fields. With five simple resolutions, such as "Redefine success" and "Add outdoor adventure," followed by brief explanations and practical tips for carrying out each resolution, the article guides readers in being devoted and active parents. Glembocki would certainly appreciate the fifth resolution to "Trust what is real about parenting, not what you feel about parenting." Read the description about this grain of wisdom to see if the resolution rings true for you as you ring in the new year. The insight Leyland Fields uses to explain this resolution may become your mantra in the years to come— your instruction manual perhaps.

For more on parenting, including cool afterschool programs, smart school suggestions, special needs resources, seasonal celebration ideas and topics addressing family health, the January issue has you covered in those departments, too.

Happy new year. Happy parenting. Enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond