I was not much of a magazine reader until recently. I always have preferred novels to a short story and fiction to non-fiction. However, after becoming a parent, magazines occasionally fit easier into my lifestyle. For example, they contain more current (and possibly relevant to your children) information than most novels, and you also can read a short article before being distracted by your children.
One of my favorite parenting magazines is Brain, Child, which is subtitled the magazine for thinking mothers. I have heard that plenty of dads read it as well. It is a mixture of news, personal essays, fiction, reviews, and a non-fiction feature piece. Also, in each issue a debate is featured. In the Winter 2009 issue the debate was “Does a Family Need to Share a Surname?” with two writers coming down on opposite sides. A more controversial debate in Winter 2007 was “Is Prenatal Sex Selection Okay?”
I think one of the reasons I like this magazine is that it does not sugarcoat parenting or even pretend that moms should be happy all the time. Some of the personal essays are tough to read, but they offer unique insight into another person’s life. “Between Depression and a Hard Place” by Anna Blackmon Moore (Winter 2009) describes her decision on how to treat her depression while pregnant. Other essays examine stages of life that, for whatever reason, are unfamiliar to me. In “Wrestling Moves” by Valerie Weaver-Zercher (Winter 2009) the author reflects on wrestling her boys’ lives.
“I began to acknowledge a growing intuition, an inchoate idea that wrestling might contain some kernel of meaning for my sons, something having to do with restraint, and deference, even beauty.”
My only complaint about Brain, Child is that it comes out just four times a year. I think every other month would be great. If you’re interested in trying out this magazine, Brain, Child is offering one one-year subscription to readers of this blog. Send an e-mail to escapetobooks (at) gmail (dot) com. I’ll let one of my daughters pick names out of a hat.