We created Babble for one very simple reason: we can’t find a magazine or community that speaks to us as new parents. Every publication we encounter presents procreation as a cute and cuddly experience, all pink and powder blue, at best an interior decorating opportunity, at worst a housekeeping challenge. None of it is true to the experience we are having, and that we see around us.
The truth is that parenting is one of life’s crucible experiences — it’s rapturous, backbreaking and hysterically funny. It swiftly cures both diehard cynics and careless naifs. It’s a primal, somatic journey, thick with the fragrances, stenches, coos and cries of life at its most elemental. It’s a subject, in other words, that deserves both more serious and lighthearted attention from the great writers of our day, not to mention from the best bloggers, photographers and videographers.
This, then, is the first part of Babble‘s mission: to tell the truth about parenting, to bypass the clichés and dig into the magical and maddening reality. Our commitment to readers is to explore the world of parenting on a daily basis with ruthless honesty, and with the humor and lyricism natural to the subject.
We can’t think of a more interesting time to be talking about parenting. A few decades ago, things were simpler — parents followed uncontested instructions from the family doctor; wives did most of the work. Today, everything is up for grabs: roles are shifting, rules are changing and every opinion has backers. On the one hand, we are renegotiating the structure of parenting with employers and spouses; on the other, we are adapting techniques with the benefit of new research and our own instinct for reinvention. We are doing all this in pursuit of an age-old objective: we — fathers and mothers alike — want to raise happy, curious children without fully surrendering our adult lives.
If this were ever possible, it seems so today. We are a generation that has participated in the reinvention of media, science and technology — we have cause for optimism and experience with forging new rules. Many aspects of parenting are timeless, but others have changed radically in recent decades: Fathers today spend twice as much time with their children as they did 30 years ago, for instance. More mothers are working or finding other ways to stay socially and culturally engaged. American cities are undergoing a kind of parenting renaissance — more young families are staying in cities, and as a result cities are becoming more family-friendly. And yet despite all this progress (some would say because of it), parenting remains an extremely challenging job.
The second part of our mission is to make this challenge easier, to help parents navigate and keep pace with the modern, ever-changing world of parenting. To this end, we offer Strollerderby, the most comprehensive parenting blog on the planet; Parental Advisory, our advice column; and regular features about products, fashion, entertainment, travel, trends and health. Our short, straightforward reviews are designed to help new parents navigate the ever-rising ocean of gadgets (five-piece anti-gas baby bottles! electric wipe-warmers! multi-position slings!).
For those looking for quick answers to practical questions, we created the Info Center: a clear presentation of the landscape of expert opinion. Non-judgmental health-and-development articles present multiple answers to questions like, “Should I circumcise my child?” “Can our toddler watch movies?” and “Should we vaccinate against chicken pox?” along with links to the best resources online. Babble saves the conscientious parent hours of fruitless research by providing wise, thorough and succinct answers to all the most important questions.
The final aspect of our mission — and the closest to our hearts — is to build a community of like-minded parents. Parenting can be lonely. Together, we can connect the dots between our isolated experiences. We want to share stories, commiserate and celebrate the absurdity and wonder of it all. We still have a lot of unanswered questions, and we have found no better resource than other parents. So please join us on the Babble Boards and share your thoughts, whether about Babble or parenting more broadly. We look forward to seeing you there.
— Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman
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