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Happy First Birthday to Us! Babble Turns One.

When we launched a year ago this week, we were told that there were already enough parenting magazines, that men would never read anything about kids, that launching a new online magazine was a dangerous enterprise. In our early days, we were mocked as indicative of a “hipster parenting” movement by plenty of trend stories – even by New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks. But naysayers were drowned out by hallelujahs from thousands of parents who, like us, found nothing else out there that spoke to the difficulty and humor, the misery and joy, of having young kids. 

Twelve months later, we have more than half a million readers a month (almost half of whom are male! many of whose kids do not even wear Vans!), and we’re still growing super fast. Like a one-year-old who just learned to spear green beans with a fork, we’re feeling very proud of ourselves, and thrilled with all of you. We’ve all been there for each other this year. So thank you, all of you, from your editors – me, Gwynne and April (and from our kids, who salute you from the sidebar) – for making Babble a success and letting us all go home happy at the end of the day, arms full of product samples.

To celebrate, we did an in-house poll about Babble’s first year and present to you a list of staff favorites, by category:

Most Viewed: Breast Friends by Jennifer Baumgardner. Two women breastfeed each other’s babies – and do not die!

Most Controversial: Bad Parent: Highlights by Anonymous. This Bad Parent column by a woman who smoked pot to better enjoy time with her toddler prompted a lot of outrage, and a lot of commiseration. Check out those comments.

Funniest: The Misanthrope by Shalom Auslander. This blistering critique of the beloved Lucy Cousins books had us all doubled-over laughing – even those of us who bear Maisey no ill will!

Most Heartbreaking: Bad Love by Kris Malone Grossman. A mother describes what it’s like watching her sensitive son be tormented by his best friend. Devastating.

Most Inspirational: Home Front by Korinthia Klein. We were so in awe of Korinthia’s struggle to raise three kids while her husband served overseas that we had her do a follow-up piece, Return to the Home Front, after her husband came home from Iraq.

Most Blogged: The Overparenting Crisis by Katie Alison Granju. A celebrated attachment parenting author says things have gone too far. She recommends a new trend: “benign neglect.”

Other favorites: Walter Kirn writes about his kids’ fears in Nightmare Alley. The first Non-Breeder column, The Wisdom of the Drunk Aunt by Lisa Gabriele, introuduced us to the non-breeder reflection that to our wilder friends, our kids are like we were before we had kids: fun. The Mates of State column, Band on the (Diaper) Run, was so popular that we had them turn it into a blog, which they’re now writing from as they tour while preparing for their second baby. Our Bad Parent column continues to be the hands-down most read, so we’re taking it weekly next month.

Please leave your favorite stories in feedback, and let us know what you’d like to see more of as we toddle into our second year!

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