The Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine
The Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine was picked by Writer's Digest magazine as one of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. The content below is from the site's 2007 archived pages. Three stories have been included to give a feel for what the magazine offered it readers.
Editor: Paula Schmitt
Senior Editor: Lucie Bouchard Antoniazzi
Cover Editor: Tracy Lyn Moland
Graphics Design and Branding: Nancy Cleary
Advertising Coordinator: Paula Schmitt
The Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine, an online literary magazine, features writing by mothers on the ups and downs and many challenges of motherhood. We publish creative nonfiction essays, columns, book reviews, and profiles about mom writers.
The Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine features writing that is vivid, complex, and down-to-earth. We are not looking for “sugar-coated” material. Our philosophy is simple: Motherhood is always worthy of literature. We are a literary magazine for mothers with something to say. We’re proud to have published essays that are poignant, smart, and sometimes, humorous.
The Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine is also a resource for the literary community. We provide author profiles, book reviews, and our writer’s guidelines.
Here at The Mom Writer's Literary Magazine we know that being a mom takes more than the act of giving birth or adopting a child. Being a mom takes constant devotion and psychological work that goes on throughout your entire life. The Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine honors the fulfilling and tedious work that women do by making their stories visible through print.
What’s a BlueSuitMom?
by Tracy Lyn Moland and Nancy Cleary
by Elizabeth Adam
by Shireen Campbell
My Virtual Baby Shower
by Kristin Darguzas
Better than XBOX?
by Adrienne Dyer
by Tiffany Fitch
Ballet Slippers as a Rite of Passage by Samantha Gianulis
They Say It's Your Birthday – We're Gonna Have a Good Time by Sari Grandstaff
Reunion by Elaine Jordan
Faith by Megan Schwartz
Adrift by Regina Walker
Careful What You Wish For
by Ashley Williams Ellis
Nothing melts my heart more than those three little words: “I want Mommy!”
Even so, with the impending arrival of Baby Ellis #2, my husband and I jointly decided to begin having him play a more central role in our toddler’s care. The idea behind our thinking was that if Mommy was busy with the baby, our son would feel equally comfortable going to Dad. In theory I thought, great. In practice, I missed my clingy little boy who thought his mommy ruled the world.
Over the course of several weeks, every time Ian reached for me, my husband would quickly scoop him up. As my stomach grew, my husband became the one to carry Ian to bed. My husband rocked him quietly to sooth him after taking a tumble in the park. My husband buckled him into his car seat, handing him his favorite yellow stuffed duck that had become a frequent passenger in our car.
As much as I appreciated the help and saw how much Ian enjoyed spending time with Dad, at times I wanted to say, all right already, it’s my turn with the baby.
Just this past Sunday in church, Ian sat happily on my lap, clapping along with the bell choir and kicking his chubby legs in time to the music. My husband reached over and picked him off my lap, whispering, “I’ll take him.” I didn’t want him to take him. I wanted to enjoy this moment with my toddler who would one day be too big to sit in my lap, or too big to want to. I wanted to feel his soft, sticky arms against my arms and the weight of his head leaned back against my chest. I wanted to listen to the music through his ears, matching my toe tapping to his erratic leg swinging. I wanted Mommy time.
This rush of jealousy caught me completely off guard. I didn’t want to be one of those parents whose wants conflicted with their child’s needs. Wasn’t I the grown up? Wasn’t I supposed to handle my emotions and not stomp my feet in terrible twos fashion if things weren’t how I liked them?
Instead of jealousy, I should be pleased, I reasoned. Our plan was working.
I’d like to tell you that my epiphany came that quickly. It took a little longer.
I understand all about renaissance men who work in corporate America but still help with laundry and cooking duties at home. I applaud all of these advancements, I do. It’s just, if I’m being honest, I secretly want life to revert back to the days when Mom ruled the roost, and the day. Am I a woman conflicted? Possibly, but I don’t believe that there aren’t other modern women out there who hold these same contradictory beliefs. We want it all, and that means our children running into our open arms when they need comforting.
You see, I’m a true believer that mommies possess some magical power to heal skinned knees, kiss away tears, and fix the best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yet, I have to admit, my husband also possesses that special parent magic. He’s caring and thoughtful, gentle and loving. He can play on the floor for hours, building forts out of pillows and blankets and stack impossibly high towers of large green Lego blocks. I’ve even caught him attempting to stuff his full-size adult body into spaces no one over three feet should venture.
He is a man completely in love with his child, who takes his responsibilities as a dad extremely seriously. He’s a living “how-to” guide on how to be a great dad.
Watching my son and husband together, it’s difficult to argue against the benefits of our new arrangement. I watch as Ian and his dad create a language understood only by the two of them.
The other day, Ian ran to his playroom and returned with a white and red striped hat, identical to the one worn by the Cat in the Hat. He handed it wordlessly to my husband who placed the felt cap snugly on his head. Ian laughed, obviously delighted by my husband’s performance. Ian raised one small, chubby finger, as if to say “wait” and immediately ran to his book basket. Tossing others aside, he triumphantly held up his coveted Dr. Seuss book and handed this to my husband. After crawling up into his dad’s lap, Ian snuggled close to listen to his dad read, with gusto I might add, aloud.
Since the change, I’ve noticed my son’s growing independence and watched his confidence soar as he bravely tries new things. He’s unafraid of failing.
Our little boy is growing up.
Equally as rewarding, I’ve watched my husband’s confidence as a parent increase multi-fold. While I was pregnant, my husband once confided to me his apprehensions about becoming a parent, having lacked a solid father figure as a child. I wasn’t worried, but he was, thinking that without a model to pattern his behavior after, he might fail his child the way his father failed him. Watching the two of them together, I can’t help but smile at how unfounded his worries were.
Our son, a happy and loving child, basks in the glow of both of his parents’ approval and affections. He benefits from the gifts that each of us is able to give. He’s learning to appreciate nature and love the outdoors. He’s exploring art and reading. He understands the true significance of full belly laughing. Maybe most importantly, he’s learning the skills he will someday need to become a wonderful husband and father. My dearest wish is that he’ll grow up knowing how much he’s cherished, and how wonderfully he’s forever changed our lives.
I was wrong. This is exactly what I wanted. My wants have magically, like a mother’s kiss, fallen in line with my child’s needs.
Last night, Ian toddled over to me, clean from his bath, clad in dump truck pajamas and grinning ear to ear, and plunked his perfect little body into my lap. He wrapped his arms around my neck bringing his face into mine. I gently moved my nose side-to-side, rubbing his pug nose to give him a kiss, Eskimo-style. He laughed and rubbed his nose back-and-forth to kiss me back.
This is exactly what I wanted.
Ashley Williams Ellis lives and writes in Cincinnati, Ohio. Between nap time and play groups, she manages to write for All About Kids magazine, Ohio magazine, and Children's Hospital. Prior to quitting the corporate world to concentrate on raising her children, Ashley worked as a reporter, as a speech writer, and as a public relations specialist.
by Elizabeth Adam
It is a dark and stormy morning. My two children, one of whom just threw up and the other who just nursed, are downstairs sleeping. I am upstairs in a shadowy corner typing on a little black laptop in front of a shoved-back sewing machine.
I have come to realize that I can't not write. Laying fame aside and having long since given up on fortune, I write on. I wonder why sometimes. Why do I write instead of rest? Why am I still working on a book I thought I'd finished over two years ago? Why do I write letters to editors at 4:24 a.m.? How did I survive on just three hours of sleep sometimes during a really rough pregnancy? Why can I not seem to be able to stop thinking about things to write, day and night?
I have come to the conclusion that I am possessed. I am driven by something, Someone rather, who wants to speak through me. It is an honor. It is a gift. It is a passion. Passion lights me up inside and keeps candles burning at both ends. It keeps me up long after a full day's work. It pulls me out from under my cozy covers up to my little corner cluttered with piles of paper encircling a computer with a broken fan and a portrait of a boy holding a teddy bear.
That little boy and his baby brother are what motivate me to write at night. It took me a little too long to learn that it is quite frustrating, if not virtually impossible, to get much work done with a baby pulling at your pant legs and printer cords, or having to interrupt an important thought to wipe a bum. Even having Ernie and Bert's "Tiger Hunt" in the not-so-background can be pretty distracting.
The other reason that I write when they're not around is that I just don't want to miss being with them very much. Even if I could find good childcare, I don't think I'd use it too often. I like being with these guys. I like taking them to the zoo and the library and the pet store and the park. I like watching my baby work on walking and seeing his delight when I roll a ball to him or under-duck him in the baby swings. I want to cuddle him when he falls asleep and when he wakes up. I want to be the one my first-grader looks for when he comes off the bus at the end of the day, even when, maybe especially when, he's grumpy. They need me. And I want them.
I have been seeking a steady sense of balance, picturing myself in the middle of family and other work. I sometimes feel as though the two conflict, as though saying yes to one means saying no to the other. I am wrestling with questions: What am I missing? Why do I choose to be tired? What should I lay aside for later? What am I supposed to do when? How can I do it in a way which is beneficial instead of detrimental to my marriage and children?
I don't need to be reminded that no one wishes they'd spent more time at work when they're on their deathbed. What I need to remember, and live out every day, is the fact that life is best dedicated to doing things that will last forever.
Elizabeth Adam is a Mom Writer living in Winnipeg, Canada. She has two sons, Timothy and Daniel, and is currently working on a book on mother love.
What’s a BlueSuitMom?
by Tracy Lyn Moland and Nancy Cleary
An executive mom, who, most likely, is wearing a beautiful shade of blue suit on her commute to a very important, very fulfilling career. Of course, she can also be seen wearing that same Chanel suit to a soccer game and getting mud on her Pradas. Such is the life of a BlueSuitMom – a never-ending challenge of balancing her life, family, and career.
What do all the best resources for BlueSuitMoms — BlueSuitMom.com, Today’s BlueSuitMom, Mom Talk Radio, Moms Mind Pool, Marketing to Moms, Trillion Dollar Moms, Diary of a BlueSuitMom — have in common? Maria T. Bailey. She is an award-winning author, radio talk show host, nationally known speaker, and the foremost marketing authority on marketing to moms. Maria is currently the host of The Balancing Act, a new show for women on Lifetime TV(debutes July 8th) and co-host of the nationally syndicated morning radio talk show, Good Day with Doug Stephan, which airs in 350 cities through the US with 3.2 million listeners a day. As founder of Newbaby.com and BlueSuitMom.com Maria reaches over 1 million visitors online a month, and as host of Mom Talk Radio she entertains and informs over 250,000 listeners a week.
I personally have the ultimate respect for what Maria has done for Mothers. Beyond being a writer and entrepreneur myself, I am most importantly a Mom. I have had endless experiences where companies just do not understand who their market is. Companies that tell me Moms are not their market yet just walking through their doors proves they are wrong. I have had to change my young child on a table in a family friendly fast food restaurant as their was no other option – well maybe the floor of the bathroom.
Just this Christmas I was working with a company that was planning a media tour for marketing their best holiday gifts. This was a national chain that sells most every thing. They were very against using a Mother as the spokesperson for the campaign as they felt Moms were not their target market. Every Mother I know does all the family holiday shopping, extended family shopping, work shopping plus often for contacts through her partner’s work. Many Mother’s even buy their own gifts.
In her books Marketing to Moms (2002, Prima Lifestyles) and Trillion Dollar Moms (2005, Dearborn Trade Publishing) as well as her market reports, consulting, and endless research; Maria is changing perceptions and creating very successful marketing campaigns. Not only are Mother’s happy to be treated with respect, companies like Disney, Nestle, Office Depot, and Best Buy are realizing increased sales because they are finally marketing to the actual people who spend the money. She is currently working with Pulaski Furniture, Build A Bear Workshop, Nestle, Daimler Chrysler, and Genworth Financial.
According to Maria, “Consider this – companies are spending billions to capture the mom market, but 70% of mothers feel companies are not doing a good job at speaking to them. The opportunities for companies to capture part of the $1.6 trillion in mom spending is great.”
She continues to say, “I use my writing to bring awareness to companies as to the spending power of mothers. I truly have a passion for getting big businesses to understand the economic impact mothers make on the US economy. Mothers spend more money each year than the gross national product of Australia, Portugal, and New Zealand, to name a few. It's time that companies view moms as more than the person who buys diapers. I speak to major corporations each week about the spending power of moms in the home and in business. In fact, I think the greatest opportunity for companies right now is to recognize mom business owners. Our research shows that moms who own a business will buy the same brands at home and at the office. This means that these women present two channels of spending.”
The above is what I as a writer have to say, I will close with Maria’s own and truly inspiring words, “Great business mentors always advise entrepreneurs to launch a business based on personal passion. I was fortunate to have found a way to combine my personal passion for being a mother with my passion for building businesses.
After having three babies in less than two years, I launched my first marketing company which focused mostly on children and mother related businesses; however, I was soon hired away from my own company by H. Wayne Huizenga and Steve Berrard, the founders of Blockbuster and Waste Management with the promise that they would teach me how to build a business. To me, the opportunity presented better lessons than Harvard Business School so with three babies under 20 months, I took a position with their newest company AutoNation as a senior executive.
I took part in over 200 acquisitions as we built the company into Fortune’s Fastest Growing Company in 1994. During the seven years in the car industry, my former clients still called asking for marketing advice. In 1999, I left AutoNation and with the help of investors, launched BlueSuitMom.com in the Internet hay-day. Six months later, it was acquired by the founder of Alamo Rent A Car, Michael Egan. A year later as September 11 hit the travel industry hard, I bought back my company just when my first book, “The Women’s Home-Based Business Book of Answers” was published. We launched Mom Talk Radio at the same time. BlueSuitMom.com and Mom Talk Radio received a great deal of attention and companies soon asked me to replicate what we had done for their companies. Microsoft and Discovery Channel were our first marketing companies. A year later my publisher came back and asked me about my business, saw the unique niche we were carving out in marketing to moms and asked me to write, “Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Share of the Trillion Dollar Market”. The rest is history. That book catapulted BSM Media into the corporate headquarters of Coca Cola, Nestle, Burger King, Chuck E Cheese, and many others. Every time I spoke on the subject, we picked up another marketing client. Six years after launching our business, revenues have grown close to a million dollars, growth is up 400% year over year, and we have created a new category of marketing agencies.”
We are anxious to read your next book – an inside glimpse into your life, Diary of a BlueSuitMom: Bubble Gum on My Business Card and other Wonderful Working Mother Moments (Wyatt-MacKenzie) will be released in November 2006!
Over the past few years, best-selling author Tracy Lyn Moland, B. Ed. has established herself as a highly sought after and internationally recognized life management and marketing expert.
You may recognize Tracy Lyn’s ideas and advice from magazines like Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine or Women’s Day as well as her series on Good Morning Canada and appearance on Living it Up! With Ali and Jack. She has been featured in over 500 media outlets and presented in 3 countries.
Her expertise has led to her work as a spokesperson for Johnsonville Sausages, Crayola, TJ Maxx, and Whirlpool appliances. Tracy Lyn’s books Mom Management and Quotes of Inspiration have provided much needed advice and sanity in our crazy world.
Nancy Cleary, Graphics Design and Branding, is an advocate for work-at-home moms - her publishing company, Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing Inc., named for her two children, celebrates seven years of bringing the ideas of mom writers and entrepreneurs to fruition. Behind-the-scenes stories of mompreneurs are featured in Cleary's series "The Best of Mom's Business Magazine Volumes 1-4". Other mom titles include "I Love My Life: A Mom's Guide to Working from Home" by Kristie Tamsevicius, "Mom's Work-at-Home Kit & Workbook" by Lesley Spencer, "Today's BlueSuitMom Magazine" by Maria Bailey, and current hot-seller, "14 Hours 'Til Bedtime" by Jen Singer. In January of 2005 Nancy launched The Mom-Writers Publishing Cooperative to publish talented mom writers, providing authors with a five-digit advance package, major book store distribution, and everything they need to make their publishing experience an empowering and profitable venture. Nancy Cleary has been quoted in Business Week, Working Mother, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Family Circle, Home Business Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine and featured in three best-selling books: "Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Piece of the Trillion Dollar Market" and "The Women's Home-Based Business Book of Answers" both by Maria Bailey, and "The Self-Employed Woman's Guide to Launching a Home-Based Business" by Priscilla Y. Huff. Cleary has a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design and has run a successful design studio out of her home office in Deadwood, Oregon since 1992.