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The new Mama Mag

5 1/2 years ago when I was expecting baby number 1, I was ravenous to learn about birth, nursing and motherhood. I was turned on to Mothering magazine by my midwives ( I am still forever grateful for their sage wisdom).  I kept my subscription for 2 years.   At that time some of the articles were feeling a bit stale to me and not necessarily relevant to my situation. I was ready for a change.  About the same time I became pregnant with second daughter and reading anything was thrown out of the window.  My mind was mush. 

Fast forward a few years. I am getting pretty comfortable with my place as mama and I feel I can take on a little side read now and again.  I've picked up Cookie which is a nice change to the typical parent mag layout, but really I can't relate to buying couture clothes for my children or redecorating their room in the latest post modern fashion, much less dress myself like a runway model to hit the coffee shop.  A recent article on MothersMovement.org called out such reads as "parentbling".

I can think of many other magazines to fit under this category. And I must admit, I have enjoyed flipping  through the ad filled pages of Parenting and the likes of other gifted subscritions as a substitute for television while I nursed and tried to make it through the day.  I must also admit that at times I actually enjoyed it. I found it interesting to see what parenting in America was "suppose" to be like. I think it helped me relate, or not, to other mamas at times.

Today, my friend turned me on to a new magazine called Wondertime.  I haven't had a chance to take it in too much yet, but it looks like a more down to earth sort of read. The website links to a stay-at-home-dad blog and a mama turned eco-blogger along with ideas on how to celebrate spring and debates on when to buy organic.  I am intigued.  Could this be the right combination of intellect and eye candy?

I have to thank Mothering for the years of compassionate parenting information that I gained. It is still one of my favorite magazines and I would recommend it to all new and seasoned parents. But for those who are looking for a bit of light reading along with entertainment to comlipent their parenting intellect which new Mama mag should a mama grab?  What do you enjoy about the magazines you read?


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i LOVE wondertime! i got both parenting and wondertime as gift subscriptions after my son was born almost 1.5 years ago. i let the parenting subscription lapse (there is only so much time for reading!), but i renewed wondertime AND sent some gift subscriptions to new moms.
as for mothering magazine, i thought i would love it, but hated the way it presented opinions as if there were firmly based in scientific research. as a scientist myself, i couldn't read it without seeing MAJOR flaws and holes in the pseudo-scientific rationale. the opinions weren't even necessarily things i disagreed on...i just couldn't get over the pseudo-science. it seemed dishonest to present the articles in that way.
my only complaint with wondertime is that i seem to ONLY read that magazine...so much for all my professional journals and novels that are stacked a mile high. wondertime seems much more relevant to me right now.

Second the above comments. Only magazine I subscribe to. Love the Dalai Mama blogger/writer, Catherine Newman - she's honest and insightful.

Plus Daniel Pinkwater reviews kid's books and I find him 'spot on' most months. AND they aren't always the just published ones, so you can get them from the library!

I have noticed lately a stronger whiff of commercialism, but I'm still holding strong that of the commercial parenting genre it is the best.

I couldn't agree more. I love Mothering but I love-hate it for exactly that reason, and also the general "our way of thinking is the only correct way" smackdown offered as response to any criticism offered in the letters to the editor section.
Wondertime is a magnificent read.

I'l put a plug in for BrainChild. It's a collection of essays and stories written by mamas so it doesn't promote one particular point of view. It has funny and serious sides and some good book reviews as well.

I am a big fan of Mothering, and also really like Hip Mama, which a friend turned me onto a few years ago.

I don't read many children's or family magazines because I am tired of all the "character" based things or the "newest" thing. I don't need all those things. I did run across this Mag. at the Better Living show called Kiwi. It's says "Growing families the natural & organic way. You might want to check it out!

I love Wondertime! Great layout, interesting and thought provoking articles, fun tidbits. My favorite part is a pull-out page that has questions (and answer area) for you to ask your kid(s). Very clever and not preachy, mag.

I'm a bit of a magazine-aholic. I read Wondertime, Cookie (mostly for the travel recommendations), Brain, Child is one of the best essay magazines out there for moms, Mothering of course, and I also really like KIWI magazine (good for parents of kids of all ages, all about organic living while still having some foot in reality).

Wondertime is my favorite! I cannot relate to Cookie though it is fun to flip through. I also read Parents and Parenting. After reading the other posts I am going to check out KIWI. Thanks for the tip!

I love Wondertime, but want more! Why are the great mags never monthly?

Alright, I'll admit it...I like Family Fun. The crafts are generally cheesy, but I like the fluff when I'm looking for a mental break. I've found some good ideas for different traditions and ways to celebrate various holidays and milestones though.

I've been a Brain, Child fan for years (even before I had a child). The essays can be quite "heavy", however, so not the best for a fluff read.

I enjoy the Mothering online forums, but also find the mag a bit crunchier-than-thou at times -- it seems like once you've read/absorbed one article, you've read them all.

I'll have to check out Wondertime -- it sounds like an informative and fun read that won't make me feel woefully inadequate, LOL.

I don't like the "advice and products" genre of parenting magazine. As a reader, however, I love Brain, Child. (Full disclosure: they have published three of my essays).

I like Brain, Child because it takes a literary approach to parenthood and doesn't have a particular ax to grind in the process. I enjoy its mix of personal essays, fiction and journalism - but particularly the personal essays. I learn about - and feel more connected to - other parents and the motherhood in general through reading stories about other people's experiences.

In the "advice and products" genre, Wondertime totally stands out above the rest. I like the fact that they publish thoughtful, quirky essays along with the more predictable parenting topics. And the photos and layout are really classy-looking.

I love reading magazines, I usually get the parenting and parents mgz. at the doctor's office...so I don't have to buy them. I am a big fan of hip mama, hey! it is published her in pdx by our own pdxmama. I just cancelled my subscription to mothering, I could not stand the amount of advertisement..I wrote a letter to them explaining why I was not renewing. Crazy crazy crazy, great articles but too much advertisment. I will check out Wondertime-thanks for the tip.

I love Mothering and Brain, Child. I keep those with my breastpump and read at work while pumping. I can't get enough of either, have ordered lots of back issues and won't stop reading anytime soon. Can't stand Parents/Parenting for the most part, can't relate to Cookie. Just got a gift of Wondertime and I'm pleased to read the positive reviews. I'll also be checking out Kiwi and Hip Mama, thanks for the ideas.

We've been enjoying our subscription to Wondertime for over a year now and it's definitely better than the gads of parenting magazines out there who seem to exist only to make you want things, but I do think it's good to be aware that Wondertime is owned by Disney! I'm always skeptical when I see that and a few times I could tell from the ads, etc., but they do a pretty good job of not making it obvious.

Again, as others have said, love Brain, Child (hate that it only comes out 4x/yr). Have been looking at Wondertime online since they added Catherine Newman's column, DalaiMama (was 'Bringing Up Ben and Birdy' on ParentCenter), which I've been reading for 5+ years.

There's also Daughters (http://www.daughters.com/) for those of us with older girls.

Cookie randomly started appearing at my house a couple months back. A couple nice aspects like travel as already noted, but overall I am not impressed. To showy and an alarming lack of diversity in their ads and articles.

I do enjoy Kiwi. Great little down to earth mag with clever ideas. I am going to check out Wondertime. Thanks for the suggestion.

I got a 3-year subscription to Parents as part of a charity drive and it irks the hell out me. Stay away! Wish I could unsubscribe from it. I'm going to look into Wondertime and Brain, Child now.

I'm also a fan of Hip Mama (publisher Ariel Gore is a local writer who teaches great workshops at The Attic on Hawthorne). I published a short story this winter in Brain, Child, and wanted to just throw out to other writers that the publishers are great to work with, if you're looking for a good place to submit your essays/stories/humor pieces, etc.. I think it's a great magazine (funny but not trite, avoids the overly sentimental and schmaltzy but isn't afraid to address heavy themes). I wasn't familiar with Wondertime, so I'll check that one out. Thanks.

I am glad everyone has such great things to say about Wondertime (assistant art director from Wondertime here). We are now 10 times a year, so look for us on the newsstands more often! Also, feel free to check out our website (wondertime.com) where you can find pieces from the magazine, web exclusives, Catherine Newman's blog, subscribe, sign up for our newsletter, even join our Reader panel where there are prizes involved. (http://www.digitalresearch.com/wondertime/wtjoin.php?ID=1)

Keep reading and let us know what you think, we love our readers' input and ideas!

I just cancelled my subscription to Cookie Magazine. The cover article in the Aug. 2008 issue is with 'celebrity' Amanda Peet. The entire article is about vaccinations, and she states, "Frankly, I feel that parents who don't vaccinate their children are parasites." Whatever my opinion on vaccinations is, I don't need to pay money to read some 'actress' insult parents who love their children and feel they are making the best choice for them. (I'm also tired of seeing the clothing suggestions--$400 dollars for a tank top in not really realistic for most moms I know).

You canceled your subscription to a magazine for reporting, presumably accurately, the opinions of the subject they were profiling?
I mean, why they want to profile this "actress," as you refer to her, is a whole separate issue, and pretty much the reason I don't read Cookie, but if they are in the actress profiling business, should they ignore their opinions? If they profile Jenny McCarthy, should they ignore her opinions, too?

I cancelled because I don't need to read people's 'opinions' that are really just name calling, and insulting any parent for doing what they believe is best for their family. I wouldn't want to support a magazine that had Jenny McCarthy calling people who do vaccinate their children 'poisoners' (which she doesn't). It's the same reason I am really not wanting to read urbanmamas anymore either--there's too much negative, judgemental, pissy stuff.

Mamas, time to revive the thread. A mama recently emailed:

I've had a subscription to Parents Magazine since I was pregnant with my oldest. Now that my kids are getting older (4 and 2 1/2- no longer infants anyway), I find that it no longer fits with our parenting style and our values, nor is it relevant to our family since it seems to be so geared towards families with younger kids. However, I can't be without a magazine subscription! I was wondering what parents are reading and what magazines dads and mamas would recommend. I'm looking for something to take the place of Parents, but what i really want is something that can inspire projects and activities with the kids. We're a very nature/ earth loving family so something along those lines would be nice as well.

I guess, you can take the submit article service for your stuff connecting with this post, because it seems to be really superior and has not to be hidden from public eyes!

For a projects and activities mag with a natural slant, Kiwi is probably your best bet. I find it a bit too product centered and with an annoying amount of ads, personally. But the only other "natural" type parenting mag, Mothering, is not really about activities or projects.

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