There is no such thing as breaking parenting news - or at least that's what we used to think. And yet HuffPost Parents which was launched one year ago today, sits right here in the middle of a news site.
From birth we questioned how to combine the two. To write about parenting as part of the news, but also as part of daily life. To reflect our fast-breaking political roots and also the intensely introspective tone of regular moms and dads today.
It was Lisa Belkin, who joined our team in November, and who has covered life, work and family for thirty years, who convinced me that we didn't have to break news the way our comrades on the political desk do. She said parenting is about telling great tales and having conversations, and she was right.
We decided to fix our gaze on personal stories. Devon Corneal wrote about finding out she was having a boy, not the girl she'd always imagined. (Not breaking news.) Rhiana Maidenberg gave us six reasons why we judge other parents. (Compelling, not breaking.) Amber Dusick drew pictures about potty training. Our blog grew as a child does, and those early gems were like a baby's first "real" smiles, the things that make you think Oh, this is why people have kids.
So we kept telling tales and having conversations, even when strangers at parties said "Huh? I thought HuffPo was a politics site?"
And at the start of 2012, something big happened. I was at the playground. My daughter and husband were playing on the jungle gym, while I surreptitiously checked Facebook.
"I used to worry that not only was I failing to do a good enough job at parenting, but that I wasn't enjoying it enough."
"Yes!" I said out loud to my screen, still sitting alone on a park bench.
Many thousands of people had already read Glennon's essay on her site, but she agreed to let us publish it too. It was shared. Then shared again and then again. It was a battle cry, a mantra. Don't worry. You are doing it. You don't have to enjoy every second. Just find moments that matter, pockets of bliss - what Glennon calls "Kairos moments."
Soon strangers at parties started to say "Oh, that's where I read that Carpe Diem article." We were on the map. And we started taking Glennon's words to heart, not only as parents, but as curators, trying to capture the whole of modern parenting. We learned not to be so focused on what we weren't (a breaking news site) and more aware of our site's Kairos moments, melding the joy and cuteness of parenting with the challenges and the doubt.
And that combination is, we now know, the definition of parenting news. It is a woman on the cover of TIME magazine, shown nursing her 4-year-old, under the headline "I Am Mom Enough." It is the announcement that the first woman to be CEO of a Fortune 500 company is pregnant. It is Aurora, CO, and the questions of how to talk to children about tragedy and whether kids belong at at midnight showing of a movie anyway. It is that the breakout stars of this summer's Olympics are Lynn and Rick Raisman, Natalie Hawkins, Debbie Phelps and even Ike Lochte -- people the athletes call Mom and Dad.
We have run essays here titled "What I Know Now That I Am The Parent Of A..." So this one is "What I Know Now That I Am The Mother Of A One-Year-Old Parenting Site." At the top of the list is this: There is no such thing as parenting news and everything is parenting news. It is more complicated to raise children today than at any time in history. Parents worry more about screwing it up and care more about getting it right.
And indeed, once you have children, there is only one way to hear a story -- and that is with them in mind.
Happy birthday to you HuffPost Parents. It's been a helluva year.