Letter from the Editor

Getting It Right

Photograph by Matt Mendelsohn

I will be the first to admit, I didn't know whether having a child was part of my game plan. I'd always liked my life the way it was; I worked hard, I played just as hard, and I loved my free time. Which is why, when I did have my daughter, Tess, eight years ago, I think I wrestled more than most with the idea of incorporating me and motherhood. However, what I ended up doing surprised me even more than it did those who knew me best: I quit my high-profile TV anchor job to stay home with my new baby. And I did so for the next three years.

While I got to know her (and Elmo, and Dora, and the Yo Gabba Gabba! gang), I learned that while perhaps I wasn't all that bad at this parenting thing--actually, I loved it--the key was finding ways to not build my life solely around the label of "mom." I still snuck off for weekend escapes, stayed (too) late at events and nights out with my girlfriends, and wore five-inch heels and black leather pants. I tried not to beat myself up when I simply couldn't develop a taste for mommy playgroups or Gymboree classes or the multitude of other signature "I'm a mom!" calling cards. It took some time, but I got used to the idea that it was okay to still be me, just with this amazing little person attached.

My struggle was certainly not the struggle of the majority of my mom friends, most of whom took to motherhood like fish to water (phenomenal women, all), but part of being a good parent is knowing that if you're happy, your kid will be happy. What happened with me might not be the most popular topic to discuss--we're all supposed to just glow, right?—but I find more and more women who, when I talk about it, pull me aside and whisper, "That was me, too."

I kept that idea close at hand when Cathy Merrill Williams started talking about making this magazine. We thought about the content, be it trends, tips, recipes, or mothers we have crushes on, and how it should reflect women who happen to be moms, rather than moms who happen to be women. Whether that makes sense to everyone, I'm not sure. But I do know that if it makes sense to me, it will probably make sense to you, especially if you're reading Washingtonian MOM.

We'd love to hear your feedback. TWEET US @WASHMOMMAG.

Kate Bennett