Each month we talk with one of our readers, here’s what thinking mother Amanda Potts of Ottowa, Ontario has to say.
Tell me a little bit about your family…
I have two boys, aged five (“Am I five and a half yet?”) and two (“No, no, I’m three.”) and one husband (won’t tell his age, but he’s pretty great).
How long have you been a subscriber?
I’ve been a subscriber for four years. My sister discovered Brain, Child while babysitting not long after I had my first child. She said every article made her want to talk to me, so she brought the magazine to our family vacation. I loved it, too, so she subscribed and, since we didn’t know you shipped to Canada then, she would get her copy, read it, and send it to me. Then I would call her and we’d chat about the articles. After a year of waiting impatiently for each issue, I finally checked online and realized I could get a subscription in Canada. I subscribed. Good decision!
Why do you subscribe to Brain, Child? (e.g. What does the magazine mean to you; how does it compare to other magazines you read?)
I subscribe to Brain, Child because it offers me thought-provoking articles about parenting and what it means. It doesn’t tell me how to parent, suggest birthday party themes, or add recipes to my ever-growing collection. Brain, Child assumes that I can draw my own conclusions, think my own thoughts, and read about the bigger picture of parenting: when a mother gives up primary custody, when a parent must decide how to talk about her previous, significant drug use, when a child is diagnosed with diabetes. I may not experience these exact situations, but I am a better parent – and person – for considering parenting as a whole. Brain, Child allows me to step back and see parenting as a big-picture endeavor, not a Sisyphean list of daily tasks.
What is your favorite Brain, Child essay, story or feature?
It’s hard to choose one favorite essay or article; there have been many that made me think or laugh. The one that really stands out right now is Catherine Newman’s “Letter to my Younger Self.” I read it when I was in bed, half sick and completely exhausted. My husband had insisted that I *had* to take a break because otherwise I was going to get even sicker and we need all hands on deck at all times. Newman’s Letter so perfectly described my life that it could have been written to me. I literally laughed and cried as I read – and for the first time in my life, I wrote a letter (well, an email) to an author. I’ve repeated a few lines from the article to friends, and now several of us use the line, “You will shit alone” on a relatively regular basis to remind ourselves that this phase of parenting will pass. Raising children is an awful lot of fun, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but, well, some days I might trade it for a long weekend at a resort – Newman’s essay nailed that.
What would you like to see more of in Brain, Child?
I adore provocative articles like the one about non-violent child rearing, or the discussion of when it is OK to leave a child alone legally and just in general, or the one about sibling rivalry. I would love to continue to see well-researched, thoughtful but non-judgmental article in the magazine.
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