You might remember a call-out for contributors many, many months ago — but that turned out to be a really overwhelming process, with way more submissions than I ever imagined. My inbox got chaotic, emails were slipping through the cracks, and it all turned messy.
I apologize to everyone who took time to respond to the call, and please know that I'd love to feature your stories — whether it's in a guest post, Q+A, or From My Inbox feature. And there's always an opportunity to eventually become a regular contributor, but I needed to start with a different, more sensible approach.
And so I decided to look for specific voids to fill here at Early Mama. I don't know what it's like to be an undergrad student, or to go for my phD with an infant at home. I don't know what it's like to be a stay-at-home mom to multiple kids, or a young single mom, or a young mom by choice rather than circumstance.
But these young-mom writers will add a unique perspective to the site on a consistent basis:
I first met Gemma as an Early Mama commenter, and then I quickly became a loyal follower of her blog Journey of Love. Her writing is beautiful, her story is compelling, and she has a lot of experiences to share: Gemma married her high-school sweetheart and then actively planned to be a young mom — except she got pregnant sooner than she expected, during senior year of college. She then suffered through long-lasting postpartum depression before having an unexpected second pregnancy that turned out to be a beautifully transformative experience. She's now a stay-at-home mom in Reno with a toddler boy, and infant girl, a black Labrador, and a cat who is awesomely named Luscious Lou Volberding II.
Read her Early Mama guest post: The Paths We Chose, The Paths Chosen For Us
Emily was a Midwestern teen mom who successfully made it through all four years of college — balancing school, work, and single motherhood. She graduated from college this past Spring and chronicled it all on her blog YourMom.me (formerly known as Your Mom Goes to College), so she has plenty of practical tips and I've-Been-There experiences for student moms. And as a single mom, she has a different perspective on love, dating, and relationships. I also happen to love her writing and blog, so I'm super excited to have her on the team.
Read her Early Mama guest post: It's Not Cootie Shots and Recess Anymore
Megan is the perfect example of an ambitious young woman redefining the traditional path for an educated professional. She's going for her Ph.D. right now in a field that doesn't see a lot of young moms, and she and her husband consciously decided to start a family in her mid-20s. (She got pregnant at 24 years old, a smidge earlier than she expected.) You might remember her guest post on balancing school and motherhood, or maybe you've stopped by her blog. Expect to see more from Megan!
Read all about Megan in her Q+A here on Early Mama.
When I think about the overall goal of Early Mama, it isn't just a community for young mothers and young wives, but a community for young people independently growing into adulthood — who also happen to have competing responsibilities and higher stakes as parents and partners. Young people who are focused on personal development and being their best selves — maybe because of the introspective nature of parenthood, but not entirely. And that's where Heidi comes in.
No matter your religion or ideological beliefs, her blog The Conscious Perspective is always thought provoking and insightful — and she's especially focused on personal development within the Gen Y/Millennial context (which is a large percentage of Early Mama's readership). In fact, we're partnering up on a new podcast with that same theme, and she's been an incredible source of wisdom and friendship. I have a feeling she'll do that for you, too.
Read all about Heidi in her Q+A here on Early Mama.
Liann is a personal friend of mine — a former co-worker who was a close confidante during my turbulent pregnancy and first year of motherhood, as we talked about everything and anything on our long commute. She married an older man (as I know many of you have, too) and chose to start a family in her mid-20s — which now includes two of the cutest little boys on the planet. Besides the fact that she's an awesome person who gives young moms a good rep, I'm especially interested in Liann's area of expertise: baby names. She's loved the idea of "naming" long before her first pregnancy (she was brainstorming baby name ideas forever), and she has a real knack for finding unique yet usable names. Especially for — say — young moms who could use some advice and don't have a lot of "in-the-know" friends to brainstorm ideas. So we're starting a new series where readers can write in with their situations and name dilemmas, and Liann will offer some mom-to-mom ideas. Sound fun? I think it'll be cool.
Stay tuned for more info. on the baby name feature and on Liann's backstory.
Again, I always love to hear from you. Drop me a note if you have a story to share. And welcome, new contributors!