I often joke that being the editor of a parenting website before having any kids of my own has been the best possible form of free birth control. Throughout my six and a half years of working for Kveller–first as an intern, then as an editorial assistant, and eventually as the editor–I’ve read more articles than I ever expected I would about parenting.
I’ve read about four-day long labors and mastitis and vaginal tears. I’ve read about postpartum anxiety and losing your identity to motherhood and having to read the same five-page children’s book 99 times… per day. I’ve read about toddler meltdowns and teenage meltdowns and mother meltdowns that end in a grown woman locking herself into a bathroom with a stolen pack of her kid’s M&Ms. Speaking of bathrooms, I’ve read that once you are a mother, you will never pee alone again.
I’ve always wanted kids, assuming I find a partner whom I love and want to raise a family with, but I have to admit there have been times during my career at Kveller that I’ve wondered if it’s really all worth it, because honestly, being a parent sounds really freaking hard. I believe that fear speaks to what makes Kveller so successful as a parenting site: Our writers don’t hold anything back in their quest to express what it’s really like to be a parent today, and to connect with others in an authentic, meaningful way.
But sometimes, it can really get a single gal down.
And yet, that’s only telling one side of this story. Because among all those moments of pain, heartache, frustration, exhaustion, and unwanted bodily fluids, I’ve also read about some of the most beautiful experiences I could ever imagine. Stories of healthy babies coming along after years of infertility, of losing faith and regaining it in the most unexpected places, of finally realizing you did something right after years and years of feeling like you’ve gotten everything wrong. I’ve worked with women who have been through it all–cancer, stillbirth, divorce, unemployment–and fought through it to find their own happiness. I’ve even worked with the token man, too.
What I am trying to say is that I am in awe of the Kveller community–of the readers and writers who have opened up their hearts and shared their most personal stories with me and so many others (like, you know, the entire internet). Working on Kveller has forced me to ask myself the hard questions–like what I believe in, and what I want out of life, and whether I’d ever be able to make homemade chicken soup all by myself (I did!). This job has shaped me in countless ways, and I’m sure it will continue to shape me as I move onto the next endeavor, both personally and professionally.
I can’t sign off without sending my unending love and gratitude to Deborah Kolben, the founding editor of Kveller, who has been the greatest champion, mentor, and friend since the day she interviewed me for a silly paid internship that I thought would last a summer. And to Joanna Valente–and the editorial assistants who came before her–for making each day at work a joy (and for always finding the perfect gifs).
Kveller will not be an orphan for long–come Tuesday, it will be helmed by the lovely and talented Sarah Seltzer, who I know will do great things with the community we’ve all grown to know and love. As for me? I’m not actually going anywhere–I mean literally, I’m not even changing desks–as I work to launch a new community for young Jewish women. I can’t wait.
So stay tuned, thank you, and kvell on.