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Published February 06, 2012, 11:30 PM

Parenting Perspectives: SheSays writer, family ready for new season

Sixteen years ago, I left my busy life as a newspaper reporter to fully embrace my new life as a busy mother.

Sixteen years ago, I left my busy life as a newspaper reporter to fully embrace my new life as a busy mother.

It’s a move I’ve never regretted. Though my mom-life has been far more emotionally challenging than any other job I’ve had, it’s also drawn me into a place of great wealth.

Not financial, but certainly a richness of living.

I’ve experienced the bitter lows that all mothers endure as well as the euphoric highs of witnessing five new lives life emerge and, in the best moments, flourish.

Scraped knees, dandelion treasures and dancing with my little ones in the living room have all been part of my journey, not to mention those late-night sessions with heart-burdened teens.

Through taking part in activities like crafting grand sculptures from homemade play-dough with my kids, I’ve connected with my inner child while simultaneously becoming a more mature version of my former self.

And through it all, I’ve somehow maintained a sense of who I was before. My writing continued, though often in the wee-wee hours of the night. Somewhere in there I became a twice-published children’s author, achieving a longtime dream.

But recently, a new opportunity came into view, and as I looked around at the beautiful life I’ve been blessed to experience, it seemed the time was right to shift into a new season.

Two years ago, I applied for a full-time job outside the home. I wasn’t ready but my checkbook said otherwise. I gritted my teeth and went for it. When I wasn’t even called in for an interview, I told my girls and was taken aback by their sudden smiles.

Apparently they weren’t ready either.

This time, their smiles revealed something different. Seemed they were nearly as excited as I about my new position as a full-time SheSays reporter for The Forum.

And so here I am, back in the newsroom talking with people in my community, writing up the stories of their lives – and loving it.

From the moment I was presented with the idea of this new section this past summer, I was on board. I’d been focusing much of my writing on women for years. Through that work and my own experiences as a mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend, I’ve felt fully immersed in the river of what it means to be a woman with something significant to say.

And that encapsulates the vision of SheSays.

I’ve read the letters of concern that our new section will somehow debase women, but I remain optimistic, because I’ve also heard from plenty who are excited with me.

Change can be hard, and like the rest of you, I may not appreciate equally every single article that comes out of SheSays. We are a multi-faceted bunch, we women of this region. But I’m personally committed to working hard to write stories that matter to the women – and men – of our community.

Hang with me, and us, as we forge through this transition. Let us know what kinds of articles would be the most satisfying to you as a reader. Share your fears and hopes and let us do what we can to translate them into stories that will inspire others.

My family is ready. I’m ready. And as I head into this next season in my life, I’m eager to help make this an even more meaningful experience for all of us.