Smarty Mommies is thrilled to announce that we've added an incredible writer and editor to our team! The following is an introduction from Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, the Managing Editor of our new column, Rattle & Pen.
Rattle & Pen is thrilled to find a new home here among the hallowed halls of Smarty Mommies!
My vision when I began R&P four years ago was to create a space online where mothers like me—mothers who were struggling to balance their work as writers and their responsibilities as parents—could find an echo of their own experience, a reflection of their own anxieties and joys. I knew these mothers were out there because they were my friends—women who were writing short stories on their cell phones while they watched their kids play at the local park, or who made notes for their next poems on the backs of their grocery lists while their toddlers screamed from the cart for more Pirate’s Booty. I knew these moms existed, but they had no public voices. Why? I wondered. No matter how politically progressive the literary world might be, as a woman writer, admitting that you’ve chosen parenting over the pen is still more often than not greeted with what feels like shaming or pity. Admitting that the rigor of parenting often means you’re too exhausted or strained or simply strapped for the time to be creative feels like admitting you’ve failed. Put the pen down now, the world seems to say. Nobody wants to hear about your milk stains and mastitis. Nobody wants to know about your labor pains or playdates. The domestic is tedious. Even if you had time to write about it, your readership would be bored.
I knew this wasn’t true, though. I knew there were other writer-moms out there feeling this pinch, too. Behind closed doors (and at the fringes of the sandbox and on the steps of the preschool and on the poolside bleachers during swimming lessons), we were talking to each other, and we had so much to say.
Rattle & Pen grew out of a desire to establish a public space for those conversations I was having with other creative moms about how to live in the liminal zone between artist and mother, and I’m delighted to continue those conversations here at Smarty Mommies.