Magazine Club: First Things First

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Kate Smith and Emily Hackethorn hosted their first Mamalode Magazine Book Club and shared with us their experience. They choose First Things First—our very first print issue. If you're interested in hosting your own magazine club, contact [email protected]

Kate: Mamalode brings stories about being a mom to moms. It is like holding up a mirror and saying “here I am”. But often I often read stories that touch me or make me think of something I’m struggling with and I want to talk to someone, share my pains or ask someone what I’m questioning. The Mamalode magazine club we’ve started is creating a place where you can talk about the stories of motherhood and not just read about them.

Emily: Mamalode's spirit, themes, and content has been a helpful outlet for me as a new mother whose friends aren't having babies yet. I’ve been especially moved by the amazing print content in Mamalode and the Team Mamalode movement. Since college, I have started several book clubs, a lover of reading and conversation, but none of them seemed to catch. Trying a Mamalode magazine club seemed like a great way to fulfill that desire to interact with other moms and to share the specialness that is Mamalode.

Kate: As a new mom, I joined Team Mamalode to help out a magazine and online storybook whose content has helped me over the past year feel less alone in the new world of motherhood. And, as that same exhausted and often overwhelmed new mom, I offered to help Emily start the first Mamalode Magazine Club for our area. Not even for one second do I regret it!

Emily: I was so excited to have a partner! Kate and I discovered we had many mutual friends, and daughters close to the same age. We emailed back and forth to plan our group's first meeting, and the number of moms interested kept (and keeps) growing! By our first meeting, there were 10 of us there, and more who are on the list! 

Kate: Once I put the call out to my mom friends I soon realized how excited I was. Here were very close mom friends of mine saying an enthusiastic “YES!” to being a part of the first magazine club and at the same time they didn’t know each other. I couldn’t wait to share my favorite mom friends with each other. And, I was looking forward to us all being in the same room with other area moms.

Emily: With “First Things First” as our prompt, we had amazingly real, open, conversation for being mostly new to each other. I think that's what Mamalode does, invites us to be ourselves. 

Kate: Honestly, I smiled for hours after the first meeting. I still smile thinking back on how we all instantly fell into this very intimate and comfortable room of sharing. We all told stories about our new selves since becoming a mom and were all able to laugh at the silly parts and relate to the hard parts. 

Emily: We churned over many of the new challenges in motherhood: from balancing iPhone time and playing with kids, to sugar and inlaws, to nursing and childbirth. Our conversations reminded me how important each of our stories are, and how Mamalode is a portal to that. 

Kate: I have a feeling that our Mamalode Magazine Club is going to really pick up speed, I mean moms. Since our first gathering of 10 moms, we have 4 new ladies for our Identity Issue meeting in March. I think my husband is getting jealous so we may have to start a dads group soon!

Emily: Mamalode brings moms together, and in the age of iPhones and technology, there is nothing like holding a magazine. One of  Team Mamalode’s goals is to build community, and what’s a better way to do that, than to bring Mamaloders together to connect over the great content. 

Kate: Starting this group was actually very easy. Emily and I spread the word to our mom friends (and their mom friends), gave everyone the Mamalode issue to read, and then we all met up at Emily’s house. Once we were all in one room the conversation really didn’t stop. It was helpful to start with asking the same question we presented with the first magazine: What story or stories spoke to you most? Every single person had at least one story that they could relate to, and it got conversation rolling.

Think you’d like to start one? We hope to see them popping up all over the country. It’s like hosting a book club only better! Here are some tips:

*Determine what stories/issues/authors you would like to discuss. Let Mamalode know and they can support you.

*Our club started with the first issue, which was especially appealing to us as Missoulians (where Mamalode began!)  We loved seeing favorite businesses featured and writers we know personally! 

*Hand out copies of the issue(s)/share online articles to the women in your life who may be interested in joining. Mamalode will send you up to 8 back issues for free!  As we distributed them to the moms, we asked them to ponder which articles resonated with them the most, and what has changed most in their lives since becoming a mom. 

*Pick a date/place/time and send out an invite- and let Mamalode know when you’re planning your get-together.  For our scheduling, we’re using Doodle.   

*As a big Mamalode Thank You, ask your new group to join the TEAM and subscribe to! 

Photos by Jamie Phillips and Emily Hackethorn

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