In addition to being the Today’s Parent managing editor (which basically means I’m the bossy one around here), I’m also lucky enough to be the Toronto editor. It’s a fascinating job, given that the content I create every month serves the very community I live in. I’ve worked at or on projects for some of Canada’s most iconic brands (all under the Rogers Publishing umbrella)—Chatelaine, Maclean’s, Flare—and I’ve had the opportunity to work on really exciting, often groundbreaking content, but this is my first foray into local. I love showcasing Toronto vendors and products, being a go-to resource for frazzled parents who need ideas for rainy Saturdays, and meeting Toronto writers who are passionate about their neighbourhoods. It’s pretty much my dream job.
Despite all of that, the first Thursday of every month is easily the highlight of my day-to-day. That’s when I get to visit a Second Cup cafe in a different pocket of the city, where parents come to our What’s Brewing meetings to chat about everything from breastfeeding to sleep. Meeting our readers (and their adorable children) face-to-face is an experience I’ve never had in my eight years of magazine publishing, and it both gives me new perspectives on parenthood and makes me feel like I’m not alone. I don’t know why, but it surprises me, really, that a program we intended to foster camaraderie between parents in the community actually did the same thing for me as the facilitator. It’s what I was missing when I was on mat leave—someone to hold Sophie while I drank a hot cup of coffee, sure, but also to tell me that, despite Soph’s ineptitude for sleeping in her crib and my frustration with unsolicited advice from strangers, we were all in this together.
Last month we visited the Second Cup at King and Bathurst—recently renovated and rebranded with ample room for the kiddos to play—and we had a full house. The conversation, this time about nursing (and, trust me, we laid it all out there) was lively, heartfelt, emotional at times, smart and warm. I couldn’t get over the warmth from the participants, given that they’d met each other only a half-hour earlier. It was magical, really.
Next week we’re hitting the Second Cup at 693 Wilson Ave. (not far from Wilson subway station, TTC’ers, and with ample parking for the drivers in the crowd) to talk about baby’s first illness. Come and see us—I promise you won’t be disappointed.
To secure a spot at the Thursday, February 6 event, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All participants will receive a gift bag. Limited space, so RSVP now. Like us on Facebook for details on upcoming What’s Brewing meetings. We hope to connect with you in your community over the next year.