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Dear Reader: The Cup of Coffee That Changed My Life

Published on: May 25, 2018

coffee and a notebook

I met Alayne Sulkin, the CEO and publisher of ParentMap who typically graces this page, in a coffee shop on Capitol Hill.

Alayne and I weren’t supposed to meet. In fact, I was there interviewing for a different job. But, sitting on the barstool next to mine, she overheard my mention of ParentMap, a local magazine where I’d just started freelancing.

“ParentMap?” she said, leaning over. “I’m the publisher!”

I should have known then what an impact ParentMap would have on my life.

It’s been two years since that fateful cup of coffee. Since then, I’ve been assistant than associate and now, recently, managing editor. Throughout, I’ve worked with a variety of inspiring women. Watching them juggle work, family and life in general has shown me that the struggle is real and that it’s not mine to carry alone.

We have an expression for this, one that we’re fond of saying at ParentMap: “It takes a village.”

I’ve seen that village work. It’s made of the women I meet in coworking spaces throughout the Seattle area to talk about story ideas and editorial budgets. They’re juggling early dismissal and late afternoon deadlines. They’re drafting weekly newsletters when the kid’s home sick. They’re writing feature stories after parent-teacher conferences.

They’re doing all that and they’re raising kids. Good kids, too. I’ve met a few of them.

These women show me that it’s possible. It’s hard but it’s possible and, most importantly, it was worth it for them.

I bet you can relate to that struggle. Many of us can. They’re writing and editing ParentMap. They’re reading it. They’re you.

As managing editor, my job is to tell you good stories. If you have one or feedback that you’d like to share, I invite you to email me (

I can’t promise I’ll respond to each and every one of you but do know that I’m there and I’m listening. Your contribution — as a parent, as a reader, as a member of our community — is too important to ignore.

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