Dear Reader: Making it Work in 2016

'Our goal is to improve our world for families who struggle daily'

Photo credit: Will Austin

I’m breathing deeply to ward off the heart palpations triggered by the fact that we’re entering 2016. I’m near twice the age of many of you and living more closely to the reality of how speedily life zooms by. Endless nights while raising three babies are a faint memory. My cherished husband says my memory is perfectly intact, I simply was not the parent getting up.


Middle-of-the-night digital ear-infection diagnoses via video to on-call docs, or wearable trackers to help mamas and papas get calm were unimaginable to us back then. Age-old parenting challenges remain, but remarkable solutions abound — many of which we’ll bring to you this year.

In this politically pumped-up election year, we’re dedicated to elevating the conversation with business leaders, politicians and you about families’ well-being. Our goal is to improve our world for families who struggle daily. Parents in America must be afforded support to bond with their precious newborns, take care of sick kids or aging parents, afford quality child care, and keep their loved ones safe from guns. We’re passionately committed to Making It Work, our ongoing series (this month in print on p.13 and online every day) that will go beyond tired-out debates about “having it all” to explore the issues you face, from on-ramping and off -ramping to the search for easy meals and family-friendly benefits. We’ll focus on stories and solutions and make sure your voices are heard.

Championing family-friendly policies, from paid leave to gun safety, is “Someone you should know” and ParentMap’s 2008 Superhero, MomsRising’s founder Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. The positive impacts of MomsRising’s now 1 million-plus members is clear when paid family leave is on the agenda of all candidates, Clinton to Rubio.

A hidden hero of this issue is fellow preschool parent of yesteryear and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese founder Kurt Dammeier. Foodie father extraordinaire, Dammeier launched Pure Food Kids Foundation to help kids make smart food choices.

We’re an unwittingly addicted society, be it to coffee or sugar, but sugar has substantially greater harmful impacts on our health. “Sweet denial” reveals how challenging it is to avoid feeding our precious offspring sugars. The daunting reality in the number of diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes should stop you cold turkey on added sugar: zero documented cases in adolescents in 1980 vs. 2010’s 57,638.

We hope you will join in ParentMap’s ongoing Making It Work conversations in 2016 to support our community of families (follow and join the convo on Facebook with #makingitwork).

Wishing you and your family great joy, love, health and adventure in 2016.

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