I can’t tell you the exact moment I heard about a new literary magazine for parents called Stealing Time, but I know the name alone intrigued me. Through the magic of one little tweet came the offer for the blogosphere to review the initial issue, and I jumped all over the chance.
The thing you first notice is the visual — the simplicity of the black-and-white cover and photography within. It’s beautiful, and I sat right down to begin it — only to be interrupted by my daughter who wanted me to find some new yarn for her to practice knitting. I set it aside, tossed my stash and debated with her the merits of lavender versus pink.
And with that the stream of interruptions began. I picked up the magazine, rifling through it quickly to get an overall idea of what it contained, only to hear “Mom?” again. One needed help studying for a spelling test; another had to tell me all about the latest game in gym (“zombie tag,” in case you’re wondering). Then Louie, our occasionally accident-prone pup, whined to go outside. As I skittered down the steps to let him out, I realized that I would have to wait until after all the hubbub quieted later that night to find the time to read. Dinnertime loomed large and I was unprepared.
Little did I realize that I was illustrating in real time the point of Editor Sarah Gilbert’s initial essay, “Into It All,” and the title of the magazine itself. She writes that, while she is washing dishes and watching her children playing in the backyard:
… I am considering the essay I wish I could be writing; it is one filled with the fire of my own feminist convictions and erudition and carefully-packed description, but if I do not finish these dishes I will not have dinner ready in time, and the boys will run through the house screaming, ‘hungry!’ and will beg for convenience store treats or ice cream or chips, and that is the road to late bedtimes and bad tempers. This is what is needed from me, at this time, and I have come past the dreading and the bitterness to an acceptance — even joy — in this task.
Tell me you don’t know that feeling — shoehorning in a blog post or a chapter or knitting or DIY projects or anything you love to do around your kids and their wants/needs/schedules. Not only do I “get” it, I live it.
I found recognizable moments like that throughout the magazine. I frowned over some pieces, mulling them over, unsure if I agreed or related to them. With others — specifically, Brett Paesel’s “What an Egg Wants” and Rebecca Kelley’s “Twenty-Seven Ways to Wear Your Baby” — I felt the zing of déjà vu and connection. Sharon Trumpy’s clever “In the Beginning, Revised: From the Super-Hip Bible for Today’s Way Cool Youth” made me laugh aloud and spill my coffee. All of them made me think.
Striving to be more than a literary magazine, Stealing Time endeavors to foster a community “of readers, of writers, of parents who believe that a parent’s work is intellectual as well as emotional, who steal moments to reflect before diving into the fray again.” With this as a goal, the editors have developed places for parents to connect both online (on Facebook at StealingTimeMag and Twitter @stealingtimemag) and in real life with writing play groups and discussion “salons.”
My one hope is that the magazine will eventually be available as a digital subscription as well as a printed one. I think it would be easier to share quotes, ideas, thoughts from the magazine and its archives with their burgeoning online community. Besides, I find that most of my stolen moments happen in the minivan while I’m waiting to pick up my kids, so it would be helpful to access an online version/app on my phone during these little “brain breaks.”
Because I am subscribing to Stealing Time. Absolutely.
You can find out more about subscribing to this magazine as well as its origin story at its website: stealingtimemag.com. And let me know if you do subscribe to it — I’d love to start a bit of a chat here about each issue.
Disclosure: I requested and received a complimentary copy of the first issue of Stealing Time, along with the promise of a subscription discount for posting my honest review of it. The opinions expressed are completely my own.