Everything Is New Again

January marks the beginning of a new year. And we’ve definitely had a lot of experience with new this year at Charlotte Parent. We started the year with a new editor . . . me. And we ended with a new Web site at www.charlotteparent.com. And all the while and in between we’ve welcomed new readers, discovered new things, enjoyed articles from new writers and generally gotten a new perspective on our community through our monthly get-togethers in print.

We want to continue to share our resources about the latest parenting advice, pediatric developments, maternity products, education updates and local secrets that make raising a family in Charlotte and the surrounding areas so rewarding. We also want to do something new in 2007 — build an online community of parents who share useful information and helpful tips through our Web site. This new community starts with you.

Our Web site is designed with an eye to this goal. After many hours and a lot of hard work, everyone here is very excited to see the new look of www.CharlotteParent.com, and now that the Web site is launched, our staff is anxious to explore ways to bring families together.

We invited local bloggers* to participate in our community — moms, just like you, who juggle daily diaper changes, questions about having another child, nap schedules, home school, private school, preschool, CMS and PMS — and have learned how to laugh at it all. And our first three bloggers are moms from York County, Charlotte and Matthews who share their weekly experiences online.

Reading these posts, I am inspired to reach out to all of our readers and find out more about you. Where do you go to eat? Send us a review of your favorite family restaurant so we can share it with others. What do you like to read? Write in suggestions of the best new book you’ve read. How do you manage it all? Share your successes and failures with us on “having it all” or not.

I know it isn’t easy being a parent. Sometimes, I stare in awe when I encounter a mom with three (or four!) children by her side and I think what a strong, patient and hard-working woman she must be. Even with only one child in our family, I am constantly battling to stay ahead, spend quality time with my family, devote focused energy to work, inject romance in my relationship, find a moment to relax and somehow squeeze in a weekly workout (ahhh, there’s the New Year’s resolution!), while putting a healthy, home-cooked meal on the table (hot dogs don’t count) and remembering to feed the cat and walk the dog (Meow! Ruff!).

But this struggle isn’t something new. You do it; I do it. We all do it. Doesn’t it feel good to talk about it — to share it with a trusted friend?

Parenting isn’t new. Parenting has been around since the dawn of time. Some do it better than others, but the true success stories are usually those who accept help from their community.

Though there are many new things we are sharing with you in this education issue: new test scores to decipher (read about that on page 16), new standards for CMS (see Dr. Peter Gorman’s article 20), new ways to interact with teachers online — we are asking that you also help educate us.

I know we could learn so many new things from you! Log on to our new Web site, see the changes and share your suggestions about education, life, love and the pursuit of parental happiness. (Feel free to tell us about non-parenting issues, too — your new favorite movie, interesting book, easy recipe for sharing with friends or good bottle of wine for a reasonable price.) We’d love to trade ideas.

We value your input. We share your struggle. We are a community of parents. We hope to meet you online . . .