To understand Momfilter, we have to go back to a typical day at Cookie, the parenting magazine that we founded in 2004 and that folded in 2009. The inspiration for this site, as well as for the magazine where we all met, can be traced back to the questions raised in casual conversations around the office: Did Ben go through the night without wetting his bed? Did you punish Matt when he got back from his long trip? Why don’t we have federally subsidized day care? What jeans are those? What is sensory integration disorder?
These water-cooler moments–sometimes mundane, sometimes political, sometimes deeply personal–were in fact our newsroom. Our own little focus group reveals parents’ twin desires to be informed by trusted voices as well as moved by, say, a beautiful photo of a sleeping child that requires no explanation. The many great photographers who have opened up their personal archives to us understand that sometimes it’s the caught-off-guard moments that are the most magical–the photographic equivalent of John Lennon’s “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”
While we miss making Cookie, we realize what we miss the most is this town-square exchange among colleagues who otherwise never would have found themselves at the same coffee shop after drop-off. We were a collection of moms and dads with different political leanings, parenting philosophies, and lifestyles. As opposed to the consensual reality that exists among close friends, these differing opinions didn’t polarize us; they actually cemented the comaraderie and made for a balanced point of view.
Over the past year, with our alums scattered across the country, we’ve found that leaving the mothership has only expanded our creative circle. And because this collective wisdom makes our lives easier, better, and just plain old more fun, we feel compelled to share it. Think of Momfilter as a kind of digital water cooler, where we will post or link to everything from a slam-dunk dinner that we made last night to the perfect mom uniform to the hindsight that can only come from a philosophical mother of grown children. We certainly don’t consider ourselves the experts on all things mom. We do, however, feel confident that we can help narrow the universe just a little bit.