I’m so thrilled to announce a new addition to the Paula Deen family: Blogs. I’m talking a no holds barred peek into the world of the Paula Deen Team. My talented assistant and Design Director, Brandon Branch will be blogging about Southern Style and how to achieve it. Senior Food Editor, Libbie Summers, is bringing back her highly successful blog, Something To Chew On, talking about food in a way only Libbie can! Online Editor, Jonathan Able, will take you on an adventure where you never dared to go: the dating life of a single guy and cooking for one with his blog, A Table For One. My Creative Director, Michelle White, will fill you in on the world of creating a brand and her team member Evan Russell will show you some really fun stuff that goes from a doodle to a logo. Y’all I have such a talented team here and I know you will fall in love with each of them! And, as if that weren’t enough, I’m particularly excited about a new section of the website designed just for moms—a place where new and seasoned mothers can share their experiences, laughing, learning, and, yes, sometimes even crying together. And best of all, my beautiful daughter-in-law, Brooke, will be hosting this section.
As Brooke and I both know, being a mother is one of the greatest gifts and greatest challenges life has to offer. But let’s be honest, I’m about 4 decades removed from diapers and lullabies. The other day I tried to play tic-tac-toe with my grandson, Jack. He lasted about two minutes, before he wanted to play with some electronic doohickey called a “Leapster.” It would’ve been fine if I could’ve figured out how to turn the damn thing on. So I’m not even gonna pretend to know how it is for mothers to raise their children these days. It’s not my place. Mothers-in-law already get a bad rap for sticking their noses in places they don’t belong. So I’m just going to sit back and enjoy my grandchildren, and leave the hard work to their parents.
But some things never change—even the most well meaning mothers make mistakes along the way and it’s easy to beat ourselves up, thinkin’ that everyone else is doing it better. I can remember believin’ all the other new mothers were getting a good night’s rest while I was up 5 or 6 times a night feelin’ like I was caught between a dog and a fire hydrant. I thought they were making their own baby food and swaddlin’ their baby’s behinds in cloth diapers. Years later I realized that the truth of the matter is, we’re all just doing the best we can. Just nobody admitted it back then.
Today, new mothers have all of these great resources that I never did, most of which come in the form of other moms. When Brooke and her girlfriends get together, they cover the gamut of childrearing—from toothpaste to preschools. There are so many choices to be made, I don’t know where these moms begin, but somehow they make it work. I’m so proud to say that Brooke is an incredible, loving mother. She doesn’t just “make it work,” she makes parenting her work—her most important job. She puts Jack first in every choice she makes; her wants or needs are second or third or somewhere even further down the line. So of course I jumped at her suggestion to create a community for mothers on the website just in time for Mother’s Day. From raising families to raising hell, Brooke and four other fabulous Mommy Bloggers will be taking turns sharing their parenting trials, tribulations and celebrations with you. My dear friend Martha Lee will share planet-friendly parenting tips. My very talented Online Community Manager, Lisa Scarbrough will promote parenting-on-a-dime for recession-ravaged homes. Andrea Goto will keep it real (and funny) with her no-nonsense approach to mothering, and Christina Hall will share her touching experience as a working mother with a very special little girl. None of these women claim to be experts at parenting, but then again, who is? Lord knows I wasn’t, but I truly believe that when you put your heart and soul into your children, they’re all the better for it. These women reflect that.
On behalf of Brooke and myself, I invite you to check out our new “baby” and let us know what you think. You may find some answers to your childrearing concerns, or perhaps a tip or two for a rainy-day activity. But what I promise you’ll find is a group of mothers who are struggling, like us all, to do the very best they can.