[Ed: Thank you so much to all who submitted essays for our My Path to Motherhood series. We are no longer taking submissions at this time. You can read all posts in the series here.]
I – very unexpectedly – became a mom at the tender age of 20. I hadn’t finished college, I had no money, and my now-husband and I both still had quite a bit of growing up to do.
Needless to say, our elder relatives were worried, and most of the world seemed to see our baby as a big, fat mistake.
But you know what? It might not have been the socially-acceptable college-career-marriage-baby path to motherhood, but it was the perfect start for me. Because it has shaped who I am and the kind of mom I have become. And because I now have an awesome 15-year-old son to show for it.
Because we believe there is more than one way to become a mom, and because The Happiest Mom is, in part, about recognizing all the different ways it’s possible to be a great mom (and a happy mom!), we’re launching a new, reader-submitted guest post series called My Path to Motherhood.
Below are some additional details about the series. I hope you’ll consider sharing your own unique path to motherhood by submitting a guest post.
What is My Path to Motherhood?
It’s a series of guest posts here on The Happiest Mom. Each post will be written by a reader and share a personal story of her unique journey to parenthood. As a collection, we hope these essays will showcase different paths to motherhood and celebrate the fact that we arrive at a common destination via many different roads.
Who can submit a guest post?
You can! We hope to feature essays by both established writers and bloggers as well as “regular moms” who have a story to tell. You do not need to be a published writer or have a blog of your own to submit an essay.
What’s so special about my path to motherhood?
We want to share stories that celebrate the process of becoming a mom – and all the different ways it can happen. We’ll be looking at topics like adoption, young motherhood, infertility struggles, unplanned pregnancies, and hopefully many more.
Maybe your personal journey fits in one of these categories or another, less traditional path to parenthood. Or maybe you became a mom the “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby…” way, but your story was shaped by another factor – a difficult pregnancy or NICU stay, giving birth to multiples or a rocky post-partum period.
Your path to motherhood is special because it’s part of your story – and we want to hear it.
What are the submission guidelines?
Your essay should answer the questions (though not in an explicit Q & A format):
- What was your path to motherhood?
- How has your path to motherhood shaped the mom you are today?
- What would you want other moms to know about your path to motherhood?
Your submission should meet the following guidelines:
- 300-800 words
- tone and voice consistent with the content on The Happiest Mom – helpful, non-judgmental and inclusive of all points of view
- formatting and style in accordance with our Guest Writer FAQs guidelines (unless otherwise specified here)
- email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15 (essays received sooner will have a higher likelihood of being published – so don’t wait if you feel inspired!)
- include your essay in the body of the email – please do not send attachments
- if you like, include a 50-word (or fewer) bio with links to your blog and/or Twitter handle; if you prefer, we can also run your essay anonymously – it’s up to you
Will my essay be published?
We hope to make this a regular series this spring, and look forward to sharing as many different paths to motherhood as we have space for. That said, we can’t promise to run every submission we receive. If we do plan to post your essay, we’ll contact you with a publication date. If we decide not to run your piece, it isn’t because we don’t love it; it may be that we’ve already selected a story with a similar topic/theme, or that the volume of submissions is just too great to allow space for them all.