When the idea for InCultureParent came to me one sleepless night in January 2009 (as I was awake breastfeeding my five-month-old), I must admit, it was not because I recognized a deep need for it. I had grown used to never reading articles or books that related exactly to my family. I instinctively changed the word “Daddy” in all our children’s books to “Baba” when reading aloud without much thought. When my oldest child was late in speaking, I turned to Google to give me answers on whether bilingual kids are late speakers. When my friends who are married to husbands from other countries called to get advice about blending holiday traditions or vent about that cultural difference with the in-laws, I listened gladly, knowing they had no one else that could understand. Then it hit me. We are by far not alone in dealing with these issues. We’re not one of a tiny group of families. Families like ours are everywhere and our numbers are rapidly growing.
For InCultureParent, the egg came before the chicken. I had this idea for a new kind of parenting website, one that wasn’t based on the same cultural framework as most popular U.S. sites, one that would represent multicultural families like mine and one that would have the type of sociological and cultural information I would like to read. When I began to research more, the deficiency in the current marketplace of parenting websites was glaring. The major parenting websites all represented one dominant cultural vein.
What’s more, none of them touched the areas of faith and tradition. They are tough areas to approach tactfully, which is why I was all the more compelled to cover them. The question of children and religion gets even messier when your family is composed of different faiths or your family is a member of a minority religion. I realized we needed a new kind of parenting website to present family life, culture and faith in a real way, not sugar coating or cherry topping any of it. I didn’t want a website that was cotton candy lip gloss. I wanted the full face lift.
I created this magazine to bridge the gap in the current marketplace of parenting information. I wanted families like mine and families unlike mine who may not be the traditional target group of the usual parenting websites represented, our issues addressed and a place created where we could come together. I wanted both a meeting point and an information source, a place to turn to instead of Google. I also sought to explore faith and religion, discuss the many ways people become a family and gain insight into what other families like ours are doing, with the overarching goal of broadening understanding and awareness of the many different parents and parenting styles found throughout the world.
But one thing we’re not is exclusive. You don’t have to be a multicultural family or a bilingual family to be interested in what we have to say. We hope everyone who is interested in learning about other cultures, exploring other parenting styles and expanding their own base of knowledge will become a part of our community. Above all, InCultureParent is the place for parents who are committed to celebrating diversity and multiculturalism in raising their little global citizens.
-Stephanie Meade