Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Celebrating Ten Years of Literary Mama: Amanda Jaros

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October 2013 marked Literary Mama’s ten year anniversary! For the past six months Literary Mama's editors and columnists have celebrated this milestone by sharing what being a part of Literary Mama has meant to them. If you missed any part of this celebration, just click on the Anniversary tag on the Blog main page, and you can find the entire listing of posts.


Amanda Jaros- Blog Editor

While I’m relatively new to Literary Mama, I have been blogging for years, which is, in effect, what led me here. I used to write a blog for stepmoms, detailing the trials and tribulations my family experienced in our acrimonious joint-custody situation. At the time I was desperately searching the web for other stepmothers, other mothers in similar circumstances, anyone who could understand the peculiar and difficult position I had found myself in.

In chat rooms I found vindictive, angry, and often vengeful women. They overwhelmed me. I had my own anger to deal with; I didn’t need theirs. Then I stumbled upon Literary Mama and began to read. Those women weren’t necessarily talking as stepmothers, but as mothers, no matter which shoes of motherhood they filled. The compassion and open support was quite a contradiction what I had seen elsewhere. So I kept reading. I remained silent, unsure what to say, unsure how to add my confused voice into the mix, yet glad I had found a place where people were thoughtful about mothering.

As my stepdaughter grew up and the co-parenting situation shifted, I let my blogging shift too. The stepmom blog is long gone, but through subsequent blogging experiences, I found myself at the opportunity to join the LM staff as a Blog Editor.

I’ve been here for about a year now, and feel privileged to be a part of this dynamic group of writers. As I learned the ropes, I have come to see more clearly what Literary Mama is all about.

Literary Mama is about You. The reader.

Writers write for themselves, sure, but writers also write to create understanding and share experiences. Those shared experiences were what I sought as a desperate new stepmother years ago; they are what I seek now as a mom to a growing-up-way-too-fast teenage stepdaughter, and a very spirited, seven-year-old boy. I write, and I contribute here, because I want the lost and voiceless stepmother out there to have a place where other women can help her speak.

Literary Mama, as so many of the other mamas in this anniversary series have said, is a community of writers supporting mothers, sharing our stories, and creating a place where all are welcome. No matter what your situation—stepmother, grandmother, adoptive mother, mother at a distance, or mother up a little too close—Literary Mama celebrates you.

We at Literary Mama thank you, readers, for making this magazine what it is. We are you. You are the Literary Mamas. You who contribute your thoughts, send in your submissions, comment on and share these words, and most of all read these pages, it is you who have made Literary Mama the place to support motherhood for ten years. Let’s keep reading.

Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer living in Ithaca, NY. Her essay “Blood Mountain” won the 2017 Notes From the Field contest at Flyway Journal. Other work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including, NewfoundLife in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.

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