Help, Please: Farah Miller of HuffPost Parents

Chief correspondent and new mom SuChin Pak finds out how other moms parent

HuffPost Parents is not so much a news site as it is a parenting confessional. It tackles the tough stuff (such as guns and childhood illness), but there’s also humor. It’s messy, it’s uncomfortable at times, and above all, it’s honest. Farah Miller, its managing editor, has accomplished something rare in the parenting space: She’s created content that reflects the entire spectrum of emotions and issues that accompany raising humans. For a new mom like me, delving into the site makes me feel like I’m part of a strong, powerful tribe, not so lost on my own, but supported by an army of parents who have been through it all. — SuChin Pak

What has been the most memorable story you’ve worked on for the site?
I will never forget being at HuffPost Parents when Newtown happened. While our Crime section covered every inch of the story from a news perspective, we grappled with the emotions of that day immediately, and in the weeks that followed, by posting moving essays from our bloggers — moms and dads who were working through their grief. I also published “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” which was just a remarkably powerful piece of writing — and the way that thing made its way around the Web was stunning.

What story for 2012 resonated most with your audience?
The Mom Stays in the Picture.” Allison Tate put something into words that almost every mom has felt at one point (if not every day) in her life that nobody had said before. We’ve read about body image and “postbaby bodies” and self-confidence, but she noticed one little part of our lives — that we’re not in photos with our kids — and showed us how that represents all of those other issues. It became a wake-up call for thousands of parents, including myself.

help please!

What was your “Whoa, I’m a parent” moment?
I get a bit of a jolt every so often when I hear, really hear, my daughter call me “Mommy.”

Oops. What was your last big parenting fail?
At the moment, I’m having mom guilt about not doing a third birthday party for my daughter at her preschool. We had a little one for close friends and family. We made muffins (actually, my husband made them) and put a candle in one on her actual birthday. I intended to bring something to class (stickers or a book, no treats because of allergies, argh), but I got sick that week and was totally thrown off schedule. The problem is that I told her I was going to go to school, so now she keeps asking when I’m coming. This means there is a very good chance we’ll be celebrating my January baby’s birthday at school some time in — oh, I don’t know — June?

Eureka! What was your last big parenting success?
Sunday. I can’t say it was one big event. I didn’t teach her how to ride her scooter correctly or how to write her name. But it one of those days where parenting was kind of … easy. We got along and had fun. There wasn’t much whining. There were a lot of hugs. She ate her dinner, though admittedly it was organic macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets, so it’s kind of cheating to brag about that. And when she fell asleep fairly easily after two not-too-short but not-too-long bedtime books, I felt really good.

help please!

The most important bit of advice you’d like to tell your friends without kids:
Travel. Go see the places you want to see so that you can see them without any responsibility or obligation to other people. Also, take me with you for a week, please.

What is something you’ve learned from watching other parents?
A fellow parent recently told me she uses the alarm clock on her iPhone to tell her kids how much time they have left to do something. I thought this was very useful information that I passed on to my husband, who told me he has been doing this for months. Clearly, I should be learning more from him.

I try to achieve work/life balance by: Actually taking two days off each week.

Say no: To stress.

Say yes: To frozen yogurt.

The thing no one tells you about parenthood is: It requires tremendous upper body strength (for at least the first three years).

The best piece of parenting advice you’ve received:Be the big doggie.”

help please!

Photos: Niki Dankner and Stephania Stanley / DailyCandy