Monday 10 February 2014

Reading for modern mums

When I was expecting Ethan, I religiously read baby magazines from cover to cover, every month, trying to soak up as much information as possible. Prima Baby was my personal favourite, after reading all the different titles and snapping up some free cover gifts, as it was a genuinely interesting read, I always felt like I learnt something and the design was easy to follow.

Since Ethan has been born, I haven't had a regular monthly read. In his early days, I revisited my past Prima Baby issues to pick up on the features relevant to newborns and I have skimmed over these again to get tips on weaning and teething. They're quite good value when you consider it like this - they give you information, some of which you need now, some you'll need in the near future.

So, when I was passing by a magazine stand with some minutes to spare before catching a train, I had a look at what I could buy to read. None of the celeb titles jumped out at me - to be honest, since having Ethan, I'm really behind with my useless gossip so I just don't know who half the people mentioned on the magazine covers are and those I do, I really couldn't care less about any more. As I was searching for the parenting titles, I saw Gurgle and thought I'd give it a go. 

It looked similar in style to the fashion / gossip mags and inside, the layout and overall feel is very Grazia. This is probably a very conscious decision, as it claims to be the magazine for 'modern mums'. The thinking seems to be 'don't worry, you may be having / have had a baby, but you're still cool!'. It appealed to me but I have to say, beyond the design, I just don't think it has much substance. Perhaps it's 'just not my bag', but I didn't take away much from reading it. None of the stories were very in-depth and it was quite hard to navigate the product-led pages. The 10 Steps to Serenity feature was interesting to read but it perfectly exemplified to me the problem with the magazine, and perhaps this genre of publishing, as a whole - it's hard to appeal to all mums in just one magazine.

The consensus is that the reader will be a mum or will soon be one, so any baby related content is a safe area. Trouble here is that no one issue is going to feel full enough for one reader, as only some things will be of specific interest - a problem that increases the older your child becomes, as you have less and less to take away. Then when they do try to feature something just for mum to enjoy, you're trying to appeal to all kinds of women who vary greatly in age and interests.

It's a tough task and for me, Gurgle just didn't deliver what I had hoped. Since becoming a mum, my main source of support, morning, noon and night, has been this blog and the friends I've made on Twitter. 

Real mums with real problems and real solutions is where it's at.


  1. Thanks so much for this review, it is what I feared really and I definitely agree that twitter is a far better source of information and you get the real no holds barred truth you are looking for, rather than a glossy, picture perfect idea of motherhood.

    1. It's a shame really - it's nice to read a good magazine that can give you some 'expert' advice but the longer you are a mum, the less and less that kind of advice is useful and the more and more you need to chat to other mums for guidance.


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