As a branding professional who took time off to raise children in Westport, Nathalie Laitmon knows what it’s like to need a community of like-minded women.
There are many people out there like her: independent, multi-faceted and very talented.
But the only online communities she found were like Huffington Post Motherhood (“sassy and snarky”) or Pinterest (“earth moms who want to churn their own butter”).
Laitmon — who was in the midst of writing a novel about suburban cults — realized that many women feel isolated or out of place in suburbia. She wanted to give their voices a platform.
“Suburban Misfit Mom” debuted last October. Laitmon calls it “an interactive community and content provider for the multi-dimensional, self-reflective mother who respects every part of her identity.”
Her eclectic team of writers includes “tastemakers, humorists, progressive thinkers, writers, artists, journalists and experts in their fields of interest.”
They come from across the country — including Westport and surrounding towns. They’re fresh and edgy. They write about “Superwoman Syndrome,” running marathons, sex, divorce, David Bowie, whether they married the right guy, snow days, friendships, their bodies, wine, Disney, post-partum anxiety, and their sons’ penises. Nothing is off limits.
Some of the stories take decidedly different approaches than on most “mommy blogs.” One woman wrote about being photographed naked. One titled her post “Bullying Isn’t Always a Bad Thing.” Another called hers “”F* You, Perfect Part-Time Nanny.”
In a few short months, Suburban Misfit Mom has turned into the community Laitmon envisioned. Readers have found women in similar situations, with the same issues and concerns. They’ve found writers they can relate to.
And Laitmon’s writers — over 100 — have found their own voices. They’re expressing themselves to an audience they otherwise — stuck, feeling isolated, in suburbia — might never have known.
Laitmon — who calls herself the site’s “curator” — helps those writers find their voices. She encourages them to be opinionated, but not judgmental.
The “10-year gap” that Laitmon talks about — a decade when high-powered women are home raising children — can be deadening. Yet it can also be a time to find one’s purpose and passion. That is where she and her site come in.
Laitmon calls Suburban Misfit Mom her “field of dreams.” She built it, and women are coming.
Along the way, she’s grown too. Laitmon has broadened her own perspective. She’s made friends across the country. And she has found her own voice too.
“I have a deep, intense appreciation for the life I’ve been given,” she says. “I feel a real sense of responsibility to help women deal with their challenges.”
Ten-year gap? Sounds like 10 years of fulfillment to me.
To see Laitmon’s site — or learn how to write for it — click on www.SuburbanMisfitMom.com.