What is Now We’re Talking?
I spent a long time, and a lot of money, trying to become a mom. When I finally had my son Henry in 2019, I realized that I had spent so much energy on the trying part that I kind of had no clue about the actual being part. So I did what I assume a lot of us do nowadays: I turned to the internet, which mostly meant that I turned to Facebook, which is populated with every variety of mom and parenting group you could ever imagine, and Instagram, where the parenting gurus of the moment dispense advice. And, to be frank, sometimes it was overwhelming (I definitely exacerbated my latent postpartum anxiety by spending way too much time in safe sleep groups). And while there was certainly plenty of stuff on how to be a mom, there wasn’t a ton out there helping me figure out who the F I was now. Was I “just” a mom? Would I forevermore be defined not by who I was, but by the person I had given birth to? And what if I wanted to be defined in part by being a mom, but not entirely?
It turned out that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Now We’re Talking is a newsletter about the lived experience of being a mom, in all of its wonderful, but impossible, and yet often absurd glory. This is not a parenting newsletter, or a newsletter that’s going to give you a script on how to deal with your toddler’s tantrums. There are plenty of very smart people out there who do that, and I will reference them often. This is a space that acknowledges that we were people before we were moms, and we’re still people with our own opinions and interests and friends — but having “mom” be a big part of your identity is okay, too. Now We’re Talking is about community, commiseration, and hopefully some laughs along the way. Let’s celebrate being our full selves, full stop — with no apologies.
Wow, I got so carried away that I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Doree Shafrir, a writer, podcaster, and late Gen X/Xennial/Generation Catalano mom of a rambunctious toddler. You may know me from my podcasts, Forever35 and Matt & Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure; or my memoir, Thanks for Waiting: The Joy (& Weirdness) of Being a Late Bloomer, which came out in June 2021; or my novel, Startup, which came out in April 2017. You may also be familiar with my writing about culture, parenting, women’s issues, media, and celebrity for publications like The Cut, Slate, and Romper, or my work as a staff writer and editor at BuzzFeed, Rolling Stone, the New York Observer, and Gawker. I also love to cultivate online communities — the Facebook groups for Forever35 and Eggcellent Adventure are some of the most active and least toxic places on the internet, and I’m working hard to make sure that the Now We’re Talking community is likewise a place that you’ll love hanging out in.
And if you’re brand new to me and my work, welcome! I’m glad you’re here.
Why a Newsletter?
When I thought about the content and the community I wanted to build on Now We’re Talking, I wanted something that combined the intimacy of a podcast with the more indelible impact of writing, and so I decided to start a blog. Just kidding! In all seriousness, though, newsletters in the twenties are what blogs were to the aughts: places where intimacies are shared and communities are cultivated. I wanted the privilege of making my way into your inbox week after week, and I also wanted a platform where like-minded people could gather and discuss what’s on their minds.
Now We’re Talking publishes one free newsletter each week — this is where you can read about how me and other moms are navigating our lives and what’s on our minds. Every week there’s also a space, both in the newsletter and in a subscriber-only discussion thread, to “let it out” — that is, just rant about whatever is on their mind with no judgment or need for advice. (Please do note that this is a pro-vaccine, pro-science, pro-evidence-based-parenting space, and rants about anything that goes against those tenets will be deleted.)
Do I Have to Pay?!
One newsletter per week will always be free. But I’m also offering paid subscriptions — not just because I hope that you will realize the value of a newsletter and community like this one, and also acknowledge the work that I put into it, but also because I want to have the time and the freedom to be able to offer additional content that I know you will love. This is content that I just don’t have the bandwidth to be able to do for free. Your $6 a month (and I hate to put it in these terms, but yes, it is less than a Frappuccino; it is even less than an iced latte costs at the fancy coffee place down the street from me! BEFORE tip!) compensates me for the work I’m doing. It allows me to turn down freelance assignments that just pay the bills in favor of being able to spend time on this newsletter and this community, and it pays for me to do things like read a ton of books in order to be able to recommend the best ones to you.
If you’re a student, unemployed, under-employed, or otherwise struggling and $6 a month or $50 a year is just out of reach for you but you still want to be a part of this community, please fill out this form. And please do note, I’ll never ask why you need a comped subscription.
If you’d like to donate or gift a subscription to someone, that’s also an option. You can donate a subscription here, or gift one by clicking here.
What You Get When You Subscribe
The weekly newsletter goes out to everyone, but you’ll also get exclusive additional content, including:
a weekly link roundup of the stories in the news and pop culture that you might have missed because you were busy doing the one million things that you do every day
the monthly Now We’re Talking advice column
virtual hangs (on Zoom) with me and special guests
audio diaries from me (like a podcast, but more intimate)
and more to come!
Subscribe now to receive new posts and support my work.