Krystal Festerly • Founder + Editor-in-Chief

I became a mother in secret.

In the quiet-- by myself. I wasn’t surrounded by sisters or friends. I wasn’t surrounded by women who had “been there done that”, besides my mother, I was surrounded by people that I did not know. I was missing the moms, the ones who were in the trenches. The ones who you could call in the middle of the night, and speak in whis- pers with, because they were up feeding their babies too. I was missing the moms who will pick up your children for a playdate, just so you can take a nap. I was missing the moms who will bring you food when you can hardly get out of bed to wash your face, let alone cook your family a meal. I was missing the moms who tell you that you’re a good mom, that the crying will end...eventually, and that the sleepless nights will become a distant memory. I was missing the moms who just... know. I was missing them-- they, were missing, and I didn’t know where to find them.

I was looking for sisterhood, I was looking for the one thing that I have never experienced as a woman. A camara- derie of women, to stand with, to walk with, to cry with, to laugh with, to just BE with.

I knew that something needed to change when I became pregnant again, I knew that this was not the way moth- erhood was supposed to be, motherhood is shared, no matter your creed, your race, or your socioeconomic status. The one thing that we all have in common IS motherhood. We are all connected to one another, there is always something, some facet of this journey that we can all relate to that bridges the gaps between us all, something that bridges the gap between the judgment, and the ridicule.

I know that if we can just get around all the crazy stuff that pulls us apart, if we can just see past the fancy wraps and expensive strollers, if we can just take the time to see past all that, and simply gaze at the core of one another, we will have a chance at sisterhood. We will have a fighting chance at a motherhood where we aren’t so alone. We can be mothers who are born out loud, not in silence or in secret...We can be mothers who are born and rejoiced, not shamed...We can be mothers who are united and support one another, like its supposed to be, like it used to be.

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A perfect stranger is standing in the grocery store, she is red with embarrassment, staring in disbelief as her toddler is splayed on the floor, screaming at the top of their lungs, she’s thinking to herself , “I’m that mom ...” . In that moment you can look at her and she can look at you, and you can have “ that” moment, that moment where there are no words, no “hi how are you?” no, “how old is your child?” no, “what do you do?” none of that, because you know, you just know. You smile, and you nod as if to say “I know mama, I’ve been there, it’ll be alright,” and for that one moment you’re connected within the space called motherhood. There’s nothing like it, this is the one time in our lives where we can make bonds with each other that can last a lifetime. You think that you made all your friends in high school, or in college?! This is it! Look around you, she’s sitting next to you, she’s behind you on the bus, she’s in the car next to you blasting Miley Cyrus with three teenage girls in the back, she’s the mom across the street pushing a stroller, wearing the same clothes she had on yesterday, possibly the day before that, she is you. We can relate to one another like no one else can, I’m talking down to the bone relate. So why not revel in it while we have this brief common bond? This time when our hearts are the fullest, when our homes are filled with an insurmountable amount of joy and laughter.

Now is the time for bubble baths, little goodnight kisses, snuggles, bedtime stories, snack time, lunch time, dinner time, there’s beauty in the routine. My house may not be as clean, my face may be unwashed, and my clothes may be milk stained, but those are the badges of motherhood, the things that tie us together.

There will be time again for late nights spent out on the town, there will be time for making love without toys jabbing into your back, there will be time for date nights, there will be time for eight hours of sleep, but that time is not now. Though I know it’ll be here one day, I know deep down in my gut, in my heart, that I’ll miss this. That I’ll look back with fond eyes laced with a few wrinkles, and I’ll smile, because I did it. I raised the best parts of me, I had the chance to birth love incarnate, that raising them was the best thing that I ever did.

I’ve been told that I look at the world through rose colored glasses, that sisterhood is dead, that camaraderie is something that you find only within your circle of friends. The world that we live in has changed, we’ve come away from community, we’ve gone backwards, and isolated ourselves into thinking that we don’t need one another to thrive. I believe that this time in our lives, this bond of motherhood is in fact the rose colored glasses, that it’s time to change, that it’s time we bring back The Village.

- Krystal Donovan

Who she is: a mum, wife, lover of all things sweet, photographer, adrenaline junkie, and jewelry hoarder, striving to find beauty in the everyday.

"I started this magazine to connect, support, and inspire mothers everywhere, and to do my part in Bringing Back The Village™.

Welcome."