A grown-up magazine about motherhood
Magazines about motherhood are notoriously annoying, which is why Mother Tongue — co-founded by editors Melissa Goldstein and Natalia Rachlin — comes as such a lovely surprise. Instead of smug family snaps, or good-school-guides, or the obligatory how-to-return-to-the-office-after-kids think piece, you can expect elegant, and thoroughly adult, content. The debut issue contains a beautiful piece about the ceramicist Leena Similu, and an interview with the feminist pornographer Erika Lust. Lust recounts unconventional anecdotes about parenting, such as explaining what a ‘daisy chain’ is to her teenager (google this in private).
Goldstein and Rachlin explain their frustration with existing mother-magazines in the opening editorial: “much of the media is meant to speak to moms, [but] it is actually most often about children”. Contributions to Mother Tongue, by contrast, are odd and vivid. One piece by the writer Charlotte Jansen, for example, psychoanalyses her own fascination with blonde women.
At one point in the Erika Lust interview, she describes a loss of sex drive after giving birth to her children: “The home was so much about the baby and being a mother and walking around in sweatpants and not feeling like an exquisite human being”.
I’ve never heard anyone describe themselves as an exquisite human being, but I like the fact that Lust — and by extension, Mother Tongue — appears to take it for granted that everyone should feel like one.