Originally published in The Herald’s weekly edition in south Snohomish County, “I Brake for Moms” has been running for 10 years.

Originally published in The Herald’s weekly edition in south Snohomish County, “I Brake for Moms” has been running for 10 years.

Ten years of columns later, a celebration of place, journalism

Jennifer Bardsley reflects on writing 520 installments of “I Brake for Moms.”

A decade ago, on May 16, 2012, I wrote these words:

“My name is Jennifer Bardsley and I am one of those awful Californians you hear about who sells their itty-bitty condo near San Francisco and buys a beautiful house in Edmonds. But it’s OK to still like me because 1) I’m really nice, and because 2) my husband has roots in Edmonds that run five generations deep. I know that readers in Snohomish County will agree with me when I say that circa 1940, or circa 2012, this is a wonderful place to raise kids. I am very excited to give voice to ‘I Brake for Moms.’ My goal is to channel all of the thoughts that you or I might have had while driving our kids to piano lessons, or nearly running somebody over with a gigantic shopping cart at Fred Meyer, and funnel them into a column that is funny, thought-provoking and relatable.”

Ten years later, it’s still a privilege to write for you. The past 520 weeks have changed my life. I’ve gone from a small-town mommy blogger to a sweet romance author whose books have hit bestseller status in four countries. That success comes from me not giving up, but it also comes from you being my audience. I might never have received my first book contract if my agent hadn’t been able to tell that first publisher that I wrote a column called “I Brake for Moms.”

I am extremely grateful to you, and also to Neal Pattison, the former executive editor of the Daily Herald, for giving me the opportunity to do this. Having a writing deadline every single week for 10 years has been challenging, but I’ve never missed a deadline, not even when I broke my wrist or had amnesia. Now, when I read through past columns it’s a history of my family’s life. And who knows, maybe I will take a collection of my first printings and make a “I Brake for Moms” book someday.

Writing this column means walking a fine line to share as much as I can without invading my children’s privacy. There are a lot of funny stories I could have shared but haven’t. There are complaints I might have written but have chosen not to. There are hurts and celebrations that I have kept off the page because they are not my stories to tell. Maybe some day my kids will grow up and write a column about me called “Life With Mom.” If they do, they’d know the drill, never send something to print without first gaining your family’s approval.

Ten years into this, I still believe that Snohomish County is a wonderful place to raise a family. Thank you for being part of mine. Thank you also for reading and subscribing to The Daily Herald. I write fluff for a living, but journalists work their tails off to bring you news that matters. When you support local journalism, you’re protecting democracy, and that’s a great value for every American family to embrace.

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

Washington’s most beloved state park turns 100

Deception Pass State Park, which draws as many visitors as the best-known national parks in the U.S., celebrates a century of recreation and conservation

Hydrangea and rose
July checklist for Snohomish County gardeners

After a slow start to summer, things should take off this month. So keep planting and nurturing.

Caption: The 12 week Edmonds Community Police Academy was a free opportunity for private citizens to learn about law enforcement.
An inside look at how law enforcement works

A pregnant mother. A man who rescues abused horses and donkeys. A… Continue reading

Kid 'n Play members Christopher "Kid" Reid, left, and Christopher "Play" Martin perform on NBC's "Today" show during the "I Love The 90's" morning concert at Rockefeller Plaza on Friday, April 29, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Relive the music of the 1990s with Kid N Play and other stars of the era at the Tulalip Casino Amphitheater.

So-called relaxing summer vacations can wear you out

To truly enjoy a family getaway, tone down your expectations. Everything won’t be picture-perfect.

Gimmelwald, built in an avalanche zone, yet specializing in alpine tranquility.
Roaming the Alps brings cultural insights along with the views

The Swiss have great respect for Alpine traditions and culture — and contempt for tourists who disrespect both.

Will TripMate cover costs for trip canceled for medical reasons?

After Stanley Wales cancels his diving trip to Bonaire, he files a travel insurance claim with TripMate. What’s taking them so long to respond?

Contestant chef Brian Madayag (left) of Edmonds and West Coast team captain Brooke Williamson on “Beachside Brawl.” (Food Network) 20220616
Edmonds chef reps Pacific Northwest on new Food Network show

Barkada owner Brian Madayaga will compete on a new Food Network series that premiers Sunday.

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Kosteri’ (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Kosteri’

This Hinoki cypress is graceful and beautiful, and is very drought-tolerant once established.

Most Read