When I introduce myself to people as the First 1,000 Days correspondent, some think that I belong to a religious cult, others are simply confused. So I usually break it down for them and explain that I write about early childhood, reproductive rights, sexuality and parenting, among other things.

Usually, there is a follow-up question: did you become interested in the topic when you got pregnant? The answer is that I didn’t. For a long time, I reported on health issues and inequality, and women and children were always at the core of my stories.

I am saying this because a new year has started, and I am making a list of issues I would like to cover and thinking about the things that make me angry and those that inspire me. So when I received Tanmoy’s newsletter last week, I decided to follow in his footsteps. He listed the topics that members have suggested he write about as the Sanity correspondent.

I decided to go back through all the comments that members have left below my stories, and I found a lot of interesting suggestions – many of which actually overlap with my own personal interests. 

So, here is the list of the top suggestions made by members, in no particular order:

  1. Childcare and parental leave
  2. Nature and nurture
  3. Miscarriage and stillbirths
  4. Mental and physical health of baby carriers & carers
  5. Abortion 
  6. Conceptions of childhood through geographies, cultures and history
  7. Giving birth
  8. When does life start?
  9. Digital exposure for children
  10. Adoption and foster care 
  11. Nutrition
  12. Child-friendly cities
  13. Breastfeeding 
  14. Native language and language development
  15. Adult supremacy vs making space around a child’s idea

Plus, there are some issues that I want to pursue. These include child mortality, play, orgasms, non-traditional, non-nuclear families, surrogate mothers, and sex education.

As you can see, there are many topics, and some issues are so broad that I will probably need 1,000 stories to cover them all.

What do you think of this list? Do you have other ideas or suggestions?

Please leave a comment below if you:

  • Are an expert in this area and would like to contribute to a brainstorming session before I write about an issue;
  • Know of any great people, books, articles, videos and podcasts related to these topics; or
  • Are a writer interested in any of these issues or know of anyone who may be.

Be a part of my first 1,000 days advisory board

I also have another proposition for you. I am putting together a sort of advisory board of people who are on the first 1,000 days journey and can help me add diversity and perspective to my coverage.

Just looking back at some of the members at The Correspondent who have already reached out, there is a grandmother raising her grandson because the parents cannot be around, a foster parent for refugee children, someone who grew up in an orphanage in the United States, and the mother of a disabled child. There is also another member, who reached out to say she was experiencing recurrent miscarriages, who asked: “What happens when a ‘life’ ends in the first 126-182 days of those 1,000 days?”

By hearing your stories, I can create a network of people experiencing the first 1,000 days in one way or another across different parts of the world, and in structures that go way beyond the nuclear, heterosexual family. 

You can read more about what I am looking for here.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Until next time,

Irene

This article first appeared in The Correspondent, the member-funded platform that shut down on 1 January 2021.

This is not a space to simply comment. This is where you take part in the community.
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