I felt like a total failure as a mom.

Not only did I find myself wrestling and too often losing the battle between home and office, but I seemed to repeatedly fall short when it came to activities for my four-year-old son. How did all those other mothers know the time for soccer sign up? Why hadn’t I heard about the Reading Program at the Library before it was already in progress? If you’re a mother, you can relate to that sinking feeling that you have failed your child yet again.

This was my life 20 years ago, and I was not alone. There were two other mothers of young children working with me at the time. They struggled with the same problems. The battle to balance life at work with the time and energy to be a good parent is ever present, but I realized 20 years ago that we could do something about consistently finding out too late about the wonderful local activities available for our kids.

That, pure and simple, was the impetus for Little Rock Family. We were tired of missing out, or more specifically, we were tired of our kids missing out. And we knew that if we were tired of that particular failure, there had to be thousands of other parents out there sharing our frustration.

The difference was that we had a publishing company, and we could do something about it. We had access to reporters who could dig out the info we needed well in advance. We had designers and printers who could package that information in an easily accessible form. Also, we could serve it up on a monthly basis not only for our own families, but for all the other families in central Arkansas as well.

Initially, we began with a calendar of activities and inserted it into the Arkansas Times. The response to that first insert was overwhelming. The need for these busy parents to have easy access to local family news and activities all in one place was huge. We knew immediately that families needed more than just a calendar. Within months we were launching a full-fledged monthly magazine to help Little Rock-area parents and grandparents (and ourselves) fight that losing feeling and win. Little Rock Family, the magazine, was born and, for me, successful parenting was made a little easier.

In the ensuing 20 years, many thousands of parents, grandparents and children have been served by the dedicated staff members of Little Rock Family. Hundreds of organizations devoted to serving families have been supported and promoted in the pages of the magazine. It has been a joy and an honor to serve you all. And quite magically during that same time, my two offspring have managed to grow up into fine young adults, rarely missing out on those important opportunities, thanks to a little help from Little Rock Family.