Having recently become a father, I have been struck by the resemblance between my day job and what happens when I get home. As an editor, you are the parent; the magazine is your baby and the buck stops with you - it's a big responsibility. So while little really prepares you for parenthood, here are some areas where magazine editorship really helps.
Labour pains - birth is like a magazine in that no issue is ever completely free of pain; there is always one excruciating feature. It will pass. Stay focused on the coming joy, the moment after birth is like those glorious moments when you pick up your beautiful new magazine for the first time and lovingly fondle the pages still warm from the printers. Multiply that feeling by, say, two.
Persistent crying - your newborn baby won't stop bawling, do not worry, it's well documented that that's what they do. As with an account manager who won't stop fretting, follow your mother-in-law's advice: "Let him cry, it's the only exercise he gets."
Your baby doesn't know what it wants - we've all worked with clients who can't decide what it is they need. This is where an editor comes into their own as a parent. It's time to think outside the box and get creative. Offer every new remedy and solution with enthusiasm and elan - its going to transform their life... for five minutes.
Sleeping - editors are used to sleepless nights, as they spend the wee small hours mentally checking off all the things to worry about on their current issue. Thankfully, your baby will be making far too much noise for you to think about work at night... or during the day.
Keep vigilant - do not let them out of your sight. Treat your baby like your schedule. A good editor knows only too well that taking your eye off a deadline is like a baby slowly crawling towards an open stair gate.
Changing nappies - it's not pleasant, but as an editor you've worked with designers and it won't be the first time you've unfolded an unsightly mess presented by a highly strung, overly emotional being. Do not take it out on the baby. Like an editor, make soothing noises of encouragement and bin the atrocity without fuss. With apologies to my wife, son, clients and colleagues.