Parenting and Families

Flexible childcare

Flexible childcare isn't just a 'women's issue'

The Productivity Commission just released its much anticipated final report on childcare and early childhood learning.

ANDIE FOX Andie Fox on why it's so important for working parents to choose the type of childcare they need.

Real life

I love my kid but I'm so-so on parenting

A bit of neglect - is it ever a good thing when it comes to modern parenting?

Laura Jackel "I really have no idea what I'm doing, whether I am getting it horribly wrong, spot on or if I am just really crap at it."

Parenting debate

Should you discipline other people's children?

I wonder how many of my friends would be happy to let me intervene.

LAUREN SMELCHER SAMS Can friendships survive the ultimate parental disagreement?

Raising teens

When your teen says: 'Mum, you'll never be as good as me'

The time of plummeting: the change of attitude as children become adolescents can be difficult for parents to deal with.

Joanne Fedler When her children were young, Joanne Fedler’s word was gospel. Now she has teenagers, the whole game has changed.

Not buying it

Can we stop trying to make 'mummy tribes' happen?


SARAH MACDONALD This advertisement is as far from a campaign for a 'sisterhood of motherhood' as Tony Abbott's maternity leave scheme is from reality.

Not good enough Mr Abbott: it's time to act on childcare

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Lisa Bryant If he wants to keep his job, maybe it's time he started making some decisions and not just blaming the childcare problem on his predecessors.

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Positive parenting

How to talk to your daughter about weight

KASEY EDWARDS Five things I'm determined to do to help my daughters avoid body hatred.

Home births

Home births: let's stop the demonisation and stigma

Home births are safer in some cases, British health authorities say.

Kim Lock It's not healthy or helpful for expectant mothers.

New parents

The eight stages of early parenthood

'We have Hollywood expectations about what parenthood is going to be like.

KASEY EDWARDS To become a well functioning parent, there are 8 stages you'll need to transition through to adjust to your new life.

Same-sex parenting

Kids ask the darndest questions about lesbian mums

gay thumb

Joo-Inn Chew But they are also more accepting than adults, says Joo-Inn Chew.

Family dinner

The family dinner is not a sacred rite that will save our children

family dinner

SARAH MACDONALD A recent article in the Washington Post is just another example of the push telling us that family dinners are good for the brain, the body, the spirit and world peace.

Private school

Is a $500,000 private school education really worth it?

A $500,000 education -- is it worth it?

PAUL CHAI Or are parents merely harbouring an irrational fear of public schools?

Positive representation

Disney needs a Down syndrome princess

An online petition featuring Keston Ott-Dahl’s daughter Delaney Skye.

Kate Lyons "The kids are very aware that they’re not represented and that there’s nobody like them on TV.”

Ask a counsellor

Seven brutally honest questions about marriage after children

Dads often feel quite excluded from the pregnancy, the birth and the post-partum period, and they are craving the connection with their partner.

We asked Daily Life counsellor Elly Taylor seven brutally honest questions about marriage after children.

Toddler tech

Why I returned my daughter's tablet

Meredith Hale The Christmas gift our family didn't want: a new Kindle Fire - for my 5-year-old.

Child adoption

How we came to have a son with Down syndrome

Kari Wagner-Peck with her husband and son.

Kari Wagner-Peck Everyone in foster care--and really in life--has something that makes them more vulnerable. We just know what our son's is.

Dad material

What women actually look for in a sperm donor

sperm donor ivf embryo

NATALIE BOCHENSKI Study shows women value more than just money when choosing a sperm donor.



Stop saying 'I'm doing it for the kids'

PAUL CHAI "I don’t want my kids to think I am aimless or without goals, but nor do I want them to think that I only do things for them."

How to leave the house without wasting time to get ready

Lisa Pryor.

Lisa Pryor If you're willing to drag your brood out the door half-dressed and snot-encrusted, getting out of the house is really a breeze.

Dear Mark Latham

Dear Mark Latham, mothers are not the natural enemy of stay-at-home dads

Mark Latham

ANDIE FOX It's time for the former Labor Leader to recognise 'leftie mummy bloggers’ are his people. Here's why.

Yumi Stynes: "looking at that photo of my daughter now, I could cry"

Yumi Stynes and daughter Mercy at the <i>Paddington Bear</i> premiere.

Yumi Stynes Yumi Stynes' powerful response to a tacky newspaper attack on what her baby wore to a children's film premiere.

Yule never forget: Christmas memories

Tug of war: with all the pressure in the build-up, it's little wonder that some of us are ready to break come Christmas Day.

Juanita Phillips, Ben Elton and William McInnes recount the Christmases that are seared into their memories, for all the right – or wrong – reasons.

Mid-life motherhood

Being a new mum in your 40s

Four women explain how they have coped with 'mid-life motherhood'.

Mother forced to cover up with large napkin while breastfeeding at London hotel

She tweeted two photos of herself breastfeeding, with and without the napkin she was forced to cover herself with.

Melanie Hall Lou Burns criticises hotel's 'Victorian' policy after staff told her to cover herself with 'ridiculous shroud' while breastfeeding her 12-week-old daughter.

Parenting cliches

Are you guilty of these parenting cliches?


SARAH MACDONALD All parents are different but they do one thing the same. They vow to be different

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Are birth stories the best or worst kind of oversharing?


Yumi Stynes "Sharing the details of a birth is one fascinating element of parenthood I didn't anticipate. The need to share is as overwhelming as the need to push."

When, despite your best efforts, your daughter just wants to be a princess

Lisa Pryor.

Lisa Pryor My five-year-old daughter favours a look that could be called Highly Flammable High Femme.

Having another child after postnatal depression

Sharon Smith For sufferers of PND, the question of another child is a complex one.


You don't have to like kids to have them

Sunday Life, family sept 28

SARAH MACDONALD Don't assume all parents love children, warns Sarah Macdonald.

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Chilli for naughty children: Jamie Oliver in hot water over parenting tip


ROBYN GRACE Jamie Oliver has a hot tip for parents: chilli for naughty children.


Why I won't call my daughter 'gifted'

mother holding little daughter

CHRISTOPHER SCANLON Gifted children are, it seems, common as muck. But is it a good thing to single them out?

What if there were no more unplanned pregnancies?

KASEY EDWARDS Scientists predict in the future, sex will be 'for fun only'. But is an IVF-led future a good thing?

An honest answer to 'how do you do it all?'


Lisa Pryor "I've discovered an unexpected benefit of this disclosure: it is the best-ever conversation starter."

Productive mothers

Why working mothers are model employees


SARAH MACDONALD It’s time workplaces recognised the benefits of hiring working mothers.

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Parental pangs

Will I see my children turn 40?

GENERIC  071023  AFR PICTURE BY PETER BRAIG /   Young families, children, leisure, health, young people, child, healthcare, beach, family,  in sydney,  nsw, australia SPECIALX 231007 AFR FIRST USE ONLY

PAUL CHAI As someone who was very blasé about having kids, I was surprised at the pang of possibly not seeing them in middle age.

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Meet the Mpregs: male pregnancy enthusiasts


KASEY EDWARDS There are thousands of men who fantasise about being pregnant.

Children's books

Reading children's books has changed my life

cr: Getty Images
Little boy with a crown reading a book

LINDY ALEXANDER When Lindy Alexander started reading to her young son, she never expected she would be the one being educated.

Constant questions

Why should women be judged on the size of their family?


Bryony Gordon My name is Bryony and I only have one child. Now please stay away from my uterus.

I'm not the person my husband married


KASEY EDWARDS And here's why I don’t want to be.


When no one believes your child has a deadly allergy


Kristin-Lee Campbell "I have been called a lot of things since dealing with my children’s allergies - a control freak, a helicopter mum, even a liar, or that my children are just fussy eaters."

Free-ranging families

Would you pack up your life to live like a modern-day nomad?


Jennifer Morton Meet three Australian families who did.


Should you send your sick child to school?

"There are few things more important than a good education, but I do not fear them missing a week or two out of a year."

No kids policies

The real reason 'no kids policies' are so absurd


KASEY EDWARDS If children are unwelcome in public space, then women are unwelcome also.

Post-natal psychosis

I fought post-natal psychosis in a mum and baby unit

'It was the help I needed to save my life'

Ariane Beeston "It was the help I needed to save my life."

Gender stereotypes

My sons love getting their toenails painted


Petula Dvorak And I'm tired of people telling them, “Boys don’t do that."

Pregnancy myths

Is it time to end the three-month 'don't tell' pregnancy rule?


ALICE WILLIAMS "Do we really shroud something so joyous (and potentially heartbreaking) in secrecy because… it might be awkward?"

Airbrushing children

When your six-year-old's school picture is photoshopped


KASEY EDWARDS "I don't want a perfect photo, I want a photo of my perfect child."

Is it time to ditch single-sex schools?


DOM KNIGHT Life is co-ed, after all. And if our schools are preparing us for it, they should be too.

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Are we expecting too little from our boys?

KASEY EDWARDS How many times have you seen girls’ anti-social behavior dismissed as 'girls being girls'?

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Being a parent who's hopeless at sports


Yumi Stynes "It's hard to explain to my daughter that I was never any good at sport at school."


50/50 parenting

You only have to be a good parent half the time


SARAH MACDONALD This is not another blog about parenting techniques.

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Parental truths

It's okay to feel unprepared for your baby


Kate Johnston-Ataata and Renata Kokanovic "'I thought my baby would come with me to the café and I’d sit there and stare lovingly into her eyes."

Body image

Actually, your sons don't really need to see you naked

naked nude woman

Natalie Reilly Trying to safeguard our sons from 'perfect bodies' doesn't tell them so much about the world as it does about how we see ourselves.

Parental playground

Why I like taking my kids to the local playground


Lisa Pryor "At my stage of life, the park is one of the last bastions of spontaneous adult socialising left. It's like the park has become our new pub."

Stay at home dads

CEO quit his job to be a dad and the response is troubling


CHRISTOPHER SCANLON If El-Erian were a high-flying woman, it’s likely that the narrative would have played out quite differently.

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