Parenting and Families

Role reversal

When you have to parent your mother

nursing home

Helena Andrews   "What's funny about the question of motherhood and daughterhood is how easily the once permanent-seeming titles get wiped away."

Kasey Edwards

Do we really have to love every moment of parenting?

"The pressure to pretend that mothering is 100 per cent pure joy 100 per cent of the time is cruel and oppressive," ...

Kasey Edwards   "The thing about parenting is that it doesn't stop. Every day, every night, every week, every month for YEARS," writes Kasey Edwards.

Unplanned pregnancy

Facing an unexpected pregnancy when it may be 'now or never'

...

Erin Riley   Choice can be a complicated matter for women with fertility issues, as Erin Riley discovered.

Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's is not a gentle process

"Alzheimer's is not forgetting where you've put your coat or the names of your family - it's forgetting what a coat is ...

Eliza-Jane Henry-Jones   "Alzheimer's is not forgetting where you've put your coat or the names of your family - it's forgetting what a coat is and seeing your family as strangers who are trying to hurt you."

Queer parenting

Reconciling being queer with my desire for motherhood

It felt like my desire to be a mother, especially a young one, flew in the face of feminism.

Katy Chatel   Katy Chatel had to let go of rigid expectations to live the life she'd always wanted.

Meshel Laurie

When 'having it all' just doesn't add up

Meshel Laurie

Meshel Laurie   For as long as I can remember I've been focused on accumulating stuff - money, objects, jobs, friends. So why does it feel like grasping at straws?

Career advice

Why I encouraged my literature-loving daughter to be an engineer

Only 21 per cent of mothers would encourage their child to follow the same career path.

Lisa Papademetriou   I don't want my daughter to follow in my career footsteps, and it turns out that I am not alone.

Tough love

I am grateful for the parental pressure I resented as a child

"I felt the pressure to succeed, and I did."

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   "As I begin to think about what I want for my own future children, I develop a deeper understanding of my parents' decisions."

Mother's Day

Go call your mum - science says it'll make you feel better

People overwhelmingly feel better after a chat to Mum.

Amy Joyce   People overwhelmingly feel better after a chat to Mum, even if she doesn't have the solution to their problems.

Hello baby

Hello baby.

Janie Barrett   Intrigued by the very private nature of birth, photographer Janie Barrett took her camera into the delivery ward to capture the awe-filled moment when a woman becomes a mother.

Midwifery

The heartache of Mother's Day for those who've lost children

"I think of the mothers who have empty arms."

Fiona McArthur   At this time of year, midwife Fiona McArthur thinks also of the mothers who have empty arms.

Refugee parenting

Where going to mothers' group is truly a lifeline

Syrian refugee Dima, 34, sits on a couch with her son after an interview with Plan International Australia at the ...

Ruby Hamad   "We are in difficult situations. We can't even go back to where we came from, and these hard circumstances of make things worse for our kids."

Mother's Day

Why aunts are the ultimate wingwomen of modern parenting

"My sister, like scores of aunts the world over, is essential to the bringing up of my child."

Celina Ribeiro   "My sister, like scores of aunts the world over, is essential to the bringing up of my child," writes Celina Ribeiro.

Gabrielle Lane

Why 'the bank of Mum and Dad' isn't helping anyone

The trend for parents to continue to give money to their offspring well into adulthood is bad for young people as well ...

Gabrielle Lane   The trend for parents to continue to give money to their offspring well into adulthood is bad for young people as well as old, writes Gabrielle Lane.

Family memories

Visiting my 90-year-old mother at her aged care facility

"In the old days, this would be called a 'Home'. Nowadays they've dropped the pretence. A 'residence' or 'facility' is, ...

Beth Spencer   "In the old days, this would be called a 'Home'. Nowadays they've dropped the pretence. A 'residence' or 'facility' is, after all, more accurate," writes Beth Spencer.

Parenting

Trying (and failing) to model bravery for my child

There is value in modelling being afraid of something, and doing it anyway.

Lisa Papademetriou   There is value in modelling being afraid of something, and doing it anyway.

Mata Hari mums

Kathy Lette.

Kathy Lette   With their natural talent for snooping, middle-aged mothers really do make the best spies, says Kathy Lette.

Paul Chai

What to do when parenting styles clash

"Recently, after years of being the United States of Parental Agreement, my wife and I have found that we are not always ...

Paul Chai   "Recently, after years of being the United States of Parental Agreement, my wife and I have found that we are not always on the same page," writes Paul Chai.

Moving on

When your widowed father finds someone new

"Intellectually, I am all in. Emotionally, however, it's a little hard for me," writes Susan Margolis Stillman.

Susan Margolis Stillman   "Intellectually, I am all in. Emotionally, however, it's a little hard for me," writes Susan Margolis Stillman.

The talk

How young is too young to talk to girls about sexual pleasure?

We shouldn't make the mistake of trying to protect our children's innocence by maintaining their ignorance, writes Kasey ...

Kasey Edwards   We shouldn't make the mistake of trying to protect our children's innocence by maintaining their ignorance, writes Kasey Edwards.

Anxiety

Learning to parent my daughter, and myself, through anxiety

"Have I not made a safe enough home? Did my worry slide down my DNA and into her? Did my husband give her blue eyes, ...

Lyz Lenz   "Have I not made a safe enough home? Did my worry slide down my DNA and into her? Did my husband give her blue eyes, while I gave her fear?"

When mothers are considered no better than graduates

Job sharing and part-time work are supposed to be options. That's the story, anyhow.

Kasey Edwards   We've been fed a line that workplaces are more friendly to mothers now. Let's get real.

Footy culture

Why I don't want my daughter to be a footy fan

"Why would I want my daughter to join or support something that, at best, will consider her inferior and ancillary?"

Kasey Edwards   Think football "isn't just for boys"? Kasey Edwards doesn't buy that.

Missing mum

Three years ago, my mother vanished without a trace

"She loved us all too much to walk away."

Three years ago, Amelia Kaiser's 42-year-old mother, Lorrin Whitehead, walked out of a supermarket in Bannockburn, Victoria. She has not been seen since.

Hawaii High-O

Kerri Sackville.

Kerri Sackville   An overseas holiday casts a new glow on life at home, says Kerri Sackville.

Divorced parenting

The heartache of every second summer holiday as a divorced mum

"The reality is they are growing up without me half the time."

Erin Mantz   "You prepare yourself for a lot of things when you get divorced and have kids. But holidays alone are especially hard,"

Rainbow family

Why do people ask which of my mums is my 'real mum'?

lesbians

Michael Kruger   Michael Kruger, who was raised by two mums, says "what defines a parent is the relationship".

Parenting

How to be a better financial role model for your child

"Like highly trained CIA agents, our kids are studying us all the time."

Kimberly Palmer   Kimberly Palmer says she is very careful about the way she speaks about money around her young children.

Young people and the inescapable world of pornography

Porn lessons: Are they really needed in schools?

Judith Ireland   Just as pornography is only a few clicks away for adults on the internet - so it is for children.

The truth about parenting a gifted child with autism

Thula goes everywhere with Iris.

Louise France   Six-year-old Iris' art has thousands of fans include Angelina Jolie. Here, her mother opens up about her unique challenges.

A child prodigy and her cat

Thula goes everywhere with Iris.

Louise France   Her thousands of fans include Angelina Jolie, who bought a painting. Her art makes global headlines. Meet Iris Grace Carter-Johnson and Thula, the pet who changed her life.

Kasey Edwards

Why is there still such a reluctance to give a child the mother's last name?

"It's time we start recognising the paternal baby-name tradition for what it really is: just another way to perpetuate ...

Kasey Edwards   "It's time we start recognising the paternal baby-name tradition for what it really is: just another way to perpetuate inequality," writes Kasey Edwards.

More than words

Is it enough to show love, or do we need to say the words?

"You know we love you."

Peggy Frew   Is saying the words "I love you" important in a relationship? Peggy Frew looks to her own family for answers.

More than words

"You know we love you."

Peggy Frew   Is saying the words "I love you" important in a relationship? Peggy Frew looks to her own family for answers.

Puppy pride

Parents, please let me talk about my dogs

"The comparisons between my fur babies and your human babies are probably greater than the differences," writes Patrick ...

Patrick Lenton   "The comparisons between my fur babies and your human babies are probably greater than the differences," writes Patrick Lenton.

Why I'm teaching my daughter to say 'yes'

We talk about the importance of teaching girls that it's okay to say "no". But what about saying yes?

Kasey Edwards   We talk about the importance of teaching girls that it's okay to say "no". But what about saying yes?

When breastfeeding is a middle class, able-bodied privilege

For many women, breastfeeding isn't a choice. And those who want to "help mothers and babies" first need to understand that.

Kasey Edwards   For many women, breastfeeding isn't a choice. And those who want to "help mothers and babies" first need to understand that.

Parenting

Learning to get comfortable with my dad's gay marriage

grandpa

Mary Pflum Peterson   And how to explain to my young kids that their Grandpa is gay.

Grandparent trap

'I come home and every bone in my body aches'

Becoming a grandparent is supposed to be the gold medal for surviving the hardships of parenting. But the truth is more ...

Elana Benjamin   Elana Benjamin looks at the taboo subject of grandmothers who are tired of being unpaid child minders. But why won't the 'grey army' revolt?

I'm not the uncompromising parent I thought I'd be

"My parenting doesn't always look like I imagined, but I've learned that parenting doesn't deal in ideals."

Mary Widdicks   "My parenting doesn't always look like I imagined, but I've learned that parenting doesn't deal in ideals."

Kasey Edwards

When dads get praised for taking carer's leave

Dads

Kasey Edwards   "In our culture, it's so foreign for men to be considered capable and willing carers that we don't even have a word for it," writes Kasey Edwards.

Generational change

Relax Mum, it's OK that I'm 30 and single

woman

Britany Robinson   My life is nothing like my parents' lives were at my age, and I am perfectly happy.

Screen detox

Samantha Selinger-Morris with her husband Mike and their children, from left, Elke, Jasper and Flynn.

Samantha Selinger-Morris   What would it be like to spend a week without television, iPad, iPhone, game console or computer? Samantha Selinger-Morris and her family find out.

How letting go of anger has allowed me to be a better mum

"It's a lesson that could have come at a dangerously high price and one that we all need to embrace."

Lisa Rene LeClair   It's a lesson that could have come at a dangerously high price and one that we all need to embrace.

Kasey Edwards

How kids are taught to devalue motherhood

"Men are unlikely to step up and share the burden of domestic work when even a six-year-old thinks it's the dud option."

Kasey Edwards   "'Why did you go to uni if you just stay at home?' It was an innocent and unexpected question to my friend from her six-year-old daughter."

Fertility

I'm a high-risk pregnancy expert – And I'm struggling with my own fertility

Despite my years of training and work with expectant mothers, I never realised how hard it would be to conceive at this age.

Shannon M. Clark   Despite my years of training and work with expectant mothers, I never realised how hard it would be to conceive at this age.

What to say when your daughter asks 'Do you think I’m cute?'

Our culture rewards girls and young women for being cute, but here's why we try to send a different message at home.

Kasey Edwards   Our culture rewards girls and young women for being cute, but here's why we try to send a different message at home.

Don't use my son to justify abortion bans

Rachel Adams and her son Henry, New York City, 2009

Rachel E. Adams   Anti-choicers have begun to use Down syndrome in their attempt to roll back women's reproductive rights. Here's why I won't stand for it.

Kasey Edwards

Is it okay for a six-year-old to wear a bra?

"By prohibiting these kinds of activities, we run the risk of sexualising something that is innocent and reframing a ...

Kasey Edwards   Kasey Edwards: "By prohibiting these kinds of activities, we run the risk of sexualising something that is innocent and reframing a game into an exercise in shaming and judgement."

My six-year-old transgender daughter should not have to use the men's bathroom

My daughter is in kindergarten. And I'm concerned about my community forcing her to share the bathroom with men.

Tucker FitzGerald   My daughter is in kindergarten. And I'm concerned about my community forcing her to share the bathroom with men.

Why does the 'fun parent' usually have a gender bias?

Why does the 'fun parent' usually have a gender bias?

Paul Chai   Would the kids even be aware of the concept of a Fun Parent unless a stupid advertising campaign pointed it out?

The stigma of a mother walking away from her family

When a father leaves his kids it's unfortunate. When a mother leaves it's a scandal.

Kasey Edwards   And do we ever pause and think about why she chose to leave in the first place?

How I decided not to listen to every piece of pregancy advice

Even if you want to stick to every piece of pregnancy advice, you can't — because so much of the advice is contradictory.

Olivia Campbell   Even if you want to, you can't — because so much of the advice is contradictory.

What to do when you witness sexist parenting

I grew up surrounded by unchallenged casual sexism. But here's one thing I'm going to change.

Kasey Edwards   I grew up surrounded by unchallenged casual sexism. But here's one thing I'm going to change.

Sarah Oakes

Why I won’t be watching any childbirth videos during my pregnancy

"Not everyone wants to be blissfully naive, but the choice, as with any choice about a woman's body, should be entirely ...

"Not everyone wants to be blissfully naive, but the choice, as with any choice about a woman's body, should be entirely hers," writes Sarah Oakes.

Insect crisis

Amanda Hooton: How deeply life as a responsible, calm, valiant grown-up sucks

Amanda Hooton.

Amanda Hooton   The joy of a long, languid holiday season ... and an insect insurrection forces a suburban home into lockdown.

Middle-aged treason

Things I love now that would've appalled my younger self

Paul Chai writes a letter to his younger self, warning about his middle-aged obsessions with SodaStream, quad stretches, ...

Paul Chai   Paul Chai writes a letter to his younger self, warning about his middle-aged obsessions with SodaStream, quad stretches, and, uh, kids.

School's out

Should kids be able to decide what they learn and how?

The whole world's a classroom for kids following the controversial "unschooling" method, writes Cosima Marriner.

Cosima Marriner   The whole world's a classroom for kids following the controversial "unschooling" method, writes Cosima Marriner.

Jane Caro: Why I'm looking forward to being called 'Granny'

Jane Caro.

Jane Caro   Jane Caro wonders how life will change with the arrival of her first grandchild.

Why asking women to 'end mummy wars' is flawed

Kasey Edwards: "On the days I feel like I am drowning in the abyss of motherhood, it is other mothers who pull me out. "

"On the days I feel like I am drowning in the abyss of motherhood, it is other mothers who pull me out."