Parenting and Families

Jacinta Tynan on what her babies have taught her

Jacinta Tynan with her boys Otis, age three, and Jasper, five.

8:35am Here’s what Jacinta Tynan has learnt from living with two pint-sized Zen masters – her sons.

When a midweek night out is a rare and wonderful thrill

Amanda Hooton.

Amanda Hooton It was a glimpse into another world: a midweek night out amid inner-city adults doing curious things.

My paternity leave wasn't a holiday

My leave was no vacation. Vacations are a time where you can relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life.

Dave Dash My manager didn't realise "How was your holiday" was the worst thing to ask me after I came back from paternity leave.

Children never seemed to care about adults so I didn't care much about them

Before I had a baby, children were movement rather than people. But that all changed.

Kate Holden Before I had a baby, children were movement rather than people. But then my depth of field changed.

We need better care for mothers after childbirth


KASEY EDWARDS "Any woman who’s seen to be taking care of her own needs, rather than being totally devoted to those of her baby, is liable to be branded selfish."

Single motherhood

Why I always dreamt of being a single mum

Katy Chatel When one parent can be better than two.

Being good with children doesn't mean I want my own

She's a natural: being good with children does not always equal wanting to have kids of your own.

Emily Maguire Emily Maguire is adored by children, and loves them right back. It’s just that she doesn’t want any of her own.

When men want babies more than women


KASEY EDWARDS When Matt proposed to Emma he stipulated one non-negotiable condition. Children.

Lost in translation

When your child speaks a language you don't

Abigail Rasminsky Watching her learn German is heartbreaking, as she is entering a world I literally cannot understand.

Breastfeeding opinions

If you’re not my baby, I don’t want to hear your opinions on breastfeeding

I would love to keep my choices private, but I need to be in the world and I won’t be sequestered.

Emily Kaye Lazzaro I would love to keep my choices private, but I need to be in the world and I won’t be sequestered.

Why is it taboo for women to breastfeed each other's babies?


Catherine Rodie Why is the idea of nursing someone else's baby so socially unacceptable?

No one needs to worry about 'pregnancy abs'

Sarah Staged (2nd Right) speaking about the controversy surrounding her 'pregnancy abs' Instagram posts

KASEY EDWARDS The 'pregnancy abs' thing began after lingerie model Sarah Stage started posting her pregnant belly selfies online.

Facial Palsy

What my son's facial difference has taught me

Facial Palsy

Belinda Peters "When he flashed me his first crooked smile when he was six weeks old, both happiness and fear flooded my body. I knew then that facial palsy would always be a part of our life and if he was to grow up different then so must I."

Six of the most dangerous toddler food trends

KASEY EDWARDS Pete Evans' paleo cookbook for kids has caused a storm. But there are plenty of other unsafe food trends for babies and toddlers.

Parenting FAQs

What do women fear most about motherhood?

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

As new parents quickly discover, babies don't come with an operating manual.

Talking childbirth

We need to stop using this word when we talk about childbirth

Kim Lock Birth is yet another area of society where to remove gendered oppression we need to stop moralising and listen to women, despite how confronting it may be.

Bonds Baby Search

Why Bonds Baby Search exploits children and parents


KASEY EDWARDS It’s marketed as just a bit of harmless fun, but let’s face it: the Bonds Baby Search competition is the reputable version of 'Toddlers and Tiaras', writes Kasey Edwards.

Home schooling

Why I chose to homeschool our son who has Down syndrome

Kari Wagner-Peck with her husband and son.

Kari Wagner-Peck After two years, we realised school was hindering my son's education.

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.

Daily discussions