The best of Emily Writes in 2018

The very best of New Zealand’s smartest, funniest parenting writer.

1. Why Dwayne The Rock Johnson should be your doula

“Dwayne The Rock Johnson would tell you how powerful and majestic you are. Dwayne The Rock Johnson would tell you that you come from a great line of powerful wāhine and there’s nothing that you can’t do. Dwayne The Rock Johnson wouldn’t complain that you’re gripping his gigantic arm too hard. He can lift cars with those arms. Dwayne The Rock Johnson would put on some slow jams and you’d try to wrap your arms around his body but you couldn’t because his body is too big. And you’d feel so small and safe in his arms. You’d feel positively dainty – even though you’re so big you haven’t seen your feet since you were 20 weeks along. Dwayne The Rock Johnson would calmly whisper motivational gym slogans into your ear. He would thank the midwives. He would stroke your hair but not in that annoying way your husband did it. He wouldn’t eat KFC when you’re about to go through transition. He certainly would never say ‘you pooped again’.

Clearly, case closed, Dwayne The Rock Johnson would be the world’s best doula.”

2. Congratulations Jacinda! Love, Emily Writes

“Dear Jacinda,

First of all – like obviously – congratulations!

Second of all – BABIES!! Little tiny feet and little hands and gummy smiles and button noses!

Third of all – we’ve got your back.

Seriously.

That squeeing you heard across the country was from all of us parents and non-parents who are so excited for you because you’re in for the most wonderful adventure and We. Got. You.”

3. Disgusting: Jacinda Ardern is doing her job and is a parent. How dare she?

“The sound of grunted angry crowing filled the air this morning. It was clear what had happened. An appalling travesty. A scandal of epic proportions.

An outrage of old men took to their various platforms and exposed the horror to the nation.

Jacinda Ardern, former pregnant person, current woman, mother, mum, matriarch, and audacious female, was at it again.

She had spent close to, or around, somewhere thereabouts, eight trillion and probably fifty one thousand million dollars of taxpayer money, mom and pop’s precious coins, the livelihood of farmers, and also ratepayers, to holiday in Nauru.

In the dead of night she came to your house, lifted the mattress, took your coins, she laughed like Scrooge McLadyDuck and leapt into a sea of your hard-earned overly taxed dollars.

And she did it because she’s (outrageously, obnoxiously) parenting while doing her job.”

Photo: Getty Images

4. You’re a bad parent with fat horrible children

“Usually I avoid stories that have titles like ‘It’s your fault your children are fat’ and ‘Millennial parents: Lazy Shit-eating Scum’. Generally, it’s because I think they’re wrong but also because the horrible messages stick with me and they don’t make me a better parent. Like a fart in an elevator, only one person is happy. And that’s the smug flatulent asshole who just filled the space with their horribleness.

But for your sake, I decided to actually read the pieces and I’m terribly sorry, but I have news for you: You’re a Bad Parent. You’re a Bad Parent because you’re lazy. Your kids are fat. You eat too many takeaways. Because you’re lazy. And you don’t let your children ride bikes down by the river you fucking monster.”

5. Why are we rejoicing in the punishment of children?

We hit in anger. This is what humans do. There’s a reason why we claim differently. Deep down, I think it’s because we know it’s very wrong.

The commentary around this particular style of “discipline” or “punishment” of children was as it usually is, with lots of good on her! Kids today need to be disciplined! You could easily create a bingo card: “feral children”, “kids these days”, “no punishment”, “about time they got put in their place”, “no boundaries”, “in my day”.

There’s something about western society that really rejoices in the humiliation, shaming and belittlinging of children. We have videos of children being forced to hold signs saying they’re awful kids and they get hundreds of thousands of views. A dad drives over his son’s Xbox. A mum reads out texts from her daughter’s phone. Breaking things that are precious to children is a popular way to “teach them a lesson” on Youtube – and it’s apparently hilarious.

And people will argue that smashing a child’s iPad isn’t a big deal.

6. ‘Harden up’ is precisely the wrong message to send our children

In a recent article about a devastating spate of suicides I didn’t expect to see a DHB chief executive push the quite frankly bizarre opinion that suicide is just a problem for “kids these days”.

It might be why he’s interim chief executive and not the actual chief executive – although the bar couldn’t be a lot lower there – but Derek Wright had some quite frankly batshit views. Imagine being asked for comment on a story about beautiful young lives being snuffed out by suicide and actually saying the words: “There’s no competitive sports at school. No one wins, so everybody gets a medal in the running race, well real life’s not like that.”

Yes, he literally just linked youth suicide and self harm on not getting a medal in a running race. Despite the fact that children do get medals in running races. And we still have a massive suicide problem in this country.

7. What is happening to the beloved Te Papa Colossal Squid?

As part of Te Papa’s renewal of its permanent exhibitions, the natural history spaces on Level 2 will close after Easter for redevelopment. Yes, close. The best bit of the museum will close (don’t tell me the horrible giant corpses is the best bit. It isn’t. And yes, I know I will be kicked out of Wellington for speaking against our lord and saviour Peter Jackson* but it’s true OK).

Mountains to Sea, the home of Giant Squid and Awesome Forces, the home of the Edgecumbe Earthquake House will close on Monday 2 April at 6pm. I was told, through the press release, that “an exciting new nature zone will open in 2019”.

2019???

My child can’t even wait for tomorrow let alone 2019. I had to know more. Especially since I got a text from another mum who also got the press release and all the text said was:

“They better not get rid of that fucking squid”. 

8. Santa is real, and she’s pissed off

“A debate has erupted over the gender of Santa. ‘Can Santa be a woman?’ ask many, many men who have never bought a Christmas present in their lives. Or if they have it was bought at a petrol station on their way home from work on December 24th because what woman doesn’t want some paua dolphin tourist earrings chucked inside a pie bag with a note that says ‘mum’ on it?

These men think a man from the North Pole is racing around the world delivering presents – somehow oblivious to their wives, girlfriends, and mothers sweating and suffering for hours at night decorating, baking, and wrapping the presents they’ve painstakingly bought all year.

You know what all the women doing all the emotional labour at Christmas think about you insisting Santa is a man? Fucking nothing – they’re too busy searching TradeMe for the cheapest second-hand Paw Patrol set that looks new but isn’t new because a new one costs a week’s wages to think about why you’re spending so much energy talking about this when you could be PUTTING TOGETHER THE GOD DAMN BIKE Mum ordered online.”

9. How to give birth – the definitive guide

“There’s so much advice out there about how to have the perfect birth. There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of books; many, many blogs by experts whose qualifications are ‘gave birth once’ or ‘haven’t given birth but have lots of opinions’ or my personal favourite genre, ‘haven’t given birth but I know what I would do and it starts with not eating anything but kale’.

So I thought I would write the definitive guide. The one guide to rule all birthing guides. The one stop shop for advice on how to get a baby from your inside to your outside. This guide will cover everything from hypno-birthing to god-no-birthing to ‘I will punch you in your fucking face if you touch me again’ birthing.

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I know, I have given birth at least twice that I know of. And I have the expert qualification of accidentally being someone who writes about parenting. Trust me. Trust ya mama Emily.

I’m going to break this down for you – the all-important stuff. All the other advice is bad. Here is non-contradictory, sensible, real advice. Deep breaths, in and out, let’s go.”

10. Inside the secret world of co-sleepers

“Finally I see an exhausted mum. She looks on the verge of tears. I knew it! The sleep consultants, the grandmothers, that woman at the bus stop who told me my son was too big to carry, the journalists in need of a story that will rark up Facebook, the bloggers getting 20% commission on sleep consultant referrals – they were all right! Co-sleeping mums are depressed!

I am euphoric as I approach her. She’s unhappy, thus proving every point ever made about how co-sleepers are nuts. She explains she has PND. But, unexpectedly, she doesn’t feel that it’s due to co-sleeping. She feels it’s due to a combination of things – isolation, her child having reflux, her GP not listening to her when she tells him every day feels like walking through sludge. Co-sleeping is a relief, she tells me. She sleeps by her baby and it’s one of the few times she doesn’t feel like she’s failing. That is until she opens Facebook and sees the endless judgement about her choice. She says it’s the one choice that doesn’t feel like the wrong one. But if it’s right, how come everyone keeps telling her it’s wrong?”


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