September 2017

Memoirs

A Beginning by Jody E

The news - There are some phone calls that are never going to be easy. And so it was I found myself talking to my mother, one Wednesday, at lunch time, eleven months ago...

A big year by D L Caine

This has been the biggest year of my life… bigger than leaving my whole existence in the UK a half-world behind and bigger than becoming a wife. This was Oliver's year...

A body part by any other name by Elissa Moss

Four-year-old Jack leaped off his bed, still naked and slippery wet from a bath. “I’ve got a penis!” he shouted, and crash-landed on the floor. “That’s right, darling,” I said, wrestling with my daughter Annie and her nappy...

A day in the life of a not-so-yummy Mummy by Lydia Darcy

As I crawl back into bed after breastfeeding my seven-month old cherub Greta, I glance at the clock. 5.25 am. I can see early morning daylight through the curtains and straining my ears I can hear the heavy breathing of two year old Nedand his three year old brother Finn...

A dragon’s back by Zena Shapter

Sunlight dapples the floorboards beside me, allows me a distraction from writing this. Other mums need to know. But in my telling, I’ll have to admit that for my son’s first four years, I went against my instincts, let friends and family persuade me that he was ‘normal’, that “all kids do that”...

A generation apart by Kerstin Lindros

“Are you sure you want to hear this now?” I ask. All the women declare, yes, they are. So I begin my story. Once I had arrived at the hospital I wished I had shown more restraint. It was forbidden after six months...

A gift of love by Glynis Scrivens

I was born in an era when every young girl owned two dolls – a baby doll and a bride doll. I still remember discovering my bride doll in my Santa sack early one Christmas morning...

A lesson learnt by Kylie Lehman

Together with our twin boys starting school this year, I also ventured back into the hectic world of the ‘working mother’. I was scraping the bottom of the confidence barrel during my initial return to the workforce, after living the life of a contented ‘stay at home’ mum for quite some time...

A letter to Emily by Kylie Ladd

I’m on the plane now, and I still can’t stop thinking about you. You, tiny, 12 days old, asleep in your mother’s arms as I said my goodbyes and blinked back tears. Emily. My niece...

A Little Space to Grow by Dan Rose

“Daddy? Can you get me a zippie for this?” The whisper startled me awake. My 6-year-old son was at my bedside. Again. It was 2:22 in the morning, and by the dim glow of my alarm clock radio I could see that he was holding one of his tiny baby teeth...

A little scar by Peter Court

It was more than 30 years later that I found out my life meant something to a stranger. In a cramped little room, the walls dripping with cables and boxes of glittering electronica...

A marathon not a sprint by Nerida Wayland

Having another baby is like riding a bike. This is what I told myself as I embarked upon pregnancy number three. Today, six weeks after my third boy was born I’ve arrived at a few conclusions...

A matter of choice by Linden George

“I want a natural birth,” I said to the obstetrician, Dr M. She sighed, peering sternly at me through her moon-like glasses. “You are going to have to accept,” she said coldly, “that if your scar ruptures it will be catastrophic, and we probably won’t be able to save your baby...”

A more fulfilled life by Kenny Williams

I want to say upfront that I love my son. We make a great team. He is three years old, and so much fun to be around...

A Mother’s Tears by Nicole Wyborn

Waking up on Wednesday 3 October 2007 was like any other day, but now I had to wear a pad, the discharge was thick and I did not want it showing through my clothes...

A new kind of perfect by Evelyn Lewin

After six years of medical school, one year of internship and two years of being a resident doctor I stood draped in a blue gown, my brow sweaty with effort, and smiled as I heard the newborn cries of the baby I was holding...

A perfect square by Rosalind McKenzie

My head doesn’t feel big enough. There isn’t room for this thought. It only feels big enough to look out of the lounge room window and see the afternoon sun making lacework out of the trees and know that it is beautiful...

A second child first by Beth Jackson

They already had a child, a daughter. She was four and he was not her biological father. “He’s not your sperm Dad,” is what they told her, in a way that was both bold and technical – rather like their daughter who would grow to become a chemical engineer...

A spark in the fog by J.G. Anton

I will tell you the truth. When I first met my daughter, I wasn’t sure if I loved her. I only remember the sudden quiet of the operating theatre, the nurse at my side explaining the morphine drip..

A special discovery by Kayleen Bell

The day I discovered a book on teaching sign language to babies, precious treasure was unearthed. The book taught parents how to use sign language to communicate with their hearing babies...

A special place for Jonathon by Jesyka Star

We walked them out the front with Jonathon clinging to my neck, his face buried into the side of mine. “Say bye Jonathon,” I coaxed but he refused to look. We waved goodbye and came inside with a sense of gloom as to what would happen now...

A story of triumph and survival by Carol Clifford

My daughter is fourteen now and I am fifty. That we have made it this far is a minor miracle but we go from strength to strength every day...

A tent and the marshmallow by Amber Thorley

Camping! It came to us at the pub, one cold Sunday over a couple of beers - where most of our ideas started. Paul and I had been trying to fall pregnant and as the months went by, I was increasingly nervous...

A whole world away by Lucy Seip

The departure hall at Heathrow Airport is normally a joyous place. Families off on their annual summer holidays, students travelling to far flung places in the hope of enlightenment, OAPs spending their children’s inheritances on extravagant vacations...

A woman’s wasteland – Part  I, The Journey Begins by Wendy M. Anderson

Barren. Infertile. Sounds like a wasteland, doesn’t it? Like a desert. Well that’s how it feels when you’re there. When you yearn for a baby that doesn’t exist, it’s not like being a six-year-old...

A woman’s wasteland– Part II, Out of the Desert by Wendy M. Anderson

ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) always strikes me as such an ironic acronym for something which can be so utterly clinical, so totally without soul...

Adopting from Romania (Extract from ‘How many planes to get me?’) by Jonquil Graham

By the time the plane taxied into Bucharest I had a raging headache. The journey had taken two days with long stopovers in Singapore, Bombay and Zurich, and now I felt nauseated and my legs were swollen...

Alison’s story about Leah, born April 1988 by Alison Miller

December 1982: I leave teaching and bored, go to the library. The first biography I read is about an angelic boy with autism. He has a haunting beauty and I can't get him out of my thoughts...

All the colours of the rainbow by Anne-marie Taplin

I never gave much thought to what life would be like with children. My life as a thirty-something professional woman was so far removed from the life I live now, that the breadth and depth of the transformation would have been unfathomable...

An aunt’s view by Julie Titterington

My family recently experienced a change in the core of our identity, in the way we think about ourselves, in the way we perceive the world...

An overdue insight by Rebecca Sadler

As the birth of my fourth child rapidly approaches I find myself considering all sorts of maternal issues to do with both myself and my mother. In particular how I have only recently settled myself into the role of mother...

An unexpected journey by Daniel Gallina

I think that deep down I always knew that I wanted to have children one day, but like so many others it was not something I thought much about until my wife Susan and I decided we would start trying...

And so I rest by Kate Rogers

I sigh, staring at you. “Sleep” they tell me, “Rest while you can”, but my mind is whirring at the same rate as your beautiful, perfect heartbeat. So I stare – you are so perfect, and I feel on top of the world...

Antipeter Pan by Glenn Bresciani

I’ve always wondered what would happen if Peter Pan and the Antipeter Pan should meet. Would they annihilate each other, just like Matter and Antimatter will if ever they collide...

As if clouds were painted on the ceiling by Cameron Fuller

Blueberriesblueberries. That’s what they are like, I thought, trying to find an image to match the deep beauty of her eyes. In time, they would become hazelnut brown, but at that moment they were dusky spheres, so compelling and mesmerising that I almost forgot we were in intensive care...

Attachment parenting is for non-working moms by Olga Prominski

Attachment parenting surely led me down the wrong path. Freshly pregnant, I was innocently reading about different ways to parent, wondering why it all left me so indifferent...

Awake by Brooke May

This is not what I expected. The other mothers said I would forget once I was holding you safe in my arms. But I cannot forget. I am still shaken, cold and shocked by your birth...

Awkward by Emily Gale

It’s Venus-hot on this average weekday in suburbia. You’re frying. Everything about you seems more hefty, more pallid, more sweaty than usual and you can’t get away with, “I’ve just had a baby” anymore...

Babbles of a shop-a-holic by Khadijah Ali-Coleman

Growing up in the late eighties and early nineties, I rarely visited a mall nor experienced the teen shopping frenzy that seemed to exist among many of my peers as a routine symptom of adolescence...

Baby within by Cate Peters

Holding my gorgeous baby girl, I gaze at her in wonder and remember how close she came to never being. I take the time to cuddle and love her, and just watch her, asleep in my arms, with all her myriad noises and fleeting moments of emotion...

Bawling, bruised, bemused and beautiful by Chris Brown

Friday night, 7.30pm, we’re eating average pizza at a joint on Brunswick Street, Melbourne when my partner informs me that she can feel ‘something’ downstairs (my words)...

BBQ-baby-babble-guy by Jason Johnston

You know that guy at the barbeque who just won’t shut up about his kids? It doesn’t matter what you talk about he is somehow able to relate it back to little Michael’s first day at kindergarten or darling Janie’s freakish gift for finger paint...

Be careful what you wish for by Paige Turner

'It's just the routine ultrasound I have to have at 20 weeks,' I told my husband that morning. 'No need for you to come.' As if I needed him to hold my hand...

Becoming Mum by Alison Leader

Another parent nestles into the well-worn seat and tells me she can't remember life before becoming ‘mum’. I nod in agreement...

Best for baby… but not for me by Kathy Szaters

I have a confession to make: I didn’t like breastfeeding. Somehow, that bold statement feels like a shameful admission, and some of the old guilt has returned...

Birth by Jessica Frost

I’m not aware of much at all – just my body and the being within me, straining, urging to get out. And the pain...

Bittersweet by Kate Wattus

Thanks to my in-laws, Thursday night is date night. My beloved and I have a favourite little Italian place that serves the best gnocchi in the world and has the tables squeezed so close together it would be impossible to take the kids...

Breastfeeding by Kathi Blackwell

Everything I do is always ‘by the book’. I like to plan each aspect of my life by researching exactly what is supposed to be done. We are expecting our first child and the path is perfectly planned out according to my extensive pregnancy and infant care library...

Breast feeding by Lucia Fudge

Who knew it would be so hard? Every article I read on breast feeding was accompanied by a photo of a zen mother, meditating on world peace while her child suckled...

Bringing the baby (or taking the tot) to San Francisco
by Jane Turner Goldsmith

If you have a partner who is always off to conferences in thrilling locations, why not accompany him to the next one – and bring the baby. I wasn’t going to be left out this time, not even with our fourteen month-old, and not when San Francisco was the venue...

Broken Nights, Full Heart by Ken Williams

I have never really understood the expression ‘To sleep like a baby’. I’ve heard people using this expression to describe their own sleep. When asked how they’ve slept? They’ve replied, “Slept like a baby.”...

‘Bye now by Deborah J Smith

I stood near security at Newark Airport, watching his brown hair bob past the inspectors as he continued around the corner towards duty-free. My son Conor was off to Costa Rica for a term abroad...

Camping for Mother’s Day by Lori Kirtley

My husband decided that we needed to go camping on the Saturday night before Mother’s Day. Seeing how I just love sleeping outside in the cold, on the ground, with snakes potentially crawling nearby and mosquitos feasting on my blood—this was a great Mother’s Day gift...

Change your attitude – set the tone by Sharon C. McGonigal

Shortly after I was separated, my oldest child, aged 12, said to me, “Why are you always yelling at us when we come home from Dad’s...

Charlotte by Nicole Hext

Any first time mum would be desperate to see their newborn child, so why could I not bring myself to see daughter? I was petrified of what I would see...

Chat story by Vilnis Muiznieks

Sylvia and I laugh as we study Rudi’s wedding photo on the wall. Four years ago, a family friend told us that the only way our shy, computer-obsessed son would ever find a girl was if she jumped out of his monitor...

Cherish by Kate Rotherham

The paediatric surgeon has quickly located another identical case on her laptop and is showing me photographs, sketching anatomical diagrams and finalising paperwork for surgery later in the week... 

Children by Amber Whitman

One of my biggest regrets is not having more children. It hits me when I see other people with children around the city. I always thought that I would get married and have a big family. Unfortunately, that did not happen...

Choose your own adventure by Penni Drysdale

It’s a multiple choice question to go into the draw to win something amazing, rewarding and life changing: “If you could choose your own adventure, what would it be?”

Confessions of the MOB (mother of boys) by Kylie Kaden

Family dinners with young kids are over-rated. There. I said it. Think about it. Having almost half a dozen people with competing interests and varied tastes, elbow distance apart...

Conversations with Gran by Ro Canterbury

“I’d hate to be old,” she said with just a touch of sympathy. I was picking up my granddaughter who was going to spend the day with us. “Why?” “Because you can’t run.” “It’s not so bad. There are really good things about being old.”

Cracked by Kylie Orr

“Why are there cracks in your face, Mummy?” my three-year-old asks watching me apply my makeup. I stare at the image looking back from the mirror. This woman, with her crumpled appearance, is unrecognisable...

Daisy’s trip to hospital by Kristi Robertson

It was the most horrible moment of the long, drawn-out day. “Quick, this little boy needs to be with his mother!”...

Daddy’s first bottle by Simon Kennedy

Sam’s murmuring wakes me from a soon forgotten dream. Intelligible words are a few months away but his vocalisations have recently grown in variety and regularity. And insistence. Not surprising...

Dear Mum by Suvi Mahonen

I’m sorry I made you cry. I’ll never forget seeing you standing under the streetlight at the end of Carols by Candlelight, wiping your eyes, while the crowds streamed around you as they walked away from the beach...

 

December is for crying by Lisa Simone

I couldn’t control my sobbing. Weeks before Christmas, I was on the floor of my bedroom closet crying harder than I had ever before. Although he was there, my husband was unable to console me...

Do nothing– caring for foster children by Glenn Bresciani

What does my wife hate the most about working at Kmart? No, not the uniform – it’s those horrid children, shouting profanities as they chase each other down the aisle, knocking clothes off racks...

 

Eclipse by Anne-marie Taplin

I don’t know where the rage comes from. Or perhaps I do but I don’t want to admit it. It bubbles and seethes, spitting from between my teeth and strikes those I love most...

Enough fun by Jacinta Nandi

We all know that the working-class don’t breastfeed. (To quote Katie Price, it’s a bit unnatural, innit.) The big question is why. And the answer is pretty simple: it’s because breastfeeding can give you orgasms...

Every age and stage gets better and better... by Fiona O’Dowd

A few years ago, during my carefree pre-school-mummy days, I found myself at a park with the kids having yet another fabulous playtime... almost a daily event back then...

Finding the courage to trust your gut by Suvi Mahonen

Have you ever wanted to run away from a fearful situation but you know you can’t? That was pretty much what happened to me when I was forced to restrain my two-year-old daughter while the anaesthetist put her to sleep...

First baby in Wales by Katie Leeks

It’s been really hard adjusting to life in a tiny village. We’ve been here almost eight months now. I am used to half familiar faces knowing my name, my baby’s name, my life history...

First born by Kirstin Watson

She measures out her life with nappy changes, nappy changes and breast feeds. In a haze she goes through the motions of her life, broken up into three hour intervals through both day and night...

Five signs by Aleesha Price

Five weeks ago I was the girl who had it all: great job, amazing hair, dream marriage and a perfect pregnancy. I was the girl at the party that everyone wanted to be...

Flame of hope by Larissa Patton

We were parents at last – but parents of a tiny creature whisked away at birth, put in a plastic box and given a fifty per cent chance of survival...

Free fall by Kate Rotherham

Under a watchful summer moon of heavy silver, I birthed her. I stood at the lip of the plane, loosened my grip on everything that was familiar, and fell fast...

Friends wanted by Suvi Mahonen

My iPhone buzzed. I looked down at the text message on the glowing blue screen. The words took a moment to sink in. It was like being back in primary school and discovering you hadn’t been invited to your friend’s sleepover, only worse...

Froth and bubble by L.P. McMahon

I close the front door behind us. I notice it is off square; another problem to fix. They are mounting. But the kids have been awake since daybreak, and we all need to get out...

Gender Price Tag by Glenn Bresciani

For six years, my home has been a foster home to teenagers in foster care. During those six years, my partner has only ever wanted to care for a girl of preschooler age...

Giving birth on my own by Marion Lucy

I was alone when I gave birth to my second child. It wasn’t the way I planned it, nor would it be a birth I’d advocate due to the risk factors, but looking back on it, knowing it turned out well, I am so deeply grateful for the experience...

Giving childbirth respect by Kathy Kim

I’ve come home from the hospital after giving birth to our second child. She is a beautiful little baby girl and she has given my husband and me more joy than we could ever possibly imagine...

Good advice by Amanda Taylor

She clings to them like life rafts – a scrap of conversation in the grocery store, a snatched phone call with a friend, a suggestion from a stranger in the street bringing fresh hope that tomorrow might be different...

Going to pieces by Daniel Simpson

A friend of mine is currently sitting on the sidelines – as all men do – as his wife sets about the important business of carrying their first child. He confided that he is trying not to get too excited...

Happy World by Suzanne Donisthorpe

My 10-year-old daughter Grace has been cleaning out her bedroom. She calls it Happy World and its flag is a painted, smiling sun, wearing shades. On every horizontal surface there are tigers, dolls, bears, gollywogs, fairies...

Having faith in my kids by Jean Flynn

My daughter brought home a note from school last week. It said that there would be a liturgy this coming Friday, and as she was one of the students doing a reading I would be saved a seat in the front pew of the church...

Heartbeat by Jean Hudson

I’m teaching 13-year-old school boys sailing. I keep looking at them wondering if my son would have looked like any of them. Would he have had blond hair, freckles and brown eyes like my daughter and I...

Hello & Goodbye by Lauren Matheson

“I think the baby is coming!” I tell the midwife as I feel the pressure deep within me begin to descend. I am squatting, holding onto my husband, and before the midwife crosses the room our beautiful daughter comes into the world...

Hey, there baby – who are you? by Jacinta Nandi

My darling, gorgeous boy: I’m sorry, I don’t want to make you puke, but he really is gorgeous, delicious, a delicious pumpkin of a boy. Smug, glorious, radiant...

Holding my breath by Leisa Stathis

The mantle of ‘mother’ has never sat easily upon me. Whilst the entry of my children into my life has filled me with moments of breathtaking joy and contentment, I cannot say that the transition of my identity, my definition of self from who I was pre-children to that of mother was an easy one...

Holding my hand by Kerry Osborne

Little chubby fingers are entwined in my shaking hand as we walk along the nursing home corridor. Cameron walks beside me, guiding me along with his wobbly steps, and Daniel dashes ahead...

Home alone by Margaret Koch

Pigs were flying, the moon was blue and the gods were smiling on me. An until-then unheard-of combination of an interstate business trip, scout camp and birthday party sleepover...

Honouring Hamish by Rachel Noble

From the moment the obstetrician placed my fourth child on my chest, I was entranced. The light in his newborn soul was already burning bright and as his mother I felt nothing but utter amazement...

Hope has no expiry by Karen Andrews

After circling down into the hospital car park, I was now in its very depths. Turning off the ignition, I stared through the windscreen. A tangle of pipes hung suspended overhead...

Hope in our hearts by Sally Heppleston

Before the pregnancy test was dry, there was already hope. It was almost Christmas 2007 and we decided to keep our secret to ourselves. Christmas Day seemed like a good day to share our magical news...

How much time? by Sharon McGonigal

Recently my fourteen-year-old daughter said, “You spend all your time with your boyfriend.” I’m a bad mother, flashed above me like a neon sign. Usually I heard from the teenagers, ‘don’t hang around me; it’s not cool’...

How we mould our little ones by Natalie Fanti

I didn’t like my daughter much as a baby. My husband and I were very excited when we found out after nearly two years of trying for a baby that I was pregnant and we were finally going to have the baby we had dreamed of...

How would you like your eggs? by Debora Krizak

I was emptying out my bedside drawers the other day when I stumbled across a half-empty box of oral contraceptives. It seemed like a lifetime ago that I had taken them and so I flipped the packet around to have a look at the issue date. 2001...

I am Chloe’s Mum by Catriona Carver

One year of motherhood later I emerge, a real mother, not just a pretend one or a practicing one. The forever bit has now sunk in. I wear clean but un-ironed clothes and half-done ponytail along with banana smeared sunglasses and phone...

I heard you the first time by Tom Migdale

“I want the RAZR,” she whined. “The what?” I asked her. “The RAZR,” she said, determined to grab my attention. For three months, phone conversations with my daughter, Marlee, had centered around a brand new cell phone I knew nothing about...

I love you, mate by Tony Duggan

I love you. I’ve never said that to another male before; I’m not usually that kind of guy. It’s a tiny bit embarrassing. But ever since we met I knew we were going to be best friends...

I saw your heartbeat, baby by Angela Findlay

It’s Christmas morning. We’ve been up since six a.m. It’s been exciting. The children all love their gifts. Charlie, two, is causing trouble as he tries to demolish everyone else’s presents before they get a chance...

I spy with my little eye by Maribel Steel

In our local playground, my four-year-old son scrambles from one activity to the next. He knows I can”t see him properly, my vision faded years before he was born but he still calls out, “Watch me, Mummy. I’m over here...

I’m not telling by Ro Canterbury

The socialization process on us as children is powerful. Perhaps one of the most powerful is toilet training. As a teacher, I discovered that there lay in nearly all children deep dark secrets relating to failures in their early attempts to control their bladders...

IHOP by Finley Pines

“Can we go to IHOP today?” Finn asks me. “We’ll see, buddy. Maybe after swim lessons,” I say. IHOP is a twenty minute drive across town. In contrast, Bangkok West, which shares a parking lot with Imperial Courts, offers a buffet for $6.95...

Independence by Trish Roberts

“Mom. Can we please go to the playground?” asks my eight-year-old daughter, Lucy. “Not right now, honey. I have a few things to finish up around the house and if I get them done we will have time to go before we have to run a few errands,” I reply...

Instinct by Joyce Eade

Breathe in, “Zoe, you need to get dressed, please. I have to drop you off at Oma and Opa’s before I go to work.” Silence. Breathe out. “Zoe. Zoe.” Does she listen to me at all? “ZOE!” “Whaaat Mama...

It never rains by Juliet Gorrie

Have you ever had one of those days, when you wonder where it all went wrong? Was it the moment that you walked out to the car in a panic to get to work on time, only to discover that you left the driver’s window open all night...

It’s a girl thing by Michelle Ham

For a while there I had visions of my daughter and I being just like The Gilmore Girls, Rory and Lorelai. I mean, I didn’t fantasise that I might become a single mother running an inn and kissing my daughter’s teachers or anything like that...

Just the two of us by Sonja Wigney

Beneath the day-to-day rituals of feeding, coping with tiredness, rinsing out pooey nappies, 5.30pm cranky time and thinking up new ways to amuse, there is something more wondrous happening...

Kathleen Julia by Dianne Bates

Ginger hair. That’s all I saw as I lay in the hospital bed shortly after giving birth, looking to where my new daughter lay in the room opposite. We named her Kathleen Julia for my mother and my niece...

Katy’s birth day by Lynette Washington

Each year I mark my daughter’s birthday with feelings of guilt, regret and pain. As much as I try to pretend I am fine I still become grey in the days leading up and ghostly on the day itself...

Killer whale by Ashley Pittaway

I feel like a whale. A typical comment from a woman who is 37 ½ weeks pregnant, you say? Not quite. I am not referring to the fact that I feel huge. Don’t get me wrong, I feel huge...

Kindergarten misfit by Geraldine Moore

It was hard to know which of us was most looking forward to Stephen’s first day at kindergarten; himself or me. “I’m going to kindergarten!” he announced to anyone who telephoned us or visited...

Lessons learned in a public toilet by Melanie O'Connell

I’ve come to realise that the greatest lessons we learn in life are usually the ones that creep up on us. We find ourselves in the midst of a problem or a situation and a little light bulb switches on...

Letter to a pregnant friend by Kate Fasch

Today a long-time friend phoned to tell me her and her husband are expecting a little boy in May. She mentioned she’d been receiving the usual clichéd responses from people when she told them the happy news – of the “make sure you enjoy your sleep while you can” and “your life is never going to be the same again” variety...

Letting go by Wendy M Anderson

Suddenly, my big tall boy, who’s always looked so much older than his few years, had shrunk. I watched him through the blurred filter of tears I knew he mustn’t see...

Letting go by Louise Hartley

“No guns,” I said. “Guns are bad.” I always knew what kind of parent I would be. I would have standards. There is nothing worse than a badly behaved child, and it all starts when the parents fail to stand firm...

Letting hope back in by Melanie Smith

The day has come. Ultrasound day. The wait has been intolerable. My mind revisits my childbearing journey – the joy of my first child’s birth, miscarriage, stillbirth...

Lewis: Our warrior by Ingrid Moore

They told us our son Lewis would ‘declare himself’ at birth – whether he was a survivor, or not. When he was born, I smiled for the first time after crying most of last 20 weeks of the pregnancy. My husband cried for the first time...

Liam by Gemma Hawdon

Not long after my boy entered the world he turned blue, a grey-blue like a raw shrimp. I was cradling his tiny form in my arm and marvelling at his small, swollen eyes when his face went stiff and I watched the life drain away from him...

Life cycles by Cassandra Charlton

They are intertwined with my earliest childhood memories. My grandparents, great aunt and uncle were always there. Smiling at me, dangling a teddy bear, gazing adoringly at the very first child of the family’s next generation...

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of a good time by Tom Migdale

“Are you done?” I asked her from the kitchen. “Marlee, answer me, are you done?” My daughter, Marlee stood in front of the full length mirror, brushing and flipping her hair from side to side, ignoring me...

Life with autism by Tanya Nielson

I never dreamt I would grow up to be the sort of woman who cries at the drop of a hat. I always despised women who rode a huge rambling rollercoaster of emotion...

Lost but never forgotten by Timothy Law

Who are the children that never get born? Who are the ones who are born but are gone before they ever get a chance to live, to learn or to grow? I am a father of three beautiful children, inquisitive, intelligent and each one their own character...

Louie – A story based on personal experience with miscarriage by Tania Leigh

I think I hear the boys calling me. Seems strange because after nine weeks in here I’ve become quite comfortable and thought I was going to stick. I’ve grown quite a bit lately too...

Love grows by Wendy Allott

The tiles are painfully cold under my knees. I slump against them and rest my head in my trembling hands. Another wave of nausea surges up from my feet and I heave myself forward, gripping the edge of the toilet with white knuckle strength...

Lovely by Glenn Bresciani

The cat lover who hates cats, that’s what you’d be thinking if you spent a day with my wife and our pet cat. The cat meowed incessantly. My wife yelled at it to shut-up. The cat scratched the furniture. My wife’s rage could boil pasta...

Loving Liam by Emma Vlaski

The longing to join the exclusive club of mothers is a strange phenomena and one I entered into without any real awareness of what I was signing up for...

Lunch by Jane McGready

I’m late but I’m early, my kids and I. I spot another teacher at an outside table and we join her. Soon the others come. Toddlers and babies are long enough ago for them to welcome kids in a coffee shop; it’s a novelty even...

Lying on a beach towel by Libby Sommer

Sammy said she doesn’t like kisses. No kisses and no hugs. She would roll on the floor and wrestle with and jump on top of her dog in between the uncontrollable storms full of accusations that swept us all up like a tsunami above her childhood... 

May contain traces of fear by Haley Williams

The winter chill was fading, buds eager to pop colours of spring, when her olive skin turned pink and white. She was about three months old...

Memoir by Bianca Cooper

I was never one of those women with an innate need to have children but I met and married a man who had always wanted children so I knew that one day I would become a mother.  

Memoir by Cath Murphy

The one thing that all the self-help books and all the well-meaning people in the world don’t tell you about childbirth and parenting, is how traumatic it is...

Message to self by Selina Spowart

“Liam has a neurological disorder called Tuberous Sclerosis. It’s a lifelong condition. There is no cure and no treatment...”

Miraculously my own by Meredith Grant

I reach out and nervously embrace this precious gift. I wait for her cry; instead, her striking blue eyes take in every inch of me and our souls connect... 

Missing by Sharon Kernot

I dial Triple 0. This is the moment I have dreaded. This is the moment I have lived many times over in my imagination. I have seen it on the news, I have seen it in the newspapers and I have seen it on all those cop shows...

Mommy guilt by Rosieanne T. Dona

I expected the morning sickness, the cravings for strange food (even chalk), the tiredness and the bursting into tears at Panadol ads. What I didn’t expect was guilt...

Mommy-fication by K. Danielle Edwards

I can’t get a conversation I recently had with an associate of mine out of my mind. “Well, it’s all gonna change when the second child gets here,” she said...

Mornings by Miranda Harwood

It is 8.04am. I am doing the dishes while reciting today’s to do list. My eldest daughter is playing happily, her school uniform lying untouched next to her...

Mornings with kids by Alyson Hill 

My favourite brother-in-law, Ron, (OK, my only brother-in-law) was chatting with me the other day as he folded clean laundry off the sofa. He was bemoaning the fact that the ONE thing that I am really, really obsessive-compulsive about had not been included in my sister’s DNA...

Mother of all goodbyes by Kylie Orr

I push her on the swing, back and forth, back and forth. The creaking chains mirror my body complaining under the strain but persisting, determined to fulfil its role. I remember a day when pushing a swing was tedious...

Mother of an identity by Felicity Chapman

When did I start feeling like a mother? Was it the moment I stared, open-mouthed, at the positive pregnancy test? Was it that first Mothers Day that I proudly posed, babe in arms, at the camera...

Motherly love by Suzanne Sage

Becoming a mother is a life changing experience on many levels. When you hold your own child and are bursting with happiness you begin to understand just how much love your own mother has for you...

Mothers behaving badly by Leisa Stathis

Am I a bad mother if I admit that I don’t like children’s birthday parties? I can’t stand them. Hate them even. The appearance of a brightly coloured, child friendly invitation in my child’s day care pocket or my daughter’s school bag sends shivers down my spine, and they’re not shivers of excitement...

Mother’s mother by KJ Hannah Greenberg

That little one, of downy hair and milky breath, wrapped in a bunting, is not mine. Although I drip sporadic, happy tears when holding him to my chest, he did not emerge from my womb.

Moving day by Kylie Ladd

I never expected to cry when my first child started school but as the big day draws closer it’s becoming increasingly apparent that I will...

Moving house by Amanda Hardy

We’re moving house today, and I am trying to pack with a toddler. He’s past the toddling stage now, though. He’s a runner. “Come back here with my underwear!” I yell fruitlessly as he hurtles off, giggling...

Moving on by Kathy Kim

It’s time to leave home. I know it sounds like a silly thing for a 37-year old woman to say. Shouldn’t you have left home years ago?...

Moving on after a miscarriage by Erin Dym

There is blood dripping into the toilet. I watch, wide-eyed, as fifty-cent-sized blotches of deep red blood sink to the bottom of the ceramic bowl and slowly melt into the water. I am nine weeks pregnant...

Mulberry trees and garden wees by Kate Wattus

Before becoming a mum I lived in a fantasy world of manners and mores, where children ate their meals in the seated position at a table. Where children said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’...

Mum’s the word by Alyson Hill

There is an unwritten rule when one becomes a parent, that one must never, ever say out loud how much they may hate being a parent. I know, I’ve seen the expressions on peoples’ faces at Tupperware parties...

Musings on motherhood as a single parent by Anita Tavendale

I always thought I would be a good mum. Even a great mum. And, yes I have had those occasions where I’ve sat there in the later part of evening congratulating myself on ‘a job well done’...

Mussel man by Deborah Smith

My twelve-year old son, Conor, patiently walked around Rome all day in the pouring rain, sharing my umbrella or traveling like a sardine on the packed subway...

My best friend by Tessa Chirnside

My best friend and I have been through a lot together over the years. Our first-borns even enjoyed their first year of life together, being born only three months apart...

My boy and his daddy by Karin van Heerwaarden

The first suggestions of sunlight sneak through the gap between the curtains. Daddy is standing next to the cot willing its sleeping occupant to wake up. A light kiss on the cheek stirs the little man but not enough to release him from slumber...

My breastfeeding career by Deborah Craig

We fell in love with each other over breastfeeding, my daughter, Makela, and I. It happened during the many long hours we spent staring deep into each other’s eyes during feeding time...

My darkest day by Kylie Bishop

It was 14 December, 2004. I remember the day clearly, like it was just yesterday. I had been experiencing stomach pains overnight and was feeling very unwell. My fiancé found me sitting on the edge of the bed, sweating and in a lot of pain. It was a week early...

My darkest edges by Lyndal Edwards

At about half past midnight on a hot January night in 2009 I sat bolt upright in bed with chest pains. A golf ball was quickly forming in the middle of my chest...

 

My first child by S Lalor

My first child was born in May 2003. We named him Rusty. Not only did he have a playful and adorable personality early on, he was also quite the looker – beautiful blond hair and matching golden eyelashes...

My motherhood manifesto by Kathy Kim

I am really angry. I have come home from a visit to the doctor’s surgery with my firstborn, for his four-year-old check up. I am pleased that everything is going well for him, but the doctor’s attitude to motherhood has really floored me...

My own type of mother by Roxanne Brand

I waited a long time to become a mother, and thankfully, by the time I was ‘mentally’ ready, my time ‘physically’ hadn’t run out. Why did it take me so long to realise I did want to become a mother...

My Perfect Rosie by Amanda Clarke

Her fuzzy little head nuzzled closer to the warmth of my breast, intense eyes locked into mine. The doctor took her chubby arm and tapped the thread of veins in the nook...

My precious gift by Sandra Bulger

We were not trying for a child. I did not ever want to be in that position again. Yet I was. We did speak about termination in a ‘We’ll get it before it gets us sort of way’ but, in truth, my nature could not handle the consequences of that action..

My pregnancy story by Samantha Zivic

Let’s rewind back to 2008. It was in April of that year that my husband and I discovered we were about to embark on the wonderful journey of parenthood. Within the third month of trying I was elated to see those magical two burgundy lines appear on the home pregnancy test strip...

Myth, the point of the birth plan by Anna Spunde

I have always fancied myself as a writer, spending my youth penning epics of naive poetry that could nauseate even the steeliest stomach of the wildest romantic, but by far, the most imaginative work of fiction I have ever created is my seven-page birth plan...

Naming Rico by Jacinta Nandi

When you’re not pregnant, babies’ names all seem temptingly romantic: Isobel, you think, yeah, Isobel, or Patrick or Christian or even Isolde, Greta, Courtney, Sebastian. Juliane. Kate. Nina. Daniel. Rosa...

Networks by Kylie Ladd

My computer got me pregnant. Well, my husband helped out a little, but our beloved 18-month-old son is well and truly a product of the information age and the Internet has been an integral part of his short life to date...

New Years Eve by Kristy McCormick

It was New Years Eve 2008 when I thought that my whole world was about to come crashing down. My beautiful almost-four-year-old boy, on the verge of heading to pre-school...

Nimby by Helen Burnie

‘They’re putting a parole office next to the school. I’m scared of walking by myself. I want to go to a different school.’ My eleven-year old was greeting me after school one Friday. By Monday I had learned a lot about our town...

No, not today by Barbara Lawrence

“Tuesday ugh,” I groan preparing for the challenge from my two year old as we fight to get out the door to day care. “No! Mum, no. I want to stay here. I don’t want to go to day care. Don’t like it there,” he pouts, desperate for me to stay home and play with him...

No stork bites by Michelle Sibbons

It was in the early hours of 25 November 2001 when the midwife handed me Danielle, wrapped snugly in a blanket, only her face showing...

Off to school. Back to work by Ken Williams

It came out of nowhere. A giant green tree-like creature leapt out of the mashed potatoes and in to the grasp of my horrified son. “Whadda?” enquired 18-month-old Max. “Why, that’s broccoli,” I answered...

Of fairy dust and hope by Judie Litchfield

Here I lie in an unfamiliar bed, between sheets that announce my every move with a starchy crackle in the pre-dawn quiet. Bits of me are sore and sorry, but hey I’m content...no, euphoric!...

Oh, son by Richard L. Provencher

Angels are all around us. And without these helping hands from God, life would be much more difficult. It wasn’t so long ago, my wife and I hurried down long corridors of polished floors at London Psychiatric Hospital...

Once was lost by Cherri Ryan

I didn’t know that I was lost. It had never occurred to me. Early thirties, successful career, friends, married to a wonderful man – I had planned, studied, worked, worried and planned some more...

One child’s words by Merran Laver

The first English language word spoken by my son reflected his healthy appetite for food: Yum. Since then, I have been jotting down his increasingly complex utterances...

One less by Kate Rotherham

Our country hall is full. Excited kindy kids slide across the floorboards, parents compare the craziness of pre-Christmas schedules, and grandparents fan themselves with the program...

One moment in time by Kate Wise

We sat in the lilac room, with its dainty violet curtains, bemused by the matching flowery apron of the obstetrician. The sun was beginning to set on the outside world, the amber glow turning the room into a bluish hue...

One of these mums is not like the other… by Emma Robertson

Mention childcare and sooner or later someone asks what makes a real mother.
My mum was a real mother. She still is. More than that, she’s a real grandmother...

One of those days by Kate Rotherham

It had been – cue deep breath and big, tired sigh – one of those days. Those days. Where normally cheerful children are decidedly less so and normally wholesome mothers are thinking about alcohol by morning tea time...

One of those women by Joy N. Hensley

I was always one of those women who would never have a kid. I glared at little girls who cut the line in public restrooms. Why couldn't they hold it? I had to go, too... 

Only, not lonely by Johanna DeBiase

At a party recently, I ended up in a circle of mothers who were exclaiming their gratitude for being done with childbearing. They all had two children and their husbands had vasectomies...

Our boys by Jacinta Nandi

It’s my first ever World Cup not in England.

You can’t imagine what it’s like in England in the weeks leading up to the World Cup. They bring out every expert in the whole country, we’re talking vicars, doctors, brain surgeons, plastic surgeons, tree surgeons...

Out of the mouth of my babe by Miranda Flemming

“My cat died today and she’s in the ground turning into dirt!” Lachlan announced proudly at the cafe. He knelt on the chair; his green-grey eyes wide, rimmed with long dark lashes...

Out of the ruins by Frances McKay

My life was not meant to be like this. What’s happened to me? I was never meant to have a baby. Anyway babies never liked me, as soon as someone put one in my arms it cried. Me, a mother? Never! I had better things to do, like travel...

Outnumbered by Bonnie Nish

When I first got married I was so idealistic. I thought nothing of the idea of having six kids. After all a big family would be close and loving and helpful...

Paving the road to independence by Cate Peters

It was my turn next. My heart gave a little lurch, but I calmed myself enough to turn and give you, my nine-month-old baby, a kiss and a hug, to tell you I was having a big sleep and I’d see you when I woke up... 

Perfection by Edwina Howard

Throughout your late teens and early twenties the fear of falling pregnant is so great that you remain largely abstemious. You have a couple of ‘scares’ and thank your lucky stars when they amount to nothing...

Postpartum by Margaret Langdon

He sleeps. I do not try to touch him. I look at him. I look at long, dark lashes brushing a curvy cheek. I watch a chest rise and fall with whispery, baby breaths as light as magic...

Precious presents by Denise Hoggan

I have just finished telling my five-year-old granddaughter her bedtime birth story. She knows that I was there, and that I saw her on the ultra sound squirming and kicking, in her impatience to take on the world, just a few days before she was born...

Pretty and picked on by Khadijah Ali-Coleman

My daughter Khari is remarkably beautiful. At two years old, she knows how to flaunt her good looks too, poking her heart-shaped lips out and gazing out of her Bambi-big eyes angelically as she begs for something that’s been pulled out of her grasp...

Profundity by Rohan Wightman

“It’ll be the most profound moment in your life,” said the white-gowned doctor, his face hidden behind a mask. I was stunned to silence at the stupidity of his remark. The doors swung open and we were in the operating theatre...

Protector by Simone Milne

The first time she turns red, your husband blurts forcefully, “Get in the car.” You whisper, “Oh God, oh God,” through half sobs as you race her to hospital. The second time she turns red you run with her in your arms to the GP clinic next door...

Raising kids in China by Adam Benson

Raising kids is a difficult challenge but doing it in a culture completely different to one’s own is a very unique one indeed. Raising my Chinese-Australian boys Hugo (4 years) and Issac (1 year) in China has provided a lot of inspiring, challenging and sometimes bizarre memories...

East vs West – Raising kids in China (Part 2) by Adam Benson

Life as a parent can be difficult. It’s tiring, stressful, kills your social life and can be a big emotional and financial drain. It’s difficult when raising kids in one’s own culture but even more so in China...

Ready or not by Patricia Tan

Hot tears are streaming down my red and puffy face. I wipe them away with trembling hands. My husband pleads with me to tell him what’s wrong. The words fly out of my mouth before I can stop them...

Rhyme and reason by Lyric Mitchell

Life, a series of choices. We chose that I became pregnant. Lucky me. The end will be nigh in late summer, but the season stretches lazily ahead with promises of heat and high humidity which ultimately result in fat feet, low energy and pure exhaustion...

Sanyata’s first day in grade one by Maria Asther Bascuna-Creo

This morning Sanyata nudged me awake at 6.30am, saying “It’s morning time.” I begged for a few minutes more, mentally noting that the birds have not yet begun singing outside our bedroom window.

Schooldaze by Margaret McCaffrey

As a university Arts Graduate, I am looking forward to completing my final year of secondary school. That’s right! I am re-doing my senior years of schooling...

Secondary (in)fertility by K. Danielle Edwards

It wasn’t always this way. I remember being normal, unscalpeled, unscarred, mostly intact, as I had come into the world. But it all changed when I became part of a peculiar battalion of women-turned-mothers...

Self-reflection by Nikki Wight

It’s a quarter to ten in the morning. My little girl is dancing around the lounge to Hi-5. My little boy is asleep in his cot. Although I have been up since six, I still haven’t made it to the shower...

Shaking up the dream by Joo-Inn Chew

In the beginning there was me, and you were my ego-bump. You were a blank slate of dreams, my fantasy baby. You led me on a curvaceous journey rich with contented hormones and belly-gazing...

Shock waves by Trisha Helbers

He walked past the kitchen, past her. Sat down, heavy, on a sofa. I’ve done my fair share he said. Crossed arms. Feet up on the coffee table. The tidal wave of rage and hurt almost knocked her to the kitchen floor...

Silently vanished by Kylie Orr

They all looked the same. Like a penguin colony of black wetsuits bobbing amongst the waves. She was a tinier version of the rest, which made it more difficult to pick her out...

Sit up straight by Deborah J. Smith

One of the more interesting things you can do with your life is take a child on an overseas trip. It’s a real test of all you’ve accomplished as a parent...

Sitting on the ledge by Liwen W Ho

“Let’s go on the one that makes Mom go, ‘Wahhh!’” Ethan yelled to Chloe as they ran across the playground. I followed my kids and stopped abruptly when I saw the slide they were headed toward. This was not just any slide...

Skin to skin by Anne-marie Taplin

It all started with a dream. A dream that remains both profound and lucid even now, some six years after it came to me one wintry night. This dream changed my life forever...

Snapshot of Harry at 15 months by Anne-marie Taplin

Running on wobbly legs, my fledgling, my sweet smiling boy with your trusting grin from ear to ear. Your blond hair tousled in all directions, tickling your ears, soft against my neck as we hug...

Snapshot of Harry at 19 months by Anne-marie Taplin

Crinkly nose, eyes wide in shock and the ‘o’ mouth, Mr Lip and the howl, laughing eyes and grin from ear to ear… so many expressions! Our play-actor, mime artist, show pony...

Snapshot of Harry at 26 months by Anne-marie Taplin

My baby is almost grown up now! You are most definitely a toddler – striving for independence but not quite able to do things for yourself; desperate for attention and often clinging like a vine to Mummy’s legs...

Snorkeling with stingrays by Deva Shore

‘Come on, Mum,’ my daughter Rebecca moaned. ‘Just do it.’ ‘All right, I’m going, I’m going,’ I said. As I slipped into the sparkling, blue Caribbean water, a wave knocked me back towards Rebecca who’d followed me in. I hung onto the side of the boat as my feet grappled in the sand to find their footing...

So lonely by Vivienne Pearson

I am lonely, so lonely. I shouldn’t be lonely as my husband and my two young children surround me. My husband is caring, supportive and shares equally the care of our children and the work of our home...

Soapbox tumbles by Sabrina Agee Watt

Parenting is a journey. Some days it is like sipping champagne watching fireworks in Paris on New Year’s Eve. Other times it is more like cold dim sims in a Footscray milk bar on a Tuesday night...

Somebody please tell me what to do by Heidi Silberman

Pregnancy (breathe in), a time of being totally in tune with my body, (breathe out) of minute by minute self assessments (breathe in), of ‘this is how I feel now’. These notifications culminate in one day of labour: the intensified, exaggerated experience of self that declares “THIS IS HOW I FEEL NOW!”...

Someone else’s child by Glenn Bresciani

I am a foster carer who happened to overhear the end of a conversation about foster caring. “I’d be no good at foster care,” explained my sister-in-law to my wife. “I could never love someone else’s child.”...

Something we make by Kylie Ladd

I didn’t love my son when he was born. I didn’t love him by the evening of that first day either, or by the end of the week, or indeed for a good few months. He was a planned baby, a much-wanted baby, a settled, healthy, ‘good’ baby...

Split and broken by Erica Webb

The nurse’s voice is surprisingly chipper for two o’clock in the morning. “Don’t worry,” she reassures me, “babies are tough as old boots.” I thank her through my tears, my body still shaking with sobs...

Stepdog by Finley Pines

We bolt down the stairs like the Tasmanian Devil, a trail of mismatched socks and Cheerios in our wake. When we reach the minivan I strap in the first obstacle, the baby...

Sugar in warm milk by Karen Atkinson

The moment your eyes meet mine I know nothing will ever be the same. Falling is so terrifying. To love you so completely. The terror of seeing how it must feel if that is lost...

Sun in Cancer by Melissa Ferguson

I’m sitting a biochemistry exam. My pork-sausage fingers press the wrong buttons on my calculator. Crows fly down and peck a squealing monkey sitting on my shoulder. I’m dragged through water...

Surrendering to motherhood by Kathy Kim

It’s 2.36am. I am sitting in the dark, in the nursery, breast-feeding my baby. The night is still and all I can hear is the suck, suck of my baby on my breast...

Talkin’ to the sun by Tom Migdale

The subway car stood still. The doors opened. I kept reading. My daughter Marlee, in a trance from a song on her iPod, poked me. Stand clear of the closing doors. Ding. The doors closed. Screech...

Teen driving me crazy by Lynette Sheffield

The basis, the essence, the very core of being a parent is the eternal struggle between wanting to hug your child and wanting to pound his or her ass...

That foot in my back by Ken Williams

“That’s it!” I shouted. “I’m not taking this anymore. I’m reclaiming my garage! My telly! And I’m taking my life back!” It was early, I hadn’t had a first cup of coffee and I had to let it out...

That soft, fleshy spot by Melanie Cheng

He weighs less than a 10-cent coin. He measures three centimetres, about the size of a large bull ant, from his head to his half-formed toes. He has a functioning brain, heart, liver and kidneys and ten tiny fingernails like grains of salt...

The arrival by Katie Leeks

It begins with a twinge. You feel it deep down in your belly, in that secret space that harbours hopes and holds tight your strongest desires. Then there’s the flutter in your heart...

The Banana Experiment by Joo-Inn Chew

I lean against the space exhibit, weary as Dunlop. Another night of three-hourly feeds, another morning of toddler dramas. I am new to juggling two, and I feel like a dropped ball...

The brutal truth about the third child: The first birthday party by Shannon Meyerkort

First Baby: For your first child, you start thinking about their birthday party from the moment your newborn is handed to you. This will be the type of party lifestyle magazines write about...

The club by Irena Sprey

“Join the club,” said a voice from behind as I was lamenting to another bleary-eyed parent about a sleepless night. We were in the tea room of the Oncology ward of Westmead Children’s Hospital...

The compro-mum by Marie McMillan

Will she love me, love me not...... I agonised, as I confirmed with my employer that I would, indeed, be returning to the work-force, full-time and permanently...

The curse by Jennifer Varela

My mother cursed me. She pointed at me, summoned all her strength, and hurled the most heinous words she could summon straight into my little five-year-old eyes...

The delicate art of sleeping by K. Bannerman

I have wandered along the Great Wall of China, I have plumbed the depths of caves deep in the Pyrenees for prehistoric art, I have scaled the cactus-covered cliffs of a buffalo jump...

The departure by Katie Leeks

Earlier this year, we were on a family holiday in Bali when we received the news that my father-in-law had passed away. It was surreal to know that he was no longer with us as we had lived on the other side of the world from him...

The dream thief by Alexandra Varol

I was well into my fourth pregnancy when I felt darkness and fear descend. I worried for my baby girl, so anxiously awaited, so soon to be born. I loved the feeling of this baby moving inside me...

The eviction by Jackie Hosking

We didn’t handle that very well did we? Too much blood all together. And from what I remember, quite a lot of pain...

The first day by Anne-marie Taplin

I didn’t expect to feel like this, this rising tension, this fearful anxiety, waking at five in the morning wondering: ‘what if no one will play with him?’, ‘what if there’s no teacher around and he falls from the play equipment?’...

The first day by Paige Turner

Today is going to be a good day. Correction – today is going to be a GREAT day. Today my twins start school. No misty-eyed moments for me this morning when I drop them at their classroom...

The first separation: Portrait of Georgie at 21 months
by Anne-marie Taplin

Your last taste from me was more like a bite. It’s not how I wanted your weaning to be. I’d imagined it being a gentle, gradual lessening of desire...

The first step by Kirsten Johnston

The Grove Clinic. A pretty name, leafy, greeny, pretty name for what everyone knows is a hospital. A mental hospital. A place for loony mothers and the children they can’t love...

The green-eyed mother by Kylie Ladd

My husband has never been a particularly demonstrative man. I have no doubt he loves me, because his actions consistently bear this out, but he has always found it difficult to say the words or display his emotions...

The human hot-water bottle by Jacinta Nandi

Berlin winters are cold. It doesn’t matter how many layers you drape over yourself – hats, scarves, gloves, coats, jackets, waistcoats, tights, stockings, thermal vests, old curtains, old buckets, duvets, blankets, it doesn’t matter...

The last time by Alison Lees

I suspected I might be putting on too much weight when the toilet seat began to squeak as I sat down on it. I was in my ninth month of pregnancy and alternating between feeling constantly tired and constantly hungry... 

The lessons we learn by Cassandra Webb

My first experience with childbirth is almost indescribable. If there’s a word that means both the best and worst moments of my life then that’s the one I’d use...

The lightness of dark by Jayne Kearney

It’s not often you get to wake up with the absolute knowledge that today will be the worst day of your life. But let’s not start there. Let’s start back when all was good. All was easy...

The Lord of the swings by Ken Williams

Swings are amazing things! I’d never really noticed it until today. They have an amazing ability to create such happiness, and there’s nothing to them really...

The magic by Tessa Piper

It’s the morning of the day that it finally happens, and I don’t yet know about the magic. From my bed I see squares of coloured light dancing along the hallway as the sun shines through the stained glass panels of the front door...

The maternal instinct – a roar or a whisper? by Roz Hall-Farlam

Ah, the maternal instinct – sometimes lauded as possessing mysterious, almost divine powers and at other times derided as an excuse for obsessive, smothering, or controlling behaviour – and everyone who has a mother has an opinion about it...

The nest by Anne Green

It’s December and once again I have become obsessed with a nest in the crassula shrub outside my window. Last year I watched as two Willy Wagtails prepared a similar nest in the same location...

The old gum nut up the nose trick by Candice Lemon-Scott

It happened late one winter’s day as I was busy lighting the Conara. My daughter came up to me and said proudly, “Got a gum nut up ‘a nose Mum.”...

The path of parenthood by Kate Wattus

“What’s the Taj Mahal, Mum?” Miss Ten asked recently, as we strolled side by side through the local shopping centre. “It’s a building in India,” I replied simply, relieved I wouldn’t have to do any major geographical research to answer her question...

The Perfect Mother Myth by Kerry Osborne

As a first-time mum at 36, I embarked on motherhood full of wisdom and life experience, with a comfortable home, and a freshly painted nursery with Huggies nappies and Bonds suits neatly lined up in anticipation...   

The picture by Karen Crofts

Your third babysitter, in as many weeks, is Czech. I will forget her name tomorrow but remember her strong accent for years. I will forget her face but remember the way she pronounced your name...

The proverbial five-letter word by Meg McNaught

Sleep is a five letter word. The proverbial five letter word, for those sharing a house with an infant. First time parents in particular can often be heard saying, “Will we ever sleep again?”...

The push and the pull by Charlotte Duff

My son is the joy of my life. I have moments with him, when it’s just the two of us, at home or in the garden, when I am purely and completely happy, in a way I don’t think I have ever been before...

The (real) amazing race by Natalia Tsygankova

It’s only 6.30am and the room is still dark. The alarm hasn’t gone off yet, but my daughter Alessia is already awake, half an hour before her due time...

The real first three months by Sarah Cooper

My son, now six months old, is a beaming tubster. He wouldn’t hold anything against anyone. He sleeps. And yet, for much of his first three months, I thought that having a child was nothing but an albatross around my neck...

The roller coaster by Natalie Schemeczko

The day I was told I couldn’t conceive naturally was a day I will never forget. Attending the appointment alone, I was ushered into the doctor’s consulting room from the public hospital waiting room. It was a doctor I had never met before...

The room next to mine by Jacinta Nandi

In the room next to mine there used to be a Turkish woman with two kids, eleven and four, who’d wake up in the middle of the night to scream and wail...

The shape of love: Snapshot of Harry at nine months
by Anne-marie Taplin

You wake about 6.30am, refreshed and smiling after a ten hours’ sleep; we can count on as many fingers these nights though, as ‘sleeping through’ is a recent phenomena that feels an impossible luxury, unimaginable a year ago to regard eight uninterrupted hours’ sleep as a godsend...

The sunset by Amy Goodpaster Strebe

Last night I was reminded of the importance of being still and living in the moment by an unlikely person – my energetic four-year-old daughter. It was past Abbie’s bedtime and I was seated at the computer in the hallway outside her bedroom...

The surprise and shock of motherhood by Kathy Kim

I never knew that motherhood would be this way. I never knew the extremes of joy and pain in childbirth. I never knew that I would have two Caesareans...

The sweetness of crumbs by Vaiju Joshi

Dear sweet child of mine, In a few hours from now, as the clock ticks and the stars gently doze across the inky sky, you will reach yet another milestone and grow another year older. Every birthday is a signpost but it is easy to forget this behind these facades of pink glitter, butter-cream frosting and sparkling candles...

The top ten things a five year old has taught me that no adult ever could by Liz Allan

When I became pregnant at 19, I was convinced my baby would save me from myself. I had visions of rose gardens and Baby Bjorns, of receiving this child into my arms like a gift...

The ultrasound by Haley Williams

Where there’s life there’s hope. So he probes for longer than he needs to be sure. He says nothing, knowing how hard we’ve fought for this moment, but I feel the mood changing. I keep looking at the screen willing it to prove her existence...

The untold story by Lindy Alexander

Yesterday I was sitting with mothers and they – oblivious to the twitches within me – were generous, calm and thoughtful on being a parent. They passed the cake and biscuits, and as they talked, I thought all this is ahead of me...

The wheel thing by Kylie Ladd

My son likes cars. Actually, he doesn’t so much like cars as eat, sleep and breathe them. Old cars, new cars, anything with four or more wheels, vehicles of every configuration...

The woman I know by Richard L. Provencher

From the ages of eight to 12, in the 1940s and early 50s boys never acknowledged girls could throw a rock as far or run faster. As a teenager, aside from obvious physical differences, I also did notice something quite different about ladies in our town of Rouyn, Quebec...

The worst housewife in the world by Jacinta Nandi

A Russian girlfriend of mine, Lena, is officially The Best Housewife in the World. She hoovers twice a day and, at night, after her baby goes to sleep, she peels carrots and then slices them into handy finger-food-sized portions and freezes them...

The worst word by Rachel Ladd

There are lots of words you don’t want to hear: card declined, sold out, no, code brown (for those nappies), you’re fired. Yet there is one word that is worse than them all and that word is but...

The yellow blanket by Resselle L Hrelja

It’s Sunday morning. The sun decides to hide behind some dark clouds, turning the day quiet and listless. We had just finished a late breakfast of buttermilk pancakes on the veranda...

Things that go bump in the night by Tamara Heath

Old Mother Hubbard lives in a cupboard in my three-and-a-half year old daughter’s bedroom. And rather than being a figure of kindly benevolence, she has become a terrifying spectre who has caused many an evening of tears, pleas and broken promises...

This is not advice by Krys Saclier

What can I tell you? You have your first child and you’re wondering, “What do I do now?” I have two and I still can’t answer that question. No one can...

This new life by Kathy Kim

I spent the weekend at my parent’s house with my one-year old son, as our new house was being painted. We arrived back home late Sunday morning to be greeted by my husband’s happy smile...

This too shall pass by Trisha Helbers

Who was it that coined the term ‘bittersweet’? Whoever it was, they weren’t talking about chocolate. They were talking about love. About the exquisite agony of complete, all-consuming love...

Those other worlds by Jacinta Nandi

I meet him in a bus station café. It’s the first time we meet. He doesn’t know who I am, he thinks I’m just a stranger, a girl on the street. We are calm & polite, we’re gentle...

Three hooligans and a baby by Nerida Wayland

Six weeks slip by when you’re swinging in a hammock on a tropical island. But for a sleep-deprived, new mother who counts down every minute of every day, it is a lifetime...

Three times lucky by Tim Law

“Is it time yet?!” I asked my wife anxiously, my boots half laced and my hand reaching for the car keys as she suffered through yet another contraction...

Tick, tock by Penni Drysdale

The timing was all wrong. We can see that now. Or more truthfully, we can admit that out loud now, for I suspect that we both knew that this was the case, long before we spoke the words...

Tidelines by Leah Boonthanom

The oncologists estimated that she had five months left to live, but she survived six, waiting for my son to arrive so she could pass the baton of life onto him. He was born a week early...

‘Tis the season to be jolly? by Kathy Szaters

It was Miss 4’s last day of kinder and the day of the big kinder performance. Miss 4 was to be an angel in the nativity play and was very excited...

To market, to market by Kylie Ladd

I was having coffee with two girlfriends when one of them broached the sensitive subject of family size. “You’ve finished having kids, haven’t you?” Jane asked me abruptly as I reached for my second Tim Tam...

To my daughter, dancing by Louise Campbell

June again, the whirlwind finale to a busy school year. The calendar strains to contain all the playoffs, wind-ups, and cool-downs, but I am a smug June veteran, confident in my ability to anticipate all these events...

Today by Kate Mantello

I cried today. Not because I am depressed, but because I am desperately dissatisfied and strangely, sadly….empty. The sparkling essence that once filled me until brimming has trickled out somewhere along the way...

Trampoline emotion by Louise Dorinko

While driving home, my body was as wound up as my hands. They were gripped so tightly to the steering wheel, my knuckles had turned white. Betrayed by a blink of my eyes, the tears I was desperately trying to suppress streamed down my face...

Treasure by Simone Milne

I was quite a messy person before I had children. On the other hand my husband was obsessively tidy, colour-coding his shirts to hang neatly in his cupboard, alphabetising his books...

Trusting Tallulah by Roz Hall Farlam

The paediatrician smiled kindly at me. “We’re hoping you’ll be able to tell us,” she said. I stared at her, unable or unwilling to comprehend. Surely this wasn’t her answer to my question of how we help our daughter, Tallulah, with her now officially diagnosed condition of Autism... 

Twilight by Kate Wattus

This parenting gig never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think I’ve got things figured out, my offspring throw me a curve ball that has my precisely set parameters scattered all over the place...

Two hours by Zondrae King

Midnight! There had been a storm that afternoon. The hail was still piled 40cm deep against our north wall. The road between here and Walgett was under water. Out west water lingers for weeks...

Two lines by Lydia Darcy

Tick, tick, tick. I watch the clock, too nervous to look at even the back of the little white stick. I’m hyper aware of every noise, the magpies outside warbling to one another, my husband boiling the kettle, two- and three-year-old boys fighting...

Two more masks by Jacqui Horwood

I came to motherhood fairly late. After 37 years of freedom and leisure, having a baby was a shock and I struggled to find my way. Not long after my son’s birth, he, his father and I flew to Hanoi, Vietnam where we lived for more than two years...

Under the influence of children: Offsprings’ impact on the creative process by KJ Hannah Greenberg

As I dip sweet pickles into hummus, a culturally normal meal for my locale, per the dictates of my adolescent advisors, I think upon the ways in which my children have been raising me...

Underground orchid by Deborah Southwell

A year before the birth of my first child, a farmer in Munglinup, Western Australia, turned over a mallee root and discovered a species of orchid that hadn’t been seen since 1928...

Unjustified judgments by Sandy Clark

I could not believe it was happening to me as I stared at the small stick with two pink lines across it. I was only 17 years old, I’d only been with my boyfriend for 12 months, and he was my first serious boyfriend... 

Venturing into the unknown by Resselle L Hrelja

I was speaking to my dear friend, Nadia, exchanging anecdotes about our boys. A couple of the things that came up were the awkward questions we are asked by our young sons...

Weight of love by Helen Commens

The stark black and white text read Relationship to patient with a line to complete. As I wrote the word MOTHER in capital letters, an all-consuming, gut-wrenching, heat filled wave flooded my entire being...

“Whap! Right upside the head” by Christie Taylor

I will never forget the Whap! Right upside the head a friend lovingly delivered to me shortly after Wil was born... Our son, William James Taylor, was born February 5th, 2007. It was an easy, uneventful pregnancy...

What do you get if you cross a week away with the extended family, squeaking bed springs, the offer of a morning’s babysitting and a secluded beach? by Kate Wattus

Now before you start getting all Responsible Parent on me, we were in a tropical wonderland. The weather was seductively balmy and our skin was turning the colour of ripening berries in the sultry north Queensland sunshine...

What of the father? by Craig Kirk

The feeling of motherhood has often been described as a warm, enveloping glow. It is radiated from those who have it without any loss of intensity, as if it springs from a boundless energy source...

What shall we name the babies? by Paige Turner

Two babies! There are two babies! I have two babies? My morphine-addled brain was having trouble processing this information after giving birth to my twin girls. My husband, James, and I gazed in amazement at these two tiny beings we had created...

What’s in a name? by Patrick West

I predict a population explosion – of hyphens. Just wait until today’s kids start having kids of their own, and all those double-barrelled surnames are combined into appellations longer than War and Peace...

Where is the love? by Kristy Booth

There they were; two blue lines. My breathing slowed, my heart beat quickened, my vision blurred – maybe from shock, maybe from tears, I’m still not sure. I sit down and quickly...

Where to now? by Meredith Grant

The inevitable happened this morning and I should have been more prepared.
Deep down I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before the big issue of ‘school readiness’ was going to be addressed, but now that it has the reality of it hit harder than I expected... 

Where you were by Claire Zorn

It’s not supposed to be like this. It’s supposed to feel like your insides are full of warm honey. It’s supposed to be like falling in love, but much, much better...

Why are we afraid to have babies? by Kathy Kim

I am lying in my soft warm bed. A glimpse of sunlight peeks through the shades. My husband is by my side in a deep sleep, and I lie flat on my back staring up to the ceiling...

Why did my friend try to kill herself? by Holly Jo Meyers

Recently, I was speaking with a friend at work. He told me about his daughter having a bad time the night before when she found out that her 14-year-old friend attempted suicide...

Why I love the Turks by Jacinta Nandi

Everyone in Berlin hates the Turks. Even the Turks hate the Turks. They have orange skin and they wear gold jewellery and plus they poison the drinking water and stuff. Except for me: I love the Turks...

Why would you want to do it? by Julia Rollings

I think it’s wonderful but why would you want to do it? Do you get money from the government? I’d heard these questions before. The tone and words may change, but not the incredulity...

With the wattle by Kate Rotherham

The vet explains it as gently as he can, and my children absorb the news in lip-wobbling silence. They crowd around Mawson, our wilting Golden Retriever, and reach for his worn-out body. Lochie sucks in his cheeks and blinks away his tears. Henry simply cannot...

Wonderwoman by K. Danielle Edwards

The pathos of my postpartum period did not pause at my perfunctory six-week check-up. In the waiting room of my OB/GYN’s office, I found myself surrounded – stage left, stage right, upstage and downstage – by burgeoning bellies...

Working it out by Kylie Ladd

My youngest child starts school this month. For the first time in almost nine years, large chunks of each weekday will belong solely to me. I have been thinking about this for what seems like an age...

Yes we can by Joo-Inn Chew

Kaleidoscopic colours swam over the eager faces of the kids, as they danced to the song of their generation. They pumped passionate fists in the air, bellowing as one: BOB the BUILDER! Can we fix it? BOB the BUILDER – YES WE CAN!!!

Yesterday, I fell in love by Rebecca Freeborn

I have a new man in my life. He’s only been around for just under five weeks, but it already feels like he’s been here forever. On 18 September 2011 at 8.11pm, Finn was born...

You don’t know what you are going to get… by Tina Reiken

For all the parents who ordered a different child to the one they received
For all the parents who believed they were right and the teachers were wrong.
For all the mothers who trusted their instincts … and God ...

Your story by Katie Leeks

Your story began on a Thursday afternoon, in a delivery room at a hospital in West Wales. The walls were painted a pale nothingness and the air smelt of antiseptic, anticipation and the surgeon’s perfume.

 

“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*

I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.

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* Gloria Steinem