Family life

Family life


Opening toys for a living

YouTube's top earner is a woman who films clips of herself unwrapping children's toys.


Lapping up community spirit

Ever since we moved to Christchurch we've driven past the dilapidated, earthquake-damaged Waltham Pool. On the weekend it finally reopened.


What you need to know about Instagram

If there's anything you can say about kids' behaviour online, it's that trends move quickly.

specs comp

Win: Designer kids' glasses

Specsavers are offering one lucky Essential Mums reader the chance to win a voucher for two pairs of designer kids' glasses.

Tracey Spicer

Family travel in Vietnam

It all started with goats' penis soup more than 20 years ago when I backpacked through Vietnam's south.


what's in this section?


Time to be smart with money

'Tis the season for fresh starts, and unveiling the fabulous new you; happy, healthy, and wealthy.

Freedom, power and motivation

We didn't just want to teach our kids how to "handle money, we wanted them to learn impulse-control, planning, and the ability to say no to themselves.

Health & nutrition

Illnesses take toll on family

Life for Rebecca Thompson is a blur of hospital visits and sleepless nights.


Life as a former 'fat kid'

The low self-esteem that comes from being an overweight child can stay with a person for life.

TV & movies

Disney's marvellous run continues

REVIEW: Big Hero 6 is 90 minutes of slick, only slightly scary for littlies, smart school holiday entertainment.

Kids TV

Why our family went TV-free

Could your family go television-free? Here, one mum explains why she was the most unlikely to take on such a challenge, but now that she has, she's never looked back.


Yes, you can master Pinterest

There are two types of pinners: people who do it for fun and businesses that want to entice customers. Here are some key tips for each.

Kids and tablets

A tablet for a 5-year-old?

Suddenly, we were faced with the prospect of our 5-year-old owning a tablet, on which she could play games, practice reading or surf the internet.


Have kids, will travel

It's not too late to take your family on a sensational summer holiday.

anna guy

Camping with a baby

With December approaching rapidly, we are now starting get excited about our summer holiday. This year all seven of us are off camping.

Recipes gingerbread christmas biscuits

Festive gingerbread biscuits

Nothing says Christmas quite like gingerbread. For coloured icing, add a few drops of food colouring before kneading and mix it in well.


Apricot and macaroon slice

If you're not already overloaded with sweet treats this holiday season, try this yummy slice.

Books Rachel Callander

Super power babies

Families came to celebrate their super-powered children and the book honouring them.


Knock-knock bestsellers

It sounds like the usual setup for a knock-knock joke: Who is the best-selling author on all of this holiday season? Rob Elliott. Rob Elliott who?

Family dynamics adoption motherhood parent

Meeting my birth mother

My mother chose not to hold or even see me after I was born, as she knew she wouldn't be able to let me go.


Negotiating flexible visitation

I need some tips on how to approach my ex about getting to spend the odd day with my son outside of my scheduled times.

Ask an expert cv

How to update your CV

I am looking at getting back into the work force after being a stay-at-home mum. I'm worried my CV is out of date.


Exercise after caesarean

I want to get back into exercise (after a c-section), what are some good 'first-steps'?

Anna Guy

About Anna Guy

Anna Guy is a busy mum of five - four school-aged kids and a baby. She shares anecdotes and experiences from her days running around after her brood.

anna guy

The never-ending holidays

We have two weeks left of holidays now and the kids and I are starting to get sick of each other.

Melody McCabe

About Melody McCabe

Melody McCabe and her husband have been trying to conceive for over a year. In this blog she shares the highs and lows of struggling with fertility issues and trying to conceive, as she embarks on fertility treatments in the quest for a family.

Melody McCabe

Picking up the pieces

After having her pregnancy hopes crushed last month, Melody McCabe talks about how she picked herself back up for another monitored cycle.

Greer Berry

About Greer Berry

After facing serious fertility issues Greer and her husband were surprised by their 'miracle baby' - a bouncing baby boy.

Greer Berry

A jab to the heart

One of the worst things you have to consider as a new parent is the thought of a stranger stabbing your beautiful baby with a big, nasty needle.

Matt Calman

About Matt Calman

Matt Calman is a work-from-home dad to two girls - toddler Miss A and preschooler Miss K. Matt shares his insights and experiences of raising two girls, with two very different personalities.


One-on-one time

Over the holidays I've seen the benefit in stealing some one on one time with Miss A. She really responds to it, and in a good way.

Kiran Chug MILIN

Starting toilet training

Potty training is just around the corner in our house, and it's one of the phases of parenting I have least looked forward to.

Kiran phone

So, this is goodbye

Over the past two years I feel like I've gotten to know you. I've taken advice from comments and got into debates with you.

Family Time Grandparents_Strap

A Grand love

To have a grandchild and hear their laughter is to have a glimpse of eternity, the bond between grandparent and grandchild lasts a lifetime.

Mother and baby

No easy parenting answers

Being the world's best parent is easy, until you have kids, Juliet Beetham discovered.

Columns Milin and Jasmin

Birthday bashes

Isn't that just what motherhood is I wondered? Always feeling guilty about something? Even at your birthday lunch?

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