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  • Published: 30 July 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143772835
  • Imprint: Random House NZ
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $35.00

Is it Bedtime Yet?

Parenting ... the Hilarious, the Hair-raising, the Heart-breaking


Welcome to the world, Mama

By Emily Writes

When a baby is born, we say welcome. Here is this world for you, precious baby. Here are the people who love you, who will always try to keep you safe. Here are the ones who will care for you, and hold you in their arms and in their hearts.


Here is the world we made for you. It’s small at first, four walls and tiny bassinet, a blanket handed down or made with love or bought for $2.99. Here is your home.

And they sleep and cry and feed, and you watch and watch and watch — wanting to hold every second of this time. To feel it all. Your heart is on the outside now and it’s beautiful and painful and raw and incredible.

And we say welcome, baby, welcome to this world. We will try to make it better for you. We will try to make it so that when you leave your little room, it’s a beautiful world for you.

And we focus on baby, because of course we do. They’re new. They’re here, finally.

But someone else is new too.

Welcome, Mama.

You wanted this for so long — maybe it was so hard to get here, but now you’re here. Maybe it wasn’t, or you didn’t expect it, and now you’re here.

You’re here. Welcome.

Welcome to this new world that makes your head spin with love and hope and fear and confusion.

Welcome. The days will be long and the years short. You’ll feel alone sometimes, but you’re not. You’ll feel isolated and it will take time to find your groove. But you’re surrounded by love, I promise.

There’s a village out there waiting for you. You’re part of something. Those of us who have been there want to celebrate this with you and say welcome. Welcome to this wonderful place — we’re glad you’re here. No matter what your journey, your story is shared.

Somewhere is a mama just like you — who feels those same fears, that same crushing joy, that same anxiety and hope and that feeling of ‘How do I do this?’ She’s out there looking out the window too, cradling a tiny baby and rocking side to side.

She’s out there in the room next to you in the children’s ward, head pressed against the red cot bars, praying to a god or science or nobody or all of the above, ‘please, please, please’.

She’s out there quietly nursing a cold coffee at the mums’ group she was so scared to go to because meeting new people makes her nervous, and she wants to join in the conversation but everyone seems so confident.

She needs to find you. You need to find her.

And then your days will be filled with tears of laughter and tears of frustration, together. Coffee and cake and a patchwork blanket on the floor. Helping each other latch or make up a bottle. Asking about sleep and solids and tummy time. You’ll love her child as dearly as you love yours. Your group of mums

will grow and your days will be bathed in a soft light. The sun will fill the lounge as you giggle over your babies lying next to each other on baby blankets. You’ll share wipes and nappies and tea and fears and frustrations and truths you never thought you’d say out loud.

You’ll feel strong with them and you’ll reach for them when you don’t feel strong. Please reach for them.

Welcome to this world. You’re going to find your people. They’re going to help you and you’re going to help them.

We’re glad you’re here. Your light will come and you’ll be a light for someone else.

In the fuzzy early days there’s just love. As it always should be. But later it can be tough — it can be daunting. The hardest things in life are the most important. That’s OK — I promise we have all been there.

If your birth wasn’t what you thought it would be, if it was awful and you’re struggling to make sense of it all — there are mothers out there who have felt this too. I promise. You didn’t do anything wrong, and it’s not a sign of who you are as a parent. You are strong. You are not alone.

If you struggle with feeding, so many mothers have been there. And they’ve questioned what it means. You didn’t fail. You can’t fail — you love your baby and that’s what matters.

If your baby won’t gain weight and something is wrong — know that this path too has been walked by many mothers. They have left a trail of petals for you, wishes on stars, and silent hopes. They’re carrying you in their heart and they want to help you through.

Whatever your path, it is a path walked by another mother who can hold your hand on your journey.

Your babies will grow like weeds and you’ll be amazed at how fast it all went — but don’t worry, you won’t miss anything if you take time for you.

The kids will drive you mad. Their screaming will make you feel like you want to run away. But you won’t. Let yourself have a break. Have a wine or chocolate or binge-watch Outlander. You matter too. Don’t let your light dim.

You’ll do wonderfully, you’re doing wonderfully.

Welcome to your home now.

Welcome home.

We’re here for you, and soon you’ll be nursing a coffee and watching your babies tearing around the house. You’ll hear of a new baby born and your eyes will sting for just a moment.

Welcome, you’ll whisper.

Welcome to the world, Mama.

Is it Bedtime Yet? Emily Writes

A collection of writings on being a parent in Aotearoa - from hilarious to heart-breaking.

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