When the Federal Government announced the mining tax, the mining industry employed an armada of lobbyists, produced reams of reports and flooded TV stations with advertising to get their point of view across.
The resulting debate dominated headlines and won the miners major concessions.
Single parents and their children can’t afford well-paid lobbyists or advertising campaigns. In the main they’re too busy with work and family responsibilities to organise themselves.
Latest 2 of 102 commentsView all comments
Like every good feminist mother I said “no” when my five-year-old daughter demanded a Barbie. I said “no” and I said “no” and I said “no” again.
Then (like every other procreator who is a fatally flawed human rather than one of those superior, mechanised parental no-bots), I caved shortly after pester number googol.
“OK,” I said. “But just one. With brown hair. And the marginally thicker waist Mattel introduced after 1997. How about African American Boot Camp Barbie? Her functional khaki trousers and radically articulated limbs are on par with separatist lesbianism given the feet-bindingly narrow domain of the Barbie-verse, wouldn’t you say, Alice?”
Latest 2 of 85 commentsView all comments
In giant letters, I’d written “No drugs”. Then, as an afterthought: “Perhaps an epidural if it’s as bad as everyone says.” There was to be no caesarean, no forceps and no bloody Enya on the CD player. I’d bring toffees. You need sugar when you’re, like, birthing another person.
There are few more laughable oxymorons in life than a “birth plan”. However well you think you know your body, all bets are off the second you have a contraction – presuming it is a contraction, of course, because nature also came up with Braxton Hicks, a pseudo contraction which, like much about the birth business, is nonsensically named after a man.
In the event, the birth went like this: 26-hour labour; failure to dilate; gas and air (useless); pethidine (useless). “Breathe,” says husband. “I am breathing, otherwise I’d be dead,” I reply. Baby’s heart rate drops; emergency caesarean. Me shaking with fear, or lack of toffees. Baby arrives; a girl. And in that moment of miracle, life begins anew.
Latest 2 of 90 commentsView all comments
You could call it the walk of shame - that stretch from the car to the school nurse’s office, when you’ve had the call. Your child has lice, and has been quarantined, until such time as you can remove them from campus, which can be anytime that suits within the next 15 minutes or so.
Problem is, while your offspring has been sequestered, you know it’s you who is the offender. And when you come to collect your pint-sized pariah, the only thing matching your displeasure is their pleasure at going home so early.
By the time you exit the gates though, your shame is already shifting to make way for resentment at the expense and labour in store. You have started brewing the loathing required to fuel war – man vs louse.
Latest 2 of 24 commentsView all comments
In 1998, the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Committee issued a report entitled To Have and To Hold about marriage and family in Australia.
Writing the preface to the bipartisan report, I commented: “This report is about strengthening marital relationships. It is about preventing marital distress and the consequent breakdown of relationships. It arises from our concern for children; for their future, their happiness, and their ability to form their own loving and fulfilling relationships.”
While the family continues as a human aspiration, there have been a series of changes in family patterns throughout the industrialised world that point to a decline in marriage and a weakening of family life. To Have and To Hold summarised these patterns:
Latest 2 of 193 commentsView all comments
There’s only one thing more cool than having a celebrity baby. Choosing a celebrity godparent.
The Beckhams want Kate and Wills for baby Harper Seven. Elton John got Lady Gaga. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman share Rupert Murdoch’s two young daughters. Michael Stipe and Drew Barrymore have Frances Bean Cobain. And Jake Gygenhall claims Matilda Ledger all to himself.
Rarely a bastion of insight and wisdom when it comes to relationships, Hollywood’s take on godparents (rich, relatively famous, well-connected and good looking) don’t apply to many of us. But what we do share is confusion about what the role means in modern day life. Just what is today’s godparent expected to do?
The headless Anne Boleyn would struggle to get her point across, but any one of Henry VIII’s other five wives could sympathise with Kate Middleton in these last, frantic, nerve-inducing weeks before their “big day”.
The 16th century princesses would be right at home with all the fanfare and ever-expanding array of royal memorabilia, albeit with a few medieval modifications.
Lego-sized replicas of the royal couple would more likely have been in bronze or bashed copper, decorated with a bit of horsehair. And the royal Pez or Union Jack-embossed shortbread replaced by a boiled sweet. But not everything’s changed for the better.
Latest 2 of 15 commentsView all comments
On our summer holidays we had a baby.
And with the joy of Georgia’s arrival managing the night has reached a new level of complexity. For parents of young families this is one of the great challenges of life.
Night feeds, bad dreams, wet beds and sleep walking have been part and parcel of the night shift in our house for more than a decade now. Yet of the four children easily the busiest at night, at least for now, has been Harvey.
Latest 2 of 14 commentsView all comments
The two greatest experiences of my life occurred in a birthing suite.
The birth of a new baby is an exhilarating experience that produces emotions from deep within your soul.
Yet somehow I think the emotions that child birth produces in woman are even more significant. Obviously pregnancy causes massive physical change but less obvious is the enormous emotional change having a baby ushers in.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…