'You've got to laugh when you're a parent' - Emily Writes on the joy and heartbreak of parenting

There's plenty of parenting advice telling you how to raise your children, but now a new voice is emerging - mummy bloggers.

One of them, Emily Writes, has teamed up with some of her wittiest friends for a new book, called 'Is it Bedtime Yet?'.

"[The book] is saying, 'Don't have all of those judgements and all of the people that assume they know better than you do with your families. Parents - it's a really difficult job, but I've never met a parent who doesn't want to do the very best that they can and we're all out, they're trying so hard to be really great parents and we've got all these people on the sidelines," Emily said.

"This [book] is kind of saying, 'Block them out. Listen and hear all these different experiences about parenting and feel confident in your choices.' I think you can learn a lot from other parents, but that's got to come from a place of love and empathy and laughing, because you've got to laugh when you're a parent."

Emily says her latest book is "special" because it incorporates a range of different voices.

"When Penguin Random House talked about a second book quite soon after the first, I thought I really want to have other voices. I really want people to see that there's so many different types of ways to parent and that those differences actually don't divide us, they unite us."

Emily says she gets inspiration for her books from her "beautiful boys", who are three and five.

"They're just endlessly delightful and - you know what I mean. I love them to death. I was just thinking about how I brought my oldest son from Wellington for the book launch yesterday and he just fawned around me while I was trying to read and I thought, 'This is kids'. I loved that the book launch just turned into this chaos of children doing whatever they liked."

She says she loves all of the writers and their pieces which help make up part of the book.

"I love that there are pieces in there that will make your heart really break for the mother and then the next story makes you feel strong and powerful in the next story.

"There's so many things I love about the book. I especially love that when it came, there's a photo of me in the front and my son said why isn't there a photo of him because it's his book, apparently. I said, 'Maybe next time?'"

Emily says she never expected her book to take off as quickly as it did, saying, "It's really only been two years since I wrote that first blog post and I'm as confused as anyone as to how I got to two books now, but I feel very lucky and I feel like I have this beautiful community of mothers across New Zealand.

"I've been able to meet thousands of mothers and that's far better than any book or anything like that. It's been such a pleasure."

Emily Writes joined Breakfast to talk about her new book ‘Is it Bedtime Yet?’ and how to deal with judgemental strangers. Source: Breakfast



Medicinal cannabis bill 'defects' to be fixed, says Winston Peters

The Government is set to fix any "defects" in their medicinal cannabis bill, says Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters, after a tumultuous week that saw the Opposition put their own bill forward after criticising the Government's. 

The Acting Prime Minister said appropriate changes can still be made to the Government’s medicinal cannabis bill. Source: Q+A

On TVNZ1's Q+A last night, Winston Peters made a dig at National Party leader Simon Bridges, saying it was "a bit rich" for Mr Bridges to be calling for cross party cooperation on medicinal cannabis, after sitting in power for nine years. 

It came after host Corin Dann wanted an assurance for chronic pain suffers that the Government would produce a medicinal cannabis bill that would target those who need it. 

Currently, the Government's bill would mean terminally ill people could take cannabis medicinally if they have less than 12 months to live and the approval of a doctor.

On Wednesday, National pulled their support of this bill, and instead lodged a member's bill it calls "a blend of international best practice".

It proposes a licensing regime and approval for medicinal cannabis products in the way medicine is approved by Metsafe. At the National Party conference over the weekend, Mr Bridges said he hoped Mr Peters would give their proposals "serious consideration". 

“[We] put party politics aside more than any other party," Mr Peters said. "But on this matter, it's a bit rich for Bridges to be saying that, when his former Minister [Peter Dunne] said he'd been trying to do that, the reform he's talking about now, for the last nine years and he'd been blocked by his colleagues."

Mr Dunne tweeted last Thursday: "National's cannabis bill mirrors what I was advocating for years, but which the Government would not accept, & were happy for me to take all the flak. Now they claim this is what "they" were working towards all along. My, how the impotence of Opposition changes everything!"

Mr Dann asked Mr Peters if, under Labour’s bill, sufferers would essentially need to be terminally ill, however Mr Peters said it was not "quite like that".

"I've made it very clear, and I’m sure it goes for a whole lot of people in Parliament as well, they want to put politics aside, they don't like these sorts of tactics and in the full committee of the House we’ll have a real chance to make appropriate changes if we can, but these people [who need medicinal cannabis] can't wait."

He said the National Party bill would not have helped people like Helen Kelly, a union activist who had terminal lung cancer and advocated for medicinal cannabis.

"If there are defects on both sides of the proposals, let’s fix them up," Mr Peters said.

Dann interviews Winston Peters on medicinal cannabis, the economy, immigration and the return of Jacinda Ardern. Source: Q+A

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'A guy who his entire life has coveted being Prime Minister' - Corin Dann says Winston Peters thrived off the attention of NZ's top-job

Winston Peters' six week spell as Acting PM combined two of his favourite things, says 1 NEWS' Corin Dann: Conflict and "being the centre of attention".

The host of TVNZ's Q+A program offered a recap of his interview with the NZ First leader last night, and was complimentary in his assessment of the stand-in job he did leading the country.

"I think he had the time of his life. There’s no question this is a guy who his entire life has coveted being Prime Minister. He loves being the centre of attention," Dann said.

"To be fair, he did a pretty reasonable job while Jacinda Ardern has been away.

"I think the critical thing to remember is, it does seem as though Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters have a good relationship and they get on well, and while that continues this Government will be in much better shape."

Ms Ardern is expected to return to work this week, following the birth of Neve. 

The prominence of Mr Peters' name during the National Party conference over the weekend, being described by president Peter Goodfellow as an "irrational bullet" National dodged, would have also fueled the political veteran’s fire, Dann said.

"It's just his style. I mean Winston would have been thrilled that he managed to force his way in National’s conference," Dann said.

"Like this is gold for him, this is how he operates. He operates on the sniping and stuff, that's where he gets his oxygen."

National Party President Peter Goodfellow had said his party "dodged a whiskey-swilling, cigarette-smoking, double-breasted and irrational bullet" in Winston Peters’ decision to form a coalition Government with Labour last October.

Corin Dann said Mr Peters was actually "pretty angry" with the comments.

"He was sort of hinting, threatening, sort of saying 'don't say that again' sort of stuff, which is typical Winston but nonetheless it suggests the bad blood," Dann said.

"The point I'd make though is, you're going to see this sort of stuff, they’re going to be firing at each other, 'I hate you, we hate you, rah rah rah'.

"Come six months out form the election, forget about it, they’ll still be potentially able to work together.

"We could still be in a situation in 2020 where Winston could still go with National, he can’t rule it out, and they can’t rule it out either.

"Although I think it's still more likely that if this Government is travelling reasonably well that he would go with them."

TVNZ's Q+A political program is now airing 9.30pm each Sunday.

The host of TVNZ’s Q+A program gives his verdict on Mr Peters’ rein as Jacinda Ardern prepares to return. Source: Breakfast