Parenting

Rants in the Dark (Parenting; the dark side and the dawn of change!)

16 March, 2017

Here’s something I struggle with the most as an online parent-y person:

How to share the tougher parts of motherhood without either harming my children’s dignity, undermining my family’s privacy, or making people worry for us.

But sharing the tricky stuff is such an important thing to do. It’s why I love being with Channel Mum- a team of vloggers whose very tagline is “the honest face of motherhood”- and why I LOVE the groundswell of realness happening at the moment.

I was recently sent Rants in the Dark by Emily Writes and as I’ve been reading it, watched it smash into the Number One spot in the book charts. And I’m cheering for a bunch of reasons.

Rants in the dark Emily Writes

Rants in the dark Emily Writes

Firstly, it is hilarious and I love to laugh. There is a chapter, It Has Been A Day, where I fully oinked with laughing so hard. Secondly, Emily manages to share stories from her family life without pushing the boundaries of sharing. Do you know what I mean? All that stuff above, the stuff that is so hard to do, she manages. I didn’t wince once on behalf of her kids. Some of the other well known internet people sharing the real side of their life don’t quite pull this off, there’s stuff on the internet that is gonna make their kids cry once they can read, and I think that’s a problem. Emily manages to tell the funny or tough stories without compromising her children’s dignity. Thirdly, it normalises the intense feelings of motherhood – the epic highs and the I-absolutely-suck-at-this lows.

There’s another reason I think Rants in the Dark is an important book, and that’s to do with making the work of the parent a real, valid, legitimate thing. If we want stuff to change in society, if we want better parental leave and flexi working and funding for families – policies that give parents the support they need to be the best, kindest parents they can be, we need to be clear about how central a pillar parenthood is.

Society is a community building and one of the pillars that holds the whole thing up is the way that children are raised. If that pillar is strong and protected, the whole building stays standing. When it is used as a punching bag, it gets chipped and cracked. When the pillar is forgotten about, it begins to crumble. History shows that time and again we fail to remember how the whole of society rests on this post, then someone comes along with a spray can and scrawls KEVIN WOZ HERE on it and a few years later society isn’t being held up by that central pillar but by two new hastily erected walls built out of hate and fear.

If we want a fairer, more empathetic world, we need parents to understand that their work is the Important Work and we need governments to get that raising children with care and empathy is critical for a world without war and terror.

This is why I love books about parenting, why I eat up their pages, both advisory books about child development and also the records of life with young ones like Rants in the Dark – they validate the experience of parents, carve out space, they put yellow tape around the pillar to protect it. Rants in the Dark says “all the things you are feeling are okay, parenting is a big deal, a big messy deal, but its important, let’s support each other.” It is emotional and hilarious and inspiring all at once.

There is one bit in there that made me feel a bit uncomfortable, and it is the pop at Natural Parenting. It is so far off the wall that I’m sure Emily didn’t see it as a pop, just a funny play on the Gwenyth Paltrow brand of wellness, but as I read it I thought of all the mothers I know that are big into natural health, who do spend all their earthly treasures on whole foods and quite mystical remedies, and I wondered if Emily knew she might alienate them. This would be a huge enormous shame as Emily is CLEARLY a natural parent in my interpretation of the term, ha! Someone who trusts their gut, trusts their children, sees children as 100% human and worthy of dignity and respect, validates their child’s needs and priorities attachment and connection.

I had a bit of a chat with Emily about that chapter and she says “I would be devastated if it alienated anyone, it’s only meant to be a laugh at nobody’s expense. It’s completely off the wall for that reason!”

Buy Emily’s book here at a discount with my affiliate link and we are all winners!

***GIVEAWAY***

I’m doing a giveaway of Rants in the Dark (kiwis only, I am so sorry, I will be the first to do a worldwide giveaway when this book goes global!) over on Facebook. Click here to enter!
And, just before you go, here is my latest video!

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8 Comments

  • Reply ThaliaKR 16 March, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Yay! I love Emily and I love you, and I love this review.

    Yay all of you!
    ThaliaKR recently posted…A Prayer Before Sleep: ‘What Has Not Been Done’My Profile

  • Reply Oscar 16 March, 2017 at 10:18 am

    So which beach is this??

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 16 March, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      It is Otama 😀

  • Reply Kerry 16 March, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I’m guessing there’s nothing about vaccinating in Emily’s book then, because I doubt you’ld be be promoting it given her stance on that 🙁

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 16 March, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      It doesn’t go into vaccination in her book x

  • Reply Vicky Cristina 17 March, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    It gave me flashbacks to my earliest days in the role of parent – clueless, but enthusiastic – and there are stories here that mirror some of my current frustrations – still enthusiastic, a little more jaded.

    I like to imagine a world where this book is given to new mothers – handed to them as not just essential reading but as a comfort. I love Emily’s books.

  • Reply Vicky Cristina 20 March, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I like to imagine a world where this book is given to new mothers – handed to them as not just essential reading but as a comfort. Maybe we can start that world off by buying a copy for the new mothers in our lives, the friends and family members with little kids or baby-bumps or thoughts of being along the way one day
    Vicky Cristina recently posted…10 Best Running Shoes for WomenMy Profile

  • Reply Anne Kepner 21 March, 2017 at 1:18 am

    I like this beach and I love Emily’s book. I like the way which Emily manages to tell the funny or tough stories without compromising her children’s dignity
    Anne Kepner recently posted…Best Proform Rowing Machine – Proform 440R Rower ReviewMy Profile

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