Rants in the Dark, by Emily Writes

Emily, a Wellington mother of two young boys, wrote a blog post in the middle of the night back in March 2015. Within just a few days it was read by more than one million people. Since then her posts, often written in in the wee small hours, have consoled, celebrated and cheered on millions of parents all around the world.

Rants in the Dark is a collection of her both new and old writing. Fans of Emily will recognise blog posts and reading them the second, or third, time is just as rewarding as the first. There is a lot of new material too, including hilarious and lovely anecdotes and conversations with her four-year-old Eddie.

She writes with warmth and humour, telling the truth about parenthood without coming across condescending or ‘holier than thou’. She describes the frustrations, in all their glory, as well as the tender moments of parenting.

I cried as much as a I laughed out loud. Emily has a way of vocalising every wish, hope and frustration as a parent, so much more eloquently than anybody else. ‘Always Our Babies’ puts in to words the bittersweet experience every parent simultaneously loves and dreads at the same time – our children growing up.

‘The Just Fucking Doing It Club’ and ‘You’ve Got This’ chapters should be printed out and given to every parent the moment their child is born. In fact, Rants in the Dark is going to become my go-to baby shower gift from now on. The stories about swaddles and how to get your child to sleep will terrify new parents in the best way possible, while make the parents with those battle scars already snort with laughter (and relief!), as they relive those sleepless, muddled nights.

Of particular significance to me was the stories of Emily’s pregnancies as well as the birth of her second child Ronnie. As somebody who hated pregnancy, to read of another woman feeling the same as me was incredible, and helped me validate, and respect, my own experience.

Emily insists the book isn’t a parenting manual or about giving parents advice. But I disagree. By opening her heart and speaking with both truth and humour, she’s giving parents permission to do the same about the crazy, messy thing we call parenting. Her openness, honesty, kindness and her love for her family will inspire readers.

Rants in the Dark is a beautiful, heart warming collection of stories from an incredible mother. Fans of Emily will treasure it for years to come, while those only just introduced to her writing will fall in love with her and her family. With her online writing she has created a warm, loving ‘village’ in which to raise the next generation, and Rants in the Dark is a wonderful lasting legacy of this.

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Rebekah is an Otago-based mother of two young girls. The former journalist and primary school teacher has a soft spot for New Zealand authors and young adult fiction. Follow her on Twitter.

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