Today we are celebrating the official birth of Essential Mums, our brand new website for mothers, mums-to-be or any woman thinking about becoming a mother.
Essential Mums is full of daily news, features, fun stories and lots of helpful advice. It has everything you need to navigate the amazing journey of motherhood.
"Why Essential Mums, and not Essential Mums and Dads?" I hear you ask. Yes, we know Dads take just as active and important a role in children's upbringing (not to mention creation), and we are sure many of them will find lots of the content interesting and useful. They are welcome too.
But we wanted to make this site unabashedly a place for women, and acknowledge that while being a mum is amazing, fantastic (and sometimes exhausting and frustrating), it is also only one facet of a woman's life. We all juggle lots of balls every day, whether it be kids, work, relationships, finances, extended family or whatever.
So while we will cover everything from conception to teenagers, we also have plenty of lifestyle content - food, fashion, finances and the odd celebrity yarn - to round it off. There are tools like ovulation calculators, pregnancy calendars and baby name finders. You can check out how your child's primary school performed in this first round of National Standards, and join the comment and debate on any of our stories.
We wanted to make the site reflect the full journey of motherhood - starting from when you are just thinking about getting pregnant, right through to dealing with teenagers. We have a great lineup of bloggers and expert commentators - and even a teenage gadget whiz who can tell you how to sort your iTunes as well as what your kids are REALLY doing online.
Our stories, photos and videos will come from Essential Mums writers as well as the great stable of journalists from around the wider Fairfax Group. You'll also see the best of the content from our Australian sister sites - Essential Baby and Essential Kids, but we have made sure to give our site a clear Kiwi flavour and make it relevant and appealing to New Zealand women.
One of our favourite parts of the site is the Essential Mums "Mums' Hub", a new online forum community for women who are, or who want to be, mothers to get together and have a chat - a bit like a virtual coffee group. Hopefully plenty of you will be keen to sign up and take part, to be supportive and encouraging to your fellow women as we all do our best to get through our days with sanity intact. Topics can range from conception woes to sleepness nights, from divining the sex of your baby to sex after baby. You can talk about healthy food for kids, or your healthy obsession with Dr McDreamy of Grey's Anatomy. We don't care as long as you play nice and have fun.
The site is edited by the wonderful Kate Geenty, herself a working mum of one. Kate is a well-respected journalist and has been in the industry for more than 10 years. Before going on maternity leave to have little Mia, she was Stuff's business editor. She has spent most of this year putting together the site, ready for our official launch today.