My twelve year old has started saying a word to me that I find extremely upsetting, it is not one I am accustomed to hearing from anyone – let alone my own spawn.

The hateful word to which I am referring to is: no.

“Marchella, can you please unstack the dishwasher”?


“Marchella can you please put your washing out”?


“Marchella can you please stop being a rat face jerk”?

Well I haven’t actually said that last one to her yet but I have thought it, loudly, on several occasions.

I have always prided myself on my relationship with my kids, I had them both pretty young and have tried to maintain a balance of trusted friend meets firm but fair parent. Many mocked me when I announced that I intended to stay friends with my kids throughout their teen years and said it just couldn’t be done. ‘Shut your mouth holes’ I told them, my girls and I will totes be BFFs. (That is teen speak for totally best friends forever.)

Well, I am being tested on that announcement. I truly am.

My eldest BFF has started to stand up to me and; dare I say it, have her own thoughts and feelings.

What now?!

I mean I had heard of this happening to OTHER Mothers but not to cool, young, progressive me. No!

Yes. Yes it is happening and I am not dealing with it well.

Hormones have moved into my house and they are getting comfortable. Doors are being slammed at an alarming rate, secrets are being kept and eye rolling has gone up 2000%.

I am desperately clinging to the relationship we had up until a few months ago but I fear it may be time to reassess the situation and take a new tact. I am having to acknowledge that the slow emancipation of my child from me is beginning, but this is what we have been training for right?!

This is why I have been teaching her things like “everyone is equal” and “look after the planet” and “say no to white pants”.

That is our job as parents, to equip them with the tools they need to function as contributing adults in society. It’s just… it hurts. I don’t like my first born yelling at me because: “You just don’t understand Mum”. I bloody do! I remember feeling as though my parents didn’t get me, that the world hated me and worrying about hair in unspeakable places.

That was only 10 years ago.. What? Ok.. 20 years ago.

I am worried that I won’t be able to be friends with her, that I am actually going to have to become a fully fledged parental figure. I thought I’d be able to just guide her but perhaps that isn’t a strong enough approach. This is an extremely tough lesson for me to learn, one that will no doubt continue to evolve as she gets older and more teenagery.

It looks like it is time for Mum to grow up huh? Does this mean I have to hand in my pumps for crocs and start wearing comfortable slacks and own tupperware?

(Please note I am aware that is a terrible stereotype but I do have to say there is an alarming correlation between the mothers who are organised at my kids’ school and their sensible footwear. Probably because they care less about their feet and more about having a nutritious lunch packed.)

Next year, high school.

Oh God.

Pray for me please.

Em x



After cracking a few good notes in the shower in her early twenties, Em auditioned for 'Australian Idol', finally making the top ten during the show's fabulously popular second season. Then after tossing off some decent quips in her post-Idol interviews, Em was snapped up by the Austereo radio network. Going on to host Perth's 92.9 breakfast radio show for four years, Em flirted with AFL footballers, traded baby-stories with suburban mums and jammed with the Black Eyed Peas. She riffed on everything from US politics, to post-natal depression to Lady Gaga's man-bits, and drove the network to ratings supremacy, year after year. Network ten's 'The Project' noticed Em had something special and hired her as a presenter in 2010. Em has been with the Project since it's first week on air and has presented many stories including "Behind the scenes of Master Chef in New York." Em is also apart of the hugely popular "Metro Whip around" that takes place every Friday night on the show. Now based in Melbourne Em has turned her attention to stage performing and musical stand-up comedy. In 2011, she wrote, produced and directed: "The Saintly Bitch Sings." Part stand-up, part cabaret and part therapy the show received excellent reviews from critics and most importantly her parents. Em also enjoyed a sell out season at Melbourne's Butterfly club and Trades hall. Em appears regularly on "The Circle" as a guest host and also contributes articles to Mia Freedman's extremely popular Em has a strong presence on Twitter with over 9,000 followers and also writes her own blog called "The Saintly Bitch." "If Judy Garland and Freddie Mercury had a love child the result would be something like Em Rusciano" - Michael Lucas, Screen writer. "A voice to die for" – Alan O'Riordan, Theatre Critic "Good at everything that doesn't matter" - Her mother

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