What don’t you want your children to know about you?

Before I was a mum I did some pretty crazy stuff.

Skydiving, bridge swinging and bungee jumping nudie runs – you name it I did it.

But one thing that VERY few civilians get to do is this…

Well I wasn't really that scared, but more worried I would not make my mark!

It was such a buzz, and I had a very helpful ‘wingman’! I didn’t hit the paper man at all but it was still great fun!

As a young journalist in Alexandra, New Zealand, I went out to hang and write a news story with local police who were doing their yearly target practice training.

This was quite a big deal because back then NZ police did not carry firearms on normal duty (and from what I’ve researched, they still don’t).

It’s cold in Central Otago, like very cold, hence me wearing fug me FM boots and a snowboarding jacket in the middle of the day!

Those who are familiar with my blog probably won’t be surprised to learn that I was SUPER keen to fire a Glock semi-automatic pistol.

Growing up on a farm, I was no stranger to firearms, having used a .22 many times before, mainly to maim lemonade cans atop of woodpiles.

But to be amongst New Zealand’s top police force, I felt very privileged to be asked to have a go.

BOOM - My instructor was awesome!!

BOOM – My instructor was awesome!!

I have to say I had forgotten about this awesome experience until I found these photos in an old email account.

But I suppose once you become a parent, a mother or a father, you kind of forget or lose your own identity.

What you’ve been or done beforehand seems to simply disappear or fade away.

And I think that’s kind of sad 🙁

We are shaped by our past and are the kind of parents we are because of our past.

I would not change most of what I’ve done, well maybe in regards to the toads frogs I’ve had to kiss before meeting my Prince Charming.

BUT I’m outgoing, thrill seeking and adventurous, and I want my children to know me as this woman, especially my daughter.

In a world that is still male-dominated, I want her to know that there are NO mountains, obstacles, hurdles that she can’t overcome…

What do you want your children to know about your past?
Have you ever fired a semi-automatic weapon?
Aren’t they amazing?
Do you hate guns? If so, sorry but I was only shooting a pretend person I PROMISE!

Linking with the lovely Jess @ Essentially Jess


  1. I would not want them to know about those times when I was so drunk I could barely stand up LOL I’m pretty sure they would find out when they are big enough because my partner in crime back them became my husband. LOL

    I have never fired a gun, we have a no-gun policy in the house, no toy gun, not even a water gun. My father was shot in the head when I was 6 years old. Though I never grew up with him, that story is stuck in my head.

    Kudos to you Mrs. Daredevil 🙂

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Oh hun sorry to hear about your father, what a horrific thing to deal with. I’m not a fan of kids with guns quite frankly but I suppose and while don’t own any, actually I think there’s one in the bath, I imagine my boys will ‘play’ will play with the notion of them as we did as kids.
      And you’re right, it’ll be our friends and family that let things slip to our children about what we used to get up to!! x

  2. I’ve been to the shooting range a couple of times and fired a bunch of different guns, the Glock, Magnum, shotgun and a few others. Brilliant. Love shooting.

  3. Great post, Em. Your playful, fun loving nature comes through in everything you write and IRL you have a light that shines very brightly. There is no doubt your children will grow up knowing what a confident, strong and adventurous woman you are. With two girls of my own, I’m always wondering what I will share with them from my past. Time will tell, I guess. I’ve fired a rifle in NZ. Nearly fell over backwards doing it 🙂

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Yes rifles and shot guns do have major kickback!! And I do hope my kids grow up confident, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds 🙂 xx

  4. I’m anti guns but I went shooing (luger 22) on the Torschlusspanik list and LOVED it. I excitedly told people that night at a preschool function and was treated like a maniac. Which I also get. My kids know I did it because I was so excited at my awesome score – it’s all part of my going to the Olympics plan, and possibly meeting Nassar Al Attiyah. Legend! My shooting photo is here http://pandoraandmax.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/home-home-on-gun-range-part-2.html (Crazy old ladies with guns)

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      I can’t believe I missed the post? I do know what you mean about guns you either ain’t them or you don’t. If they are used correctly I don’t have a problem with them!

  5. Looking very cosy with your instructor there Ems. Was he one of the toads? I don’t particularly want N to know that I smoked pot, had one night stands, and thought school was a total waste of time. Please don’t tell him! I have no doubt M will grow up to be just as strong, adventurous and outgoing as her awesome Mama. xo

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Ha ha he wasn’t actually, but I do remember him getting quite cosy 😉 And your secrets are safe with me, well not really because you just told the entire world – digital footprint’s can’t be erased! 😉 xxx

  6. Wow! I’ve never really had the opportunity to be around guns so have never been fazed by them, apart from the slug gun my Dad had up in the top cupboard on the farm but that was never ever bought out for anything, so I have no idea why we even owned it.
    I’m sure I would be blown away, possibly literally, If I ever had the chance to shoot at fake people but admittedly I would never particularly seek it. However if it was a perk of my job I wouldn’t be saying no to having a go either! I love that you’ll give anything a go! That’s the only way to be in this life I say. Rock on sister!

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Thanks gorgeous, yes I will never say no to any new adventure and as a journo did get to do heaps of cool stuff and meet amazing people. 🙂 xx

  7. Why am I not surprised you aren’t a thrill seeker?? I am the opposite to thrill seeking. I’ve never shot a gun. (a water gun and glue gun and that is IT) Don’t want to either. I was huddled in a corner when I played Skirmish years ago. I play safe.
    But in saying that, since having kids I have learned more about myself too that I didn’t know pre kids.

  8. No – I haven’t shot a gun but if there was one in that dude’s pocket I’d be happy to see it (I hope that sounded sufficiently rude 😉 )
    Certain circumstances meant I didn’t do as much adventuring as I would have liked to during my 20s but its not too late perhaps Team Abulous can climb mountains and jump hurdles together. 😉

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Oh course it sounded rude Mumabs I’d expect nothing less. Hope Team Abulous does get to adventure together once kids are older, that’s our plan too!

  9. Never fired a real gun and am anti them, but the is a difference to me between sport shooting and overly armed citizens ; ) you look badass and I am sure your kids will know how awesome you are!

    I want my kids to know that I changed my mind last minute after years of planning to be a lawyer, went traveling instead and met their dad, never too late to say “nope, not for me”

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Yes I agree there is a difference between gun toters and those that use them wisely. Your decision to go travelling was obviously the right one – GO YOU! x

  10. Good question had to think about this, maybe I would like them to know about my determination to keep trying to get the job I wanted and how hard it was to move to the other side of the world. Hope you can get to reconnect with that adventurous girl before kids.

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      That is the best quality you can have I reckon – determination, you sound like quite the adventurer – thanks for stopping by 🙂

  11. I am neither pro or anti guns. I am not a fan of weirdo’s wielding them such as what happens in the US way too often. I also had a friend that was hugely into them. She had many a debate of the issue and she was a very good debater 🙂
    I almost went to the range with her, but it never eventuated, so I have never actually held one and I can definitely live with that.

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Yes weirdos and gun not cool but I can see their purpose, but they need regulated, locked and have to be laws in place to make sure they’re not misused!

  12. There’s nothing much my boys could know about me that they don’t already. I’m a super boring, play it safe type. I’m the nearly 43 year old woman who is still TERRIFIED stepping onto an escalator let alone bungee jumping. Sigh. Unfortunately my middle boy seems to take after me in that regard and is such an anxious kid. It’s breaking my heart.

    You are the type of person I’ve always watched from afar wishing I could be like them. You, ROCK! I’m sure your kids will be the same. xo

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      You know at least your middle boy has you to keep watch over him, we can’t all be the ones who like to bungy jump because there would be no sensible people like you who put rules in place for us to be safe doing it! Thanks for sweet words Ness 🙂 xx

  13. Lol – the first time I fired a rifle I gave myself a black eye (gotta hate that kick-back!)

    Actually, as nerdy as it seems, there is nothing about my past I wouldn’t want my kids to know – that I can remember anyway. But then, my kids are at that age where hearing about how Mum jumped off a bridge, hunted bunnies, climbed active volcanoes, jumped off waterfalls, rafted through caves, rafted over waterfalls in caves, jumped horses over crazy objects (like a couple of utes backed together) and waited 28 years to find Mr. Perfect are all in that not-sure-if-its-cool-or-crazy-almost-tween stage.

    Gotta love the attitude of the Kiwi who doesn’t know they can’t fly! Kapai!

    Rach 🙂

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Rachael you are my sort of Kiwi – what an adventurous life you’ve had to date and I bet your kids are in awe of all you’ve done, I’m sure once mine grow they will be of me too and my hubby is quite the globe trotter, we didn’t meet until later on too – best time I reckon 🙂

  14. I don’t think there is anything I don’t want my kids to know (age appropriate of course). I’ve made many mistakes in my life, had many challenges, many successes and they’ve made me who they are and I want them to know the same. The only thing I don’t want my kids to become is jaded, I can be a little jaded at times and that is sad. Maybe firing a weapon will snap it out of me!

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      I think the business of life can make us all wary, but as long as it’s not permanent! Hang in there and go and jump off a bridge, you’ll feel much more alive! x

  15. We used to own a .38 Taurus short barrel revolver. It was awesom although I hated shooting it. We only ever shot it at the indoor range – the first time I used it I was about 7 or 8 months pregnant – K didn’t like it much at all !!!!
    My child is certainly a lot more adventurous than I am – which I think is just fantastic and it means I must have done something right as a Mom not to bury her under my fears !!!
    Have the best day !

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Yes L you are awesome to have been able to bring up an outgoing child and not push your fears on her, I hope I can do the same, eg so my daughter does sweat the small stuff that I’m sometimes guilty of, eg mess on floor, washing, tidy house etc! That gun sounds freaky

  16. I really, really don’t like guns but it is something I think I should overcome.
    My kids are ALL OVER the internet, so if there is anything I want them to not know, I’m not writing it here because one day they will find it! I will tell you one day over a drink or 4, promise.

  17. Wow … quite the experience. I have never been comfortable around guns, but do understand the attraction.

    I have done some crazy adventurous stuff in my life too & like you, I want my kids to understand they can achieve so much if they want to.

    I’m a warts & all kind of person – there’s not much I won’t share with them at the right stages of their lives I suspect. Poor babies!! 😉

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      I’m not really attracted to them, but I’m not afraid of them, I’m wary and know the power they yield though. Yes I will probably tell my kids all the stuff I did, well with a R18 tag attached probably 😉 xx

  18. Hiya, great blog! I just discovered via IBOT. I think the one thing I don’t want my kids to know is that I got married when I was 20 to a complete tool, and then divorced when I was 22. I don’t want them thinking that’s a viable plan of action!

  19. I love the message you aim to send your little girl. I know that since becoming a Mumma there is much of my past that has been buried. Actually, since leaving high school really. Some of it has been happily forgotten, but that does not mean that I will hide it from my kids as they grow. I’m with you – it is these experiences that make us who we are now, so sharing them certainly serves a purpose.

  20. No I haven’t fired a semi automatic weapon and I am just a little jealous of you. I want my girls to know there are no barriers based purely on their gender either. Of course sometimes easier said than done in today’s society!

  21. Ooh, some of those toads are too scary to remember Em 🙂

    I wouldn’t want mine to know that before I met my Prince Charming, I was trapped (literally some days) in a violent relationship, and even friends who I begged for help were too scared to intervene. I don’t want her to know the fear I lived with, but will be ever so vigilant when the time comes that she starts dating (OMG, years away!!).

    Your daughter will see you as an awesome, strong role model, and I only hope mine sees me as the same.
    You do look pretty badass in those pice, lovely xx

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Oh sweetheart that pains me to read this 🙁 I’m so sorry you had to have such sadness so young. But I’m very happy you have the love of your life now and a precious girl also. And your daughter has one of the most caring, gentled-souled mums around, she’s VERY lucky xxx

  22. I have fired a gun on the states for the novelty of it but it made me feel sick to be honest. I haven’t thought about what I would and wouldn’t want my kids to know about me, but I definitely want them to know I’m a real person who has and still is making mistakes but is willing to admit it and learn from them! Sounds like your daughter has a great role model 🙂

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Yes guns aren’t for everyone, I have to say I’ve never tried to hit a living thing with one, I just don’t have it in me – thanks for visit lovely x

  23. Great post Em – you are right about letting our kids know what we’ve done before – that there is more to us than they see right now (and showing them we can still be adventurous). I’ve never fired a gun – I get the sport of shooting but it is not for me. As a young journo I got to go on a live firing exercise with the army in Townsville, flew in a Black Hawk when we were shooting vision of there 20 chopper formation landing and also did one of those full-on army obstacle courses, complete with crawling under barbed wire through mud. I also went up in a glider and an ultra-light. Those were the days. Sadly I don’t have any real documentary proof – there must be news archives somewhere – mostly just vision of my very bad hair styles.

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      See how awesome you are Kathy – you deserve to be awarded for all that you are and you’ve done! I’m VERY jealous about the Black Hawk flight and those obstacle courses – what a legend! xxx

  24. I don’t know what I wouldn’t want my kids to know about me? Probably the losers I dated, but I don’t really want anyone to know about that!!!
    Giggling at the pics of you all rugged up and the copper with bare arms!

  25. Hi Emily – love your post! I haven’t had the opportunity to fire a ‘real’ gun.. I know I’d be a terrible shot, I’m hopeless at shooting gallery games! I haven’t really thought about what I want/wouldn’t want my boys to know about my past. Probably some of the antics we used to get up to whilst nightclubbing would be high on the list.. Also the way I met their father/husband is one story I will probably keep from them (fake name etc…)

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Hee hee, fake name, now I’m intrigued!!! I’m not a great shot but it was fun – thanks for visit 🙂

  26. I dont know what I wouldn’t want my kids to know?
    I haven’t fired a gun and would more than likely to be too scared to do it! Friends of mine have been to a gun range though and said it is a good time.

  27. Looks like you had a ball! My uncle used to be a roo shooter (before the gun laws were introduced) and he used to take me out to shoot cans on fences in the bush. There’s a lot I don’t want Dyllan to know about when I was younger…especially the ins and outs of how his father and I met!

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Somethings I reckon kids don’t need to know – but there are some that will teach them lessons that are worth it I reckon x

  28. Gosh! It’s actually quite hard remembering my life BC (Before Children). I think it’s also because everything before them pales in comparison with the adventure we are having with them now. Still it is good to remember who we were before. I always enjoy listening to my mum’s and dad’s stories of the things they got up to in their younger days. I’m sure my kids will too someday

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      I now LOVE hearing about my mum’s life – I must document it because my memory is now crap after years of NO SLEEP.. zzzzzzzzzzzz

  29. My son has already jumped out of a plane in a parachute and the two eldest have already lived overseas for a year. They’ve probably done more than me. Sadly, I think my life was pretty uninspiring before kids. There are lots of things I definitely don’t want them to know I’ve done though 🙂

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      How awesome are they – and you must be a great mum to have given them the courage and strength to do those things 🙂

  30. I’ve done a lot of stupid/fun/totally-batshit-crazy things in my life, but I have to say, I’ve never touched a gun, not even once. Hubby grew up on a farm though and he’s an ace with a rifle, every time we go to a carnival or fair he wins soft toys for the girls on the rifle range game. I’m not sure if I should be worried about what a good shot he is!
    As for what I do/don’t want my kids to know about me, I’m pretty much an open book. The person I am today is the sum of my experiences, good and bad, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons that I’d like to pass on to my children. Plus, the bonus of being a young mum is that it’s not that long since I was a teenager, so my girls have noooo chance of getting anything past me 😉

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Yes there’s no way you’ll be curious as to why they want to eat the entire house down at 11pm at night 😉 I wish I could win soft toys 🙂 x

  31. I have shot hand guns and rifles, lots of fun! I would like to think I can tell my kids anything about my past, but who knows – I”m sure there are at least a few skeletons in my closet!

  32. You look awesome in these photos (as you do always!) Gee, I don’t know what I want my kids to know about me, I think I’m still in the haze of parenting toddlers to even think that far x

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Yes same here, life is such a blur, I do crave the years for when Mr 2 isn’t trying to drive me up the wall on a daily basis x

  33. Yep, I’m like a few others here… boring! There really isn’t much I wouldn’t want my kids to know – maybe some of the silly things I did to fit in/ impress the crowd in high school. I hope that they will be much more secure in themselves and not feel like they have to be something they aren’t in order to fit in. I guess the insecurity is the curse of teenager-hood though…

    So, that got more introspective than it needed to! You look like a very cool mum!

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      It’s hard to make secure kids, I think it’s half us and half the way they are – and nah not a cool mum, just a crazy, try anything type of person, thanks for stopping by 🙂

  34. Girl you could totally be Lara Croft in the next Tombraider film xxx Well I am kidless as you know but I do love my nieces in particular knowing what their mums were like before they were around (nothing too risque lol) xx

  35. Looks like you still have photographic evidence of your past that you could share particularly with your girl. As for me, guns have never been of interest to me. Steph x

  36. That’s awesome! My husband and I – as redneck as it sounds – want to go to a shooting range just for fun. Some friends of ours did it for their anniversary (they had an ‘extreme’ weekend) and had an amazing time. It’s not something I would normally have thought to do – thrill-seeking, yes, but never a gun. But I would love to do it now. As for my past….hmmm….not a wholesome one, but I think my kids will learn from my experiences 🙂

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      It’s a great thing to do when you don’t do it every day, and if it’s in a controlled environment then I’m all for it – I hope you get the chance to go away with your hubby and have a fun weekend together!

  37. The only gun I’ve fired is a cap gun or water pistol.
    I’m not a fan, but the experience looks amazing Em.

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      Yes they aren’t my weapon of choice, but they have been in and around my life since I was a wee mite on the farm. To me they are something I can take or leave.

  38. You and I – we’re kindred spirits. I’m a thrill seeking, adventurous, adrenalin junkie and since being a mum…I miss it!
    I’m going to tell them about my scuba diving, snowboarding and surfing adventures. And hopefully, I’ll be there for when they create their own.
    Love the stance of you holding that gun. I’m not big on fire arms but secretly, you do look sexy in those photos 🙂

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      BOOM! Thanks for saying I look like a hotburger – and look at all the cool stuff you’ve done – you boys will be so proud of you 🙂

  39. I will probably share most things with my kids … at the appropriate times. I want them to know what I went through to shape who I am today. The good, the bad and the downright ugly. But as I said, will only share when it seems appropriate …
    The uni stuff, the boy stuff, the fun stuff, the dangerous stuff, the “wish I could forget that” stuff.
    I have never shot a gun. Would love to though. it is on my list …
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  40. I think you made a great point with this post Em. I think we should share our past with our children at appropriate time. They are going to have their own experiences but I think they can also learn from the experiences of their parents. And, yes, it is so important to teach girls that they can realize their dreams and be able to do what they want.

  41. About my past? Anything. Everything. I wonder what they’ll make of the fact that I’ve never smoked and didn’t touch alcohol until I went off to uni. Will they rebel and embrace all those things? Or think that it’s kind of cool in a strong-in-the-face-of-peer-pressure kind of way? (Probably the first one.)

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      They might think “wow mum is pretty cool and doesn’t do any silly shit” 🙂 Mine – not so much x

  42. I think my eldest (15) knows most things about me by now, but I have been drip-feeding – only when I am ready, she is ready, and there is a point to telling her. There are a few secrets though that no one knows, only because they are too embarrassing!

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      I have to say that I can’t wait til I can impart knowledge on my precious girl and maybe save her some heartache! xx

  43. I’ve never even seen a gun in real life let alone shot one and my life has been void of adventure. In fact, my catch cry at the moment is “I’ve not done/seen that”. It’s quite annoying.
    I used to think there was a lot I didn’t want my kids to know about me but, now I am of the opinion that I just need to be honest. My past, while not always rosy, has shaped who I am and I think they need to see that my mistakes didn’t crush me and learn from them in a way. If that makes sense?

  44. Are you sure it was cold Em that spunky fella behind you is in just his t-shirt!
    As I am a generally all round perfect individual, I am an open book to my son.
    *ahem, cough*

    • Have A Laugh On Me says:

      It was cold but he was trying to show me his muscles – okay so maybe it warmed up but underneath my jacket I may or may not have had an ugly shirt on 😉 xxx

  45. Awesome!

  46. I come from a family of sports shooters, even my old marketing assistant was a sports shooter (totally awesome for a gorgeous 18 year old girl). I’m obviously not anti-guns, but I do have a great amount of respect for our gun laws here in Australia, it’s really quite strict. I’m actually CRAP at shooting, so I tend to stay home & craft…. LOL.

    Things I’d rather my children not know about….. the list is endless, I went to art school (need I say more).

  47. Never fired a gun, but would love to one day.

    I’m torn between wanting my girls to know that their parents weren’t always boring and losers and knew how to party better than most in their younger years, but at the same time I also don’t want or need them to know about the ridiculous amounts of drugs we used to take to fuel said partying! It’s a dilemma!

  48. I love that photo!!! I don’t think I can write some of the things I don’t want my girls to know about…probably the biggest thing is just how much of a terrible booze hag I used to…

    And I’m not sure about guns…I don’t like them as they scare the crap out of me (I think it’s how “final” they are), but then I get that they are needed in certain circumstances, like on a farm…


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