Raising Boys: Emma Cruickshank & Wilder Gosling

Instilling kindness and empathy in her son Wilder is one of Emma Cruickshank's most important values as a mother


Emma Cruickshank and her son Wilder at home. Picture / Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

For Public Library PR owner Emma Cruickshank, keeping up with her 6-year-old son Wilder’s active interests is no easy task.

“He’s into skateboarding, surfing, drumming — he does drumming lessons every Friday after school and is obsessed with Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, he wants to be just like him.”

It’s easy to see where he gets his interests from — Wilder’s dad, co-owner of Public Library, Dan Gosling, is an avid surfer, and the PR company represents skate brands Vans and Santa Cruz.

It’s not all rock ’n’ roll and extreme sports, however — compared to his baby sister, Nevada, Emma says Wilder is more sensitive.

“He’s always been very cuddly, and family is everything to him, whereas Nevada wouldn’t even care if I went out for the whole day without saying goodbye, she’s really independent. They were completely opposite as babies — Nevada’s a Leo with quite a bit of attitude, whereas Wilder is a Capricorn like me, so he’s very sensitive.”

Emma didn’t know what to expect when she was pregnant with Wilder, but some of the most common advice she received was not to take the early years for granted.

“Everyone said to me ‘it goes so fast, make the most of it and spend as much time with them as possible’. That baby phase only lasts for a tiny part of your life and suddenly they’re 6 years old. So that would be my advice, try and take it all in, make the most of that early stage, even though sometimes it’s super hard, and you’re sleep-deprived and hating it...”

Instilling kindness and empathy in Wilder is one of Emma’s number one values, and she says he’s already naturally engaged in other people. “That’s something I love about him, he’ll have a conversation with anyone. I want him to have a love for everyone, no matter who they are. And to be confident, and respect the environment — that’s important I think.”

Public Library will have been operating for 10 years this year, an exciting milestone, and Emma recognises that she’s been lucky to be able to take time away from full-time work during the birth and early years of both her children.

“I have a great support network and amazing family, which has allowed me to step back a little bit and be there for them while they’re young. For the first few years of their lives, that’s my priority, so I’ve left Dan to take the reins with Public Library and then when Nevada is 2, I’ll come back in full force, which is what I want.”

Her Public Library staff have been key in the juggling act of parenting young children and running a business.

“On Fridays everyone will have a drink and I’ll bring the kids in — Wilder skateboards inside, he loves coming to work, it’s like his favourite place. All the staff get along with him really well so it’s nice, we’re all kind of family.”

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

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