Today is Three Kid Circus's stop on this week's Mother Talk Blog Tour for the highly anticipated new book Babyproofing Your Marriage. The tagline reads: How to laugh more, argue less, and communicate better as your family grows. I think most marriages could do with a few helpful pointers in those areas, right?
I'll admit, when I first cracked open Babyproofing Your Marriage, I was put off. I did my usual open the cover, jump around reading random pages, scan the final pages, and I wasn't ready for what I found. At first pass, the language seemed flippant, the anecdotes I read seemed overly negative, and the vibe of the book seemed harsh.
Don't do what I did. Start at the beginning, and read the book as it is meant to be read. Despite my initial reaction, I settled down into a chair after a long day, and dove in. When I surfaced several hours later, pages were turned down, passages were highlighted, and my husband was reading over my shoulder. I honestly think my knee-jerk reaction to the first few anecdotes and passages I read was due to the real-life experience I have with many of the emotions and realities recounted in this book.
Stacie Cockrell, Cathy O'Neill and Julia Stone are all longtime friends, and it comes across in the writing. The tone is chatty, humorous and down-to-earth. The three authors have seven children between them, "...none of whom have yet set foot in a Kindergarten. Needless to say, we lived this book as we wrote it." Ah, my favorite kind of 'experts!' Those that are walking the walk, not just talking the talk.
Cockrell, O'Neill and Stone conducted a bazillion interviews with parents, and present the good, the bad and the ugly in a straight-forward manner. They note early on:
Athough this book is written by women, men get a fair shake and a loud shout. This is not a girl's bitch session; though we don't pull any punches. We've done our best to get the guys' side of the story straight. We didn't always like what they had to say, but we can pretty much guarantee that whether you are a man or a woman, something in here is going to tick you off. Fair enough. Just try to keep an open mind. We found that even the most inflammatory comments helped us learn something.
With my mind locked in the open position, I jumped in. With chapters discussing everything from keeping score to the "Sex Life" of New Parents, dealing with extended family and adding more children to the family, the authors leap right into the middle of the subjects that most new parents struggle with. Even eight years after the birth of my first child, I still found myself wincing over some of these problem areas. Babyproofing Your Marriage is written with newbie parents in mind, but many of their astute observations and troubleshooting tips can be applied by seasoned parents as well.
My appreciation for Babyproofing Your Marriage continues to grow as I reflect back on some of the passages I reacted strongly to. Even though I've hashed over these trouble spots with friends time and again, and I know that most of my friends had similar struggles, it would have been very empowering to know that some of these problems are almost universal, especially as a newly minted parent.
Babyproofing Your Marriage offers tools to get the conversation started, and suggestions for resolving some of the strife that comes from adding a new member to the family. I think that Babyproofing Your Marriage is a great addition to the growing library of parenting books that tell it like it really is.
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Babyproofing Your Marriage is on sale today!
For more about the authors and the book, you can visit their site