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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad Paperback – April 2, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Early in this book, Benner tells the sweet story of his adoption, and then the sad story of his father abandoning the family on the author’s thirteenth birthday. Those short, clear passages are, however, virtual islets of good writing in a puddle of cliché and syrupy platitudes. This thin book is mainly a chain of tiny, advice-giving chapters that sound like an audition for The View. Yes, stay-at-home dads are rare, but the concept of them is no longer novel. That relegates this book to the shrinking group of parents who are only now finding that men can play big roles in homemaking. In other words, this book is dated. Benner more than meets the exhausting challenge of raising a child with type 1 diabetes. But other than restating the nightly, darkest-hours task of monitoring his daughter’s blood sugar, he does not take us inside this situation or its affect on his family. Worse, the ordeal of childhood diabetes comes across as a tyranny over readers who dare to shy from a lecture on it. --Dane Carr

Review

Benner paints himself as a bumbling father with self-deprecating stories of being in over his head. However, he loves his children fervently and asserts the secret to happiness is to never stop and never give up...his unabashed “dad humor” brings a distinct charm to his writing without being mawkish or overly sentimental.
- Erin Shea, Library Journal

"Scott’s open and frank discussion about life, love and making the most of every memory is advice of value to all of us. This book should be read by everyone who loves to laugh and values their family. His unique perspective and wonderful humor made this book a pure pleasure to read and a book that must be shared with everyone in your life–young or older."
- Barbara Wagstaff, Diabetes Advocacy

"Most memoirs are written in the rear-view mirror of events and relationships long past. Scott Benner’s first book, “Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad,” looks through the windshield at a family in progress."
- Gwen Shrift, phillyBurbs.com

“It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time. I’m just having so much fun reading [this] book.”
- Mike Hoskins, DiabetesMine (on Blogging Diabetes with Tony Rose)

"Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad is by far one of the best books that I have read in a long time."
- Chris Stocker, The Life of a Diabetic

"I'll spare the hyperbole and elaborate metaphors and simply say it was a joy to read and I would recommend it to anyone."
- Christopher Snider, Just Talking Podcast

“You don’t have to have diabetes. You don’t have to be a parent. But I can guarantee you if you read this book you’re going to be laughing, and laughing out loud like I was…heavy endorsement by me.”
- Tony Rose, Blogging Diabetes with Tony Rose

"As a pediatrician and a parent myself, I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun but poignant read. Benner takes stay at home parenting, actually just parenting in general, to a whole new level. His anecdotes alternate between hilarious and touching, and the book's conclusion will leave you crying and wanting for more."
- Adam Naddelman, MD, President, Princeton Nassau Pediatrics, P.A.

“This was a funny look at both fatherhood and parenting and you have to love the author's approach and writing style! Humorous and witty, this book will leaving you laughing in many places and touched in others.”
- Christopher Lewis, Dad of Divas' Reviews

"Indeed, I can't think of many people I wouldn't recommend this book to. It's an honest, sweet, and fun look at parenting that is a love letter to all the mothers and fathers out there, not just the ones who are lucky enough--and brave enough--to stay at home. If you've ever been curious about what can make a man turn to this female-dominated profession, if you've ever wondered what awaits the life of a homemaker, or if you simply can't believe that such a thing as a good stay-at-home dad can exist, Benner's story will enlighten you to no end."
- Eric Magill, Open Salon, The Unapologetic Geek

"I honestly can’t say enough good things about his book...I literally could not put my advanced copy down once I began reading it."
- Laura Kolodjeski, Discuss Diabetes

"Scott's first book (being such a great writer, I sure hope it's only his first!) is so chock full of moments you cannot avoid but smile at, think through, and cry to, as he describes the innermost details of his life as a stay-at-home dad. He exhibits the courage to bare his soul every bit as much as he makes you crack up with his brilliant humor."
- Manny Hernandez, TuDiabetes

"If you are young, old, male, female, married, or thinking about someday getting married and maybe, someday, having children, I couldn’t recommend a better way to learn about the trouble and joy you’re getting yourself into!"
- Ginger Vieira, Diabetes Daily

"Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal is a fast-paced, witty, and ultimately poignant book that is hard to put down and easy to finish in a couple of days. Filled with great advice, it is a great introduction to at-home parenting suitable for any parent, and a familiar take on a life that more and more dads are leading."
- David Ozab, Fatherhood, Etc.

"[Benner's] award-winning book, Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal, is giving fellow stay-at-home dads, caregiving parents, and folks who just want to peek into what it’s like to be on constant “dad duty” a chance to do just that."
- The DX
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Spry Publishing LLC; First Edition edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938170156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938170157
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #906,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Scott Benner is a stay-at-home father, a diabetes advocate, and a keen observer of the human condition. He has spent the last twelve years raising his two children at their family home in New Jersey.

Scott shares his triumphs and challenges in parenting a child with type 1 diabetes on ArdensDay.com, an inspirational blog for parents and caregivers of children with diabetes. Scott finds wisdom, love, and a deeper understanding of life by paying close attention to the pauses in between the moments that make up our lives. He enjoys those pauses--and the busy times that intervene--with his wife Kelly, son Cole, and daughter Arden.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Adam Naddelman on March 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Scott Benner's inaugural book, Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal. There are a lot of books out there claiming to have all the answers to parents' insecurities about how to best raise their children, and many of them come off as pedantic and sanctimonious, turning most readers immediately off. Benner's book does the exact opposite. From the first chapter, I was pulled into the book and couldn't put it down. As a pediatrician and a parent myself, I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun but poignant read-- Benner takes stay at home parenting, actually just parenting in general, to a whole new level. His anecdotes alternate between hilarious and touching, and the book's conclusion will leave you crying and wanting for more. Parents of kids with chronic illness will especially appreciate the anxieties and insecurities Benner reveals, and his advice for dealing with them truly comes from his heart. I can't recommend this book highly enough. You won't regret it.

Adam Naddelman, MD
President, Princeton Nassau Pediatrics, PA
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Manny Hernandez HALL OF FAME on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had a chance to meet Scott in person for the first time in the summer of 2012. Previously, I had only read some of his posts on his blog Arden's Day about the life of Arden, his daughter who lives with type 1 diabetes. When I met him, I felt an immediate connection to him, as if I had known him for a very long time. And having just finished his book "Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad" I can see why.

Scott's first book (being such a great writer, I sure hope it's only his first!) is so chock full of moments you cannot avoid but smile at, think through, and cry to, as he describes the innermost details of his life as a stay-at-home dad. He exhibits the courage to bare his soul every bit as much as he makes you crack up with his brilliant humor. When you think you've read the best of the book, he hits a home run taking a powerful stance on the role of men in families today, and how we can sometimes take a position towards certain chores in family life (from sports to laundry), that unknowingly perpetuates a cycle that we really need to be contributing to break.

Scott's wisdom shines even more as he dives into the moments leading up to Arden's diagnosis, through their first few years with her living with diabetes, and how it fundamentally changed everything they believed to be ready for in their lives as parents. He writes: "I don't need more than four, maybe five, hours of sleep a night and the hours don't have to be consecutive. The only thing that matters is that Arden's blood glucose doesn't drop so low overnight that she dies in her sleep.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By rainy day on March 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mr. Benner's tales of his experiences as a stay-at-home dad and parent of a child with Type-1 Diabetes made me laugh out loud at times and tear up at others. His message is delivered with openness and humor. He urges you to love your family - in whatever form it takes. Cherish every moment that you can and try to never be too busy to be interrupted by your kids (even if they don't have anything "important" to tell you).

This is an uplifting read - filled with challenges overcome (or in the process of being) and loads of hope for the future.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Laura Y. Kolodjeski on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
Honestly, I could not put it down. As the wife of a stay-at-home dad, the lessons Scott shares, in a very gentle and humorous way, are both relevant and moving. His words have helped me become a better wife, mother and person. Thanks for that, Scott!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Snider on March 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I'll spare the hyperbole and elaborate metaphors and simply say it was a joy to read and I would recommend it to anyone. Seriously, anyone. I can't think of a person who wouldn't enjoy reading this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris Karpovich on March 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a fantastic book from start to finish. Anyone with kids or planning to have kids should read this book, as it will put a lot of things into perspective for you. Obviously, this book is also a must-read for anyone in the diabetes community as well. The individual stories are well put together and the book has a tremendous flow to it. You will laugh, you may cry and you'll definitely take a hard look at some things after reading this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By newmommy on March 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was hooked on the first page! I read the book in about 2 days. This book is a great short read touching on everyday issues of stay at home parents. This book is a touching reminder of how precious minutes with our children are! It reminds us to take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy our children. The anecdotes presented are funny and, at times, heart-wrenching! This book is a great reminder for all of us who struggle with unfair cards we may have been dealt in life, to keep going and push through the tough times and find enjoyment in life again in spite of those cards.

Great read!

Misty B.- Florida
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L Miller VINE VOICE on March 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
All you cynics who assume vine reviewers are pre-disposed to favor some products, listen up. I have no idea why I am a vine reviewer or why I was recruited, unless it's because I'm an opinionated old lady, and have been since the ripe old age of ten. I calls 'em as I sees 'em, and ocasionally get grouchy feedback from other fans of the products I review. Interestingly, I more often get earnest requests from authors for more input, so they can make the book better or improve their next work.

Having said that, I trust you will believe me when I say this book is worthy of 7 stars. In fact it should be reqired reading for all school kids in 'life education' classes, or whatever they call sex ed classes these days. Or have the politicians cut funding for that education? Come to think of it, this book should be requred reading for all politicians, state, local and federal, and school board members, too. The author presents his ideas logically, with humor, and without rancor. Unless you count his occasional tirades on the futility of repetitive household chores, especially laundry. Though it is likely senators and congressmen and woman won't relate to the concept. They can more often than not afford household help--legal or illegally resident.

The narrative thread gives an unromanticised view of marriage and family--how it really works, or can work, if you choose to make it work. Chapters are succinct, dealing forthrightly with sex, marriage, kids, jobs and other complications and triumphs which crop up in real life as we know it (as opposed to carefully caricatured and scripted 'reality' TV, which is anything but). Note: You'll get more from this book if you read the last chapter first. All you old Evelyn Woods alums will understand why. The book reads quickly. I couldn't put it down and stayed up late to finish it. If this guy plans to continue writing, I look forward to his next work.
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