3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Happily Married With Kids: It's Not A Fairy Tale (Paperback)
While reading the book I was blown away by all the "ah-ha" moments I had. I kept talking to myself saying "wow, had I known that at the time I totally would have worded things so differently", instead of saying "take out the damn trash", "Why do you leave it on the flipping porch every damn morning" or "would it hurt you to change a flipping diaper once in a while" it would have been better accepted had I just asked Franc in a nice non-nagging way to "please take the trash out when you leave for work" or "can you help me by changing D's diaper". Carol talks a lot about how we as couples speak to our significant other in ways that we would never imagine talking to a friend or stranger. I think she makes an excellent point. I would never yell at a stranger that he's an incompetent trash remover (and that's toned down for my blog:), and I doubt Franc would tell his boss that he can't believe he's been in the office for x amount of time and hasn't done nothing to show for it. In the beginning we struggled a lot because I was not a stay at home mom. I worked and went to school. He worked long hours and did not understand that I was carrying a double load with work, school, and taking care of a new child plus dealing with jealousy issues with our oldest. It would have been nice to have a book like this then. Let's face it. When there's a new child involved we say things to our loved ones that we don't mean. Those little spur of the moment fits have real impact but not in a good way.
In Happily Married With Kids, Carol goes through many techniques for real marriages. There are the 5 stages of marriage, normal marriages-real problems, discussion on vacations and how to develop a plan with or without baby in tow. I really enjoyed the section on Living Together Happily During Tough Economic Times. Since we're living in a country that is experiencing a drastic shift in our economy, and many couples are really struggling to pay the bills and find time for them, I think this chapter is priceless. Another section that I found helpful is Recognizing Helpful Conversation, this chapter talks about how to change the way you talk to your spouse so you're on equal playing ground. A spouse will respond much differently when you leave the accusations out of it and focus on what you really want to say without the negativity.
Overall the book is great and I would definitely recommend it to new parents. My children are 9 & 12 but I still found spots in the book that were helpful to me. I did feel the book was written for new and existing parents with children under school age though. Carol does not talk about children and school issues which is a factor in marriages with school age children. I like how Carol discusses things that the couple can do for free, but I did feel that the author focused on middle class families a lot. She talks about hiring a maid to take pressure off of the family a lot. Families of low SES (social economic status) cannot hire a maid nor can they afford a counselor. It is true that a maid is cheaper than a counselor but neither is attainable in a SES family. They likely can check out books at the library or perhaps purchase a self help book. There is a lot of good information in Happily Married With Kids though, and even if you are not in a position to hire a counselor a self help book can help.
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Initial post: Feb 14, 2012 8:08:37 PM PST
Avid Reader says:
I appreciate your practical review and your suggestions for those of low SES.
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