Having a baby changes everything!
Rainbow baby just turned celebrated her first birthday and the last year turned out a lot differently than I had expected. Before we even conceived baby girl, I felt like I knew what to expect from my husband as a father. But when she was born, I got so much more. He is evolved and involved, helpful and my other half in all things, yet he is still a husband that works out of the home and our relationship post baby is not immune to the troubles a new baby can bring.
I wasn’t prepared to feel all of the resentment and irritation that I have experienced over the past year. It’s hard for me to even evaluate our relationship sometimes because it always comes back to me feeling like I do not have any room to be angry or discontented with him. He is the great husband so many people would desire to have in a relationship and I feel incredibly selfish for ever wanting more from him. It doesn’t seem fair to expect him to do too much, after all, I am a stay at home mother….of four. I have found myself nagging and complaining about an otherwise great man because we aren’t communicating in a way that is moving our relationship forward.
Maybe, in the subtlety of the universe, when my mother-in-law saw an advertisement on Amazon for this book How To Not Hate Your Husband After Kids, she thought that a little humor about the stress of having children would be good for me. I didn’t expect to read it and learn anything but hoped for a good laugh. I got both.
As soon as I got over my jealousy that this mom/author, Jancee Dunn, wrote for Rolling Stone and is actually a paid writer, I started to really love her book! I learned a lot about what I CAN DO, to get the ball rolling and I commiserated on a deep level with so much Dunn had to say. She talked with relationship therapists that most of us could never afford, read self-help books and talked with other moms and dads to compile this work.
As soon as I saw the cover of this book I knew that it was going to be worth a read. The dust jacket has a picture of a dad on his phone feeding a baby who is busy throwing her food everywhere. Already sounds good huh? You should judge a book by its cover because you’ll like this one. Dunn’s book is very funny and I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times. While I don’t hate my husband, it certainly isn’t easy raising four kids and maintaining our close friendship and love affair. Am I right ladies?
Dunn’s book is part self/help part comedy and the titles she gives her chapters such as Rules of Fight Club are cute and comical. Throughout the book, her interviews, her therapy sessions and her “experiments” draw me in because I start to see myself in either her or her friends’ stories. The best part of Dunn’s book is the validation that we mothers receive about mom life. There are some very real pieces of advice and some real world application involved that makes the advice we don’t want to put into action, easier to swallow and follow.
One example- Dunn’s therapist tells her to stop nagging at her husband to get the closet cleaned out. Rather it is suggested that she thank him and validate him for virtually everything he does. Shortly after she begins to do this, he decides to clean the closet on his own, which she’s been nagging about for months. Point: We may hate the advice we are given but knowing it works gives us a reason to press on.
I would recommend this book for any couple with kids because parents need a new set of tools in their relationship to move forward after a baby is born. Maybe even after every child. Dunn’s got the answer to the relationship blues after baby makes 3, or 4, or more….
For more on why I liked this book and my short list of the best parts to read click here!