Few parents are really truly prepared for the drastic life changes that occur when a new baby comes home to roost. Now there is a “field guide” to getting through those tough and tiring times, courtesy of a woman who has been there, done that. Clinical psychologist and therapist Carol Ummel Lindquist offers parents a wonderful how-to survival book that covers every imaginable topic related to being “married, with children.”
From the first few months of extreme exhaustion, to finding help you can trust, to the ins and outs of balancing work and home, to reviving a tired sex life, this book is exhaustive in its approach to the many problems married couples face, or may face, when they decide to expand their family. Chapters cover the right and wrong ways to approach conflicts, how to stay best friends with your spouse despite rising home tensions, finding the energy to keep up with kids and still feel like a roll in the hay at night, avoiding the consequences of an affair, even finding ways to bring humor into every difficult situation. There is also plenty of information on ways to improve communication skills so that both spouses get what they need, and finding ways to make time for being alone or together as a couple, sans kids.
What is great about this book is the warm yet utterly direct style. The author approaches even highly sensitive topics such as extramarital affairs with a wisdom and understanding that allows for total honesty in a relationship. The book takes no sides between husbands and wives, instead it approaches problems both spouses will encounter with commonsense ways to compromise or alleviate them that will bring balance and encourage mutual respect.
This is a book that should be handed out to every new parent before leaving the hospital, because unlike the more medical “what to expect” guides that tell you how to deal with your body after childbirth, there are few really solid, helpful books that tell you how to deal with your relationship, your sex life or your own personal sanity, which, believe me, will be sorely tested.
Happily Married with Kids doesn’t promise that every marriage will be blessed with all shiny and pretty good things, nor does it gloss over real challenges such as a medical crisis, divorce or sexual dysfunction. Yet it does offer plenty of usable information, hope and inspiration that will help heal some of the bumps and bruises that come with childbirth, the physical as well as the psychological.