Woman First, Family Always
Kathryn Sansone
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Buy *Woman First, Family Always: Real-Life Wisdom from a Mother of Ten* by Kathryn Sansone online

Woman First, Family Always: Real-Life Wisdom from a Mother of Ten
Kathryn Sansone
Meredith Books
256 pages
December 2005
rated 3 of 5 possible stars
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Kathryn Sansone is a mother of ten who wants to pass along a bit of her “real-life wisdom” to others. These are practical tips and insights to help wives and mothers get through each day. Sansone has divided Woman First, Family Always into three topic headings: Your Self, Your Marriage, and Your Family and Kids. Within each heading she imparts her wisdom for running and improving your household.

In "Your Self," Sansone covers topics such as establishing limits, asking for help, friendships, relaxation, time management, creating a clean and comfortable home, exercise, pregnancy, and positive thinking. In each short two- to four-page section, she covers each idea, relates it to how she deals with the issue in her own life, and gives information on how to make decisions and incorporate it into your life.

"Your Marriage" discusses things like staying in tune and attached, the power of respectful communication, keeping the romance alive, and treating each other in a special way. Again, most of the information is simple and direct, but some of the tips may be things you might not have considered before or haven’t tried.

Finally, "Your Family and Kids" covers topics such as enriching your children’s lives, mealtimes, house rules, family time, coping in the real world, teaching children time and money management, healthy habits, and school.

Sansone incorporates warmth, wit, and basic information. This isn’t groundbreaking, it isn’t something that most of us couldn’t have figured out on our own. But it is comforting to hear it imparted from a woman with ten children, someone who has been there and walked in the shoes she’s speaking from. Her tone is inspirational and motivating.

My main criticism of Woman First, Family Always is that Sansone doesn’t allow herself to get vulnerable. She doesn’t really let the reader into her life in a nuts and bolts way. How does she accomplish all of this within the framework of her family? It would have been more refreshing to see her struggles as well as the positive things she does with her family. This would provide more realism, and the reader could identify with her better and think, “if she can do this, overcome the obstacles, and still come out positive, then I can too.” It just never reaches that point. The advice is good and interesting, but it doesn’t go enough into depth about the practical day-to-day life of running a large family.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Melissa Parcel, 2006

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