How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids
I wish I could claim credit for that headline but a smarter, wiser woman than I - Jancee Dunn - wrote How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's a practical, genuine and witty book that starts will full disclosure about Jancee and her husband, Tom's, rut of arguments over division of childcare & household labor and the step by step on how they got unstuck. Dunn is like a totally transparent older sister talking you through how she and her husband worked on building communication, divvying up activities, organizing their home and ramping up their sex life with the skills taught by what sounds like a team of therapists. They're from New York so that's par for the course.
I've talked about staying connected in marriage after having Bodie (here and here) but I think while honesty is having a moment, there is a lot to gain from women, like Dunn who have been in the trenches of those early years of life after kids, laying out what they learned about the messiness, the realness and even the sadness of re-setting your expectations of your partner when you meet them in this new circumstance and what it takes to create a system that makes it work, even if not as well as you imagined.
Now, my husband is one of the more affectionate and involved dads one could hope for. But he also runs a company and is attached to his phone. I, on the other hand, have intentionally dialed down my career and can be with Bodie and forget that my phone even exists (to the dismay of anyone trying to reach me, ever). The cover of this book is my life watching my husband parent. Bodie doesn't mind one bit but I do (or did). Understanding what matters and what doesn't and that Dan and I can have different styles has been my first learning in navigating co-parenting. We have much, much more to learn and candid chat, like Dunn's, helps.
As this Jezebel book review says, I would love nothing more than if this was a two book series with a twin read for my husband called "How Not To Hate Your Wife...".