Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'd Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper: Loving Your Marriage After the Baby Carriage
by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile

Available in paperback or Kindle. Chronicle Books, 2009; ISBN: 0811867358; 178 pages.

These authors have a gift for picking titles. Their previous book, I Was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids, claimed to "reinvent modern motherhood." I've not read that one, but I can tell you I've had a love-hate response to this one. It encouraged and discouraged me at the same time.

What I Liked: In an age and culture where most hold a consumer's view of marriage, this book offers a mature look at commitment. In other words, some people need to grow up! A promise is a promise. Sometimes it will be great, and sometimes it will take a lot of work. The authors use logic, persuasion, personal stories, expert quotes and statistics to show what works in marriage and what doesn't. They encourage moms to care not only for their children, but for themselves and their marriages as well. If we want healthy marriages, we must make them a priority. Furthermore, by preserving healthy marriages and healthy self-image, mothers actually help their kids to have greater confidence, positive self images and a solid sense of security. I loved the main text of this book.

I greatly appreciate the extent of the authors' research. They relaid wisdom from experts in business, relationships, parenting and even time-management -- all of which applies to healthy families and marriages.

On top of all this, the book is beautifully packaged. It's attractive, funny and witty (in parts) and generally well-written.

What I Disliked: The sidebars and random quotes were too much. Readers will find at least one for every two-page spread, sometimes as many as three. They interrupted the flow and distracted from the better, meatier text. The "Little Dirty Secrets" (quoted confessions from real wives) are horrible. Most promote unhealthy behavior rather than offer positive corrections. Some sidebars consumed a whole page and, while they may have been interesting, had nothing to do with that section of the book.

Overall: I would definitely recommend the book IF the sidebars were eliminated or, at the very least, severely decreased in number. As is, it's just a ho-hum book. There are some great bits of information, but it all could have been compiled into a neat pamphlet or ebook instead of a big, rather expensive paperback.

Caveat: Please note that this book does contain foul language. Most occurrences use the b-word or the s-word. A couple sidebar quotes use the f-word.

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