Book Review - Happily Married With Kids (Carol Ummel Lindquist)

~ Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 8:32 AM ~

(*** Article first published as Book Review: Happily Married With Kids by Carol Ummel Lindquist on Blogcritics.)

I came across this book on the website last month and decided to request for a review copy and days later, I received a PDF copy (as per my request since I read books on my iPad most often nowadays) for my review. So here goes my review for the "Happily Married With Kids: It's Not A Fairy Tale" book:

Title: Happily Married With Kids: It's Not A Fairy Tale
Author: Carol Ummel Lindquist

Publisher: Granny Apple Publishing LLC (May 18, 2011)
ISBN-13/-10:  978-0983130536 / 0983130531
Paperback: 258 pages

Dimension: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches

Description from the product page:
"Happily Married With Kids shows what you can do to make your marriage better and grow closer to your spouse after the kids arrive. This book is engaging, fun and practical, and filled with easy-to-follow tips to help you learn how to:
* GROW even closer with your spouse
* LEARN to communicate, even to disagree affectionately
* CREATE warm, loving, reliable support networks
* BALANCE life, love, work and parenting
* REJUVENATE your sex life
* CELEBRATE your marriage as much as your kids
Are you having less sex, less fun and more arguments than you did before kids? The arrival of a newborn puts a tremendous strain on even the best marriages. Happily Married With Kids has steps you can take to work toward a warm, loving relationship with your spouse that will last a lifetime. "

A lot of couples entered into marriages and when they found out they are going to be a parent, they did not realise that having a child is going to change the whole dynamics of the couple's life. That said, it does not mean having a child means your marriage is going to end. This is why I feel this book is good as it addresses the expectations, crises and provide tips on how to sail through marriage life happily with kids.

I totally agree with the author's point "Often, parents don’t realize that one of the best things they can give their children is a good marriage. Not only does it protect children from the obvious financial and emotional disruptions of divorce, a good marriage provides a role model for happiness, kindness, maintaining a sense of yourself in a group, and getting along with people in the world."

Now, this book is broken down into 4 main chapters: Baby on Board, Normal Marriages— Real Problems, Travel, Holidays, and Other Crises and Let’s Talk: Protecting Your Marriage

In the first chapter, I learned that problems that occurred in the family should not be viewed as a negative thing or a failure in your relationship, instead it should be viewed as opportunities to make the couple's and family relationship better. It reminds us that a happy couple is one that works together to resolve conflicts, respect their partner and reconnects back after a disagreement.

I also learned a new perspective from page 38 "Men are taught to emphasize negotiation while women are trained in cooperation" where woman expects their husband to work together with them in taking care of the family while the man would expect some bargaining or barter work (according to the author, bargaining is a form of connection in a man's thinking) in caring for the family. Hence if a couple do not understand this, they end up getting frustrated and angry at their spouse when they are overwhelmed with the things on their hands.

I love it when the author mentioned that a happy couple does not necessarily share equal child care in the family but  they should have a sense of appreciation for what the other brings to the marriage and they communicate that appreciation to each other. 

In the second chapter, I learned what a normal marriage is like. The author highlights how to manage frustrations and anger properly so that it does not affect the marriage and also guides us to think and set our goals, roles, routines and resolutions for our relationship and for the family. The author also provides solutions on how to balance and manage our work, love and life in our marriage and family.

In the third chapter, the author provides tips on how to overcome separation anxiety and what to do when going for travel or vacation as a family.

In the last chapter, I find myself agreeing with this statement on page 183 "For good marriages to thrive, each partner needs to be able to express feelings of discomfort, distress and dissatisfaction, and be heard. This doesn’t mean anyone needs to tolerate, nor should they spew, a torrent of abuse." In my case, I often find myself keeping my frustrations to myself as I feel that I should not burden my husband with the challenges I face in taking care of our 2 children and being at home all the time with them. I think my husband senses this when I started raising my voice and easily annoyed with whatever I'm facing. So I feel rather than for him to realise this when it's too late, I should tell him what I feel, right?

On page 195, I really love how the author stated this: "Fighting like the windows are open means speaking your piece effectively without hurting your partner or provoking a vicious counter attack. In other words, fight like the neighbors can hear you. When you fight with kids in the house, they are listening. And they learn your good and bad habits, not just about fighting but about everything else, too. When they hear tension in the adults’ voices, even infants will burst into tears. As they begin to understand language, toddlers and preschoolers become more sensitive."

What I do not like in this book is the way certain points are emphasised in the grey box. Some of the statements are repeated and I feel that the author should just highlight or bold the statement itself instead of duplicating it again into the grey colored box which a lot of times appeared few paragraphs after making it seem out of context.

Other than that, this is a good book that you can consider getting for yourself or even as a gift to parents-to-be!

You can get this book from Amazon, e-Book is on Kindle and Barnes and Noble

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a PDF copy of the book by the marketing director for the author in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Comments (2) -

Catheryn @ PinkBibs

Wow. this sounds like a book all (or most) married couples should have!!

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