Thursday, April 12, 2007

Outside Reading -- Self Help


I don't want to steal anybody's thunder.... Kara (a.k.a. Cape Buffalo) reviewed this book not long ago here and Darren (a.k.a Clare's Dad) spoke to it here. Although I find myself agreeing with these guys the majority of the time...... I found this book to be a little bit fluffy and at points insulting to Dads.

Some background.... I didn't buy it, the Big Dubya got it in the mail for free. I was done reading Easter Rising and we hadn't established a book for April yet, so I figured I'd give it a whirl.

In fairness, the book did raise some good points -- the whole score keeping thing is very true. The Big Dubya and I don't argue too often, but when we do it is often because I pick at him for not doing enough around the house or with the kids.... he counters with my not giving him enough "credit" for the things he does do and and I come back with my feeling unappreciated by him for my contribution. I sense this is a universal theme and that we could all do better in this area.... but, it was helpful to see it written out.

I also though they made some good points about women tending to over-manage their husband's relationships with the children. I know that I tend to do this.... if the Big Dubya does take the initiative to feed the 'lil man, I won't just appreciate the gesture -- instead, I'll critique what it is he's choosing to feed him (c'mon -- couldn't you give the kid some fruit?). This is not productive, as it discourages the Big Dubya from taking initiative in the future. I need to embrace the concept that it doesn't have to be MY way in order for it to be acceptable.

When the authors get into issues of intimacy (that's polite-speak for sex), I got a bit annoyed. Any couple that says the intimacy in their relationship didn't take a beating after the birth of their child(ren) is lying. I'm sure some relationships suffer more in this area than others, but.... they all take a hit. That being said, they kind of imply that offering up sex will get chores done around the house. Although it may be true, the last time I checked, people who trade sex for money (or services) got arrested. Is that what marital relationships have deteriorated to? What happened to romance?
They also discuss the "Training Weekend" -- many Dad's are involved enough in the raising of their kids that they don't need to be abandoned for 24 hours to appreciate their wives -- it's a little insulting to suggest otherwise.
Yes, the Big Dubya does recognize how much I do when I go out for a few hours and he's got to juggle the kids on his own. But similarly, I recognize how much he does when he has to work on a Saturday or travel overnight and I'm left on my own.

Was it an okay free book to read? yes -- would I suggest people go pay for it? no

2 comments:

Kara said...

HA! I hated that book but felt obliged to say SOMETHING nice because it was my first review. These are not women with whom I'd envision myself being friends with in real life. WAY too much manipulation going on there.

Sue said...

I read it too (also because Darren got it for free!) and yes, I definitely do the scorekeeping thing, but the whole leave the husband for 24 hours to manage on his own? I've done that. It's called a business trip. So they drink the chocolate syrup right from the bottle. It won't kill them.