Even if I had I not been part of the The Parent Bloggers Network, I would have wanted to read the book “Babyproofing Your Marriage” by Stacie Cockrell, Cathy O'Neill and Julia Stone. The premise is that it is a book about how to laugh more, argue less and communicate better as your family grows. This book could not have arrived on my doorstep at a better time, as my little baby is celebrating his second birthday and the deadline of deciding whether or not to have another is drawing near.
My biggest concern about having another one is not about having another little being around to throw up in my hair, because that happened this weekend and I actually survived it quite well. (A year ago, such a surprise attack would have had me hiding under the covers and unable to sleep.)
What I worry about is my relationship with my husband, which is still a good one, but not at all the same one I had five years ago. I feel overworked and disconnected from him more often than I'd like to admit. We struggle over who does what and more of it. I want so badly for my son and his dad to be inseparable, but I can't seem to separate my son from my leg and my husband, feeling disappointed, withdraws.
I also easily fall into the trap of feeling sorry for myself, when I receive the Christmas card from the family with five kids and number six on the way or that celebrity couple who adds a child to their family every three months and think, what is wrong with us? Other people don't have these struggles. That these problems must be exclusive to him and me.
They are not. Babyproofing Your Marriage is loaded with anecdotes and varied perspectives from parents with large and small families. I found validation reading that I was not the only one who thought they were going crazy with responsibility, a lack of free time, a loss of self and a lot less intimacy while wondering how everyone else does it.
This book is not filled with revolutionary ideas that will change your life, rather it provides gentle suggestions on how to think about challenges that every family faces in a different way. They cover overbearing in laws and the exponential avalanche of chores that need to be handled with each new addition to your family. They encourage you, really encourage you to have a date night and not talk about your kids or what I like to call 'business', i.e., bills to pay, plans to make, upcoming appointments. I know I need to do that, but reading it while I'm sitting on my couch in my sweatpants brings me one step closer to actually going out and doing so.
When I got to the section about the Five-Minute Fix, I knew this was my kind of book. There are not many women who write books suggesting that your husband should get a blow job once a week and make you agree with them. Trust me- They present it better than your best friend could*. As in; It's only five minutes, it will buy you some time when you'd rather be asleep, you might feel compromised for a minute but you'll get over it and your mate might just change the next nasty diaper without being asked. It's a compelling argument. The easy going banter type style in which they swear to you that they wouldn't suggest this if they didn't know for a fact that it worked, is particuarly appealing to me and likely will be for the blog reading population.
*The only thing missing on this topic that your best friend might add is that while blow jobs are sexy when you are dating, when you are married they are gross. However, I'll forgive them for overlooking this minor detail. Being thrown up on is also gross, and after getting through that, the five minute fix certainly sounds more pleasant.