"Get this for your pregnant friends, or yourself" (People): a hilariously candid account of one woman's quest to bring her post-baby marriage back from the brink, with life-changing, real-world advice.
Recommended by Nicole Cliffe in SlateFeatured in People PicksA Red Tricycle Best Baby and Toddler Parenting Book of the YearOne of Mother magazine's favorite parenting books of the Year
How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids tackles the last taboo subject of parenthood: the startling, white-hot fury that new (and not-so-new) mothers often have for their mates. After Jancee Dunn had her baby, she found that she was doing virtually all the household chores, even though she and her husband worked equal hours. She asked herself: How did I become the 'expert' at changing a diaper?
Many expectant parents spend weeks researching the best crib or safest car seat, but spend little if any time thinking about the titanic impact the baby will have on their marriage - and the way their marriage will affect their child.
Enter Dunn, her well-meaning but blithely unhelpful husband, their daughter, and her boisterous extended family, who show us the ways in which outmoded family patterns and traditions thwart the overworked, overloaded parents of today.
On the brink of marital Armageddon, Dunn plunges into the latest relationship research, solicits the counsel of the country's most renowned couples' and sex therapists, canvasses fellow parents, and even consults an FBI hostage negotiator on how to effectively contain an "explosive situation." Instead of having the same fights over and over, Dunn and her husband must figure out a way to resolve their larger issues and fix their family while there is still time. As they discover, adding a demanding new person to your relationship means you have to reevaluate -- and rebuild -- your marriage. In an exhilarating twist, they work together to save the day, happily returning to the kind of peaceful life they previously thought was the sole province of couples without children.
Part memoir, part self-help book with actionable and achievable advice, How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids is an eye-opening look at how the man who got you into this position in this first place is the ally you didn't know you had.
Dunn (coauthor of Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir) proves herself a clever, honest, and hilarious writer who isn't afraid to take her own marriage on a great experiment. Few writers would be courageous enough to lay bare such uncomfortable truths as her verbal abuse of her husband in response to his selfishness and how it may be threatening the normal development of their daughter. This book-length intervention tackles the whole spectrum of marital stressors, including dishwasher disagreement, financial infidelity, and weekend activity management. Dunn talks to experts in their fields, including $800-per-hour family therapist Terry Real, sociologist Michael Kimmel, and marriage researchers John and Julie Gottman. Her warm and funny prose will restore hope for moms and dads everywhere, as when she writes, "I've made myself reach for his hand when a fight is looming even if I'm so irritated that I'd rather pick up a live rodent... the familiar contours of his hand remind me that this is the person I married, not the bogeyman." Her book should become a baby shower classic.