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Friday, April 09, 2010

Mothering, Fathering, and Wishing You Had All the Answers


Recently, I was asked to review 2 books - "Pregnant, a Field Guide to Fathering" by Gary Kleiman, and "The Mommy Files - Secrets Every New Mom Should Know" by Jen Klein.  Both books leave you laughing out loud for the honesty and humor that each of these authors have been able to give us through their prose.

I am not a new Mommy, and I am definitely not a new Daddy, however, I've been a new Mommy 5 times in my life, and the last time was kinda flung on me out of nowhere.  But, by the time Glen arrived 10 years ago, I was more than aptly ready for this new adventure, or so I thought.

TheMommyFiles  If you are a new Mommy, I promise you this, "The Mommy Files" will help you find the humor in the sleep deprivation, the double-doody diapers leaking from every leg hole and waistband, and how to change a diaper while holding your baby in mid-air in a truck-stop bathroom. Yep, I've done that too.  It is not fun, but it is possible.

There is some comfort in knowing that "your mother didn't know what she was doing either" and in my case, I was not only way too young to be a new mother when I entered this club, I was way too immature and totally not funny.  Live and learn.  Why can't hindsight be foresight?  

One thing I did not do as a young mother and I wish I had was ask for help.  Jen Klein teaches you with friendly experience how being a Supermom really is about asking for help and not being afraid to admit that you are in over your head.

Personally, when I was a new mother in my late teens and again at 21, I was clueless - totally.  I didn't know who I was but now I was someone's mother.  However, after royally screwing up the parenting experience in my early 20s, I did learn how to be a good Mom. No, scratch that, I learned how to be a great Mom.  When I had Sarah and Matthew at age 34 and 37, I was ready.  I was grounded.  I was more able to read the clues my baby gave me and loved them and cared for them with everything that was in me.  It was a completely different experience being a new Mom the second-time around.  I could probably write a book about that subject myself and maybe I will someday.

Still, Jen Klein has put into words what every new Mom should read - when you can find a few minutes to yourself in the bath (while Daddy watches the baby) or stealing a few moments after the baby has gone to sleep, or while your toddler plays with their friends at the local park.  It is a great book to carry with you and enjoy.

Gary Kleiman sees things from a different perspective.  He has worn many hats in his life - traveler, dancer, cowboy, fine woodworker, and more, but the one that changed him entirely into the man and father he is today as a single-father are his 8 year old son and 12 year old daughter.  They live in Northern California, and together explore this life with enthusiasm and a strong bond - something that every father should share with their child.

Fatheringbook  He writes: "Hearing the words, 'Honey, I'm pregnant,' will change your life more than almost anything you can imagine.  It is the first step of a lifelong journey.  So unfasten your seat belt.  You're going to need some breathing room.  Consider yourself about to experience the equivlent of being ejected out of a very high-flying, supersonically speeding rocket.  Your life, as you in all the comfort you have known, is about to become undone."  Yep - I'd have to say so.

Are you a new Mommy or Daddy?  Do you know someone who is?  

Well, I have a nice surprise for two of my readers - One of you will win the book "The Mommy Files" and the other will win the book "Pregnant: a Field Guide to Fathering."  I just want to spread the love.

Here is what I ask: Please tell your mothering or fathering story in the comments below, and, please tell me which book you prefer: the Mommy Files or the Fathering book.  Then, on Wednesday of next week around noon, I will choose the winners via Random.org.  

I would like to thank Gary Kleiman for not only providing me with his great book to add to my library, but also for providing me with 2 additional copies, both signed, for my new Mommy daughter and her new Daddy hubby, and for one of my readers - thank you Gary!  

And thank you to FSB Associates for continually sending me great books to share with my readers and giveaway.  I also received a copy for my daughter, Kimberly, and for a reader.  So, Kim - it will be in tomorrow's mail.  

So, tell me your parenting story in the comments below and share with me which book you would prefer.  Then, stop back Wednesday afternoon for the winners!

No more comments after Wednesday, April 14th at 12 noon EST.


CONGRATULATIONS TO Melissa for winning "The Mommy Files" and Kathleen Stephenson for winning the book "Pregnant: a Field Guide to Fathering."