There’s a cliche that says “children don’t come with a manual, if they did, it would be easy” and I think its safe to assume that most parents have probably wished for one at some point throughout there journey as parents. And while there will never be a manual with all the answers, what if there was a book that at least helped you know what to prepare for? Personally, it would have been an awesome resource for the hubs and I while we were waiting for M to arrive.
When I read Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents by Gary Chapman, it felt like I had found that resource even though we were already parents. I wish this book had been out a few years ago and I will be sure to gift it to family and friends as they become parents in the years to come.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, through which I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for your support!*
A few years ago, I stumbled upon Gary Chapman and The 5 Love Languages. It was a pivotal moment in terms of how I thought about giving love to my husband and how I best received it. After my husband and I took an online quiz, we were able to figure out which language we related to best. It was really eye opening in knowing how to best show my love to him to make sure he truly felt loved. That’s why when I saw that Gary Chapman had written a book about parenting, I was immediately intrigued.
This book is a follow-up to his best seller Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. Even though we already have three kids, this book was a great reminder of the realities of parenthood. Parenting is hands down the most rewarding experiences but that does not mean it is without hard times or difficulties. Gary Chapman finds a way to present those common challenges that will arise without scaring off first time parents. Instead, he urges readers to dialogue with their partners ahead of time so that you are as prepared as possible.
Some of the things he discusses are:
- That children are expensive
- That children need boundaries
- That children’s emotional health is as important as physical health
- That parents are responsible for their child’s education
- That marriages do not thrive on autopilot
- That children can bring you great joy
My favorite aspect of the book is that each chapter is concise and to the point. It gives you excellent points to consider without ever telling you one “way of parenting” is better than the other. At the end of each chapter, there is a Talking It Over section which provides you with specific questions you and your partner can use to facilitate conversations about these subjects. If you haven’t had your first little bundle of joy yet, you probably haven’t thought to discuss what types of boundaries and discipline you will use in your house. Gary reminds us that these discussions are vital t avoiding conflict and stress down the road.
When we were starting out family, I was thirsty for as much knowledge and insight I could get my hands on. Nothing will fully prepare you for the miracle that you will be given but this book can give you a head start.