Title: Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life
Author: Jennifer Bingham Hull
Publication Year: 2004
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Review: I’ve read this book twice. Once while I was pregnant with my second child and once while my kids were one and three. Both times I thought, “That was a pretty good book, but I’ll probably never read it again.” The author is not trying to be helpful in general and doesn’t have a ton of useful advice. What she does is write about her life in a very friendly, appealing, relatable way.
I read some reviews of this book that made it sound like this book would scare anyone off who was thinking of having a second child. I didn’t get that impression at all, either time I read it. I got the overall sense that she was extremely happy with her decision to have two kids, and while her life was busy and hectic, she considered herself to be pretty lucky.
The one main difference between my first reading and second reading was my interpretation of the way she and her husband decided to handle their kids. She had worked out an arrangement with her husband where they would each take both kids on outings so the other parent would have alone time. While pregnant, I thought that it was more important that each child have alone time with a parent and that my husband and I would spend a lot of time each dealing one-on-one with a kid when we were both available and the rest of the time we would do things as a family.
Now that I have two kids, I fully appreciate the deal she and her husband made and while we still do things all together and individually with our kids, we have developed the same pattern of taking turns much of the time. What surprised me that I should have expected based on reading her book was how much the kids would prefer playing together (in general, definitely not always). (Personal Rating: 7/10)
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