When Two Become Three
Having just "become three", I picked up this book and was hoping to glean some insights into parenting, but mostly into marriage. This book proposes to encourage readers to "nurture their marriage after baby arrives." This is something that my wife was especially concerned about. We have been married for just over five years, and are the strongest in our marriage we have ever been. We did not want to lose what we had put so much time and effort into building. We also did not wish to be a couple that was defined by their child.
I am a firm believer that the best parents work more on their marriage, than their individual parenting skills. Dr. Crawford writes in a conversational manner about the various marital breakdowns that can occur after a baby comes into the picture. From communication (always a lurking problem - with or without baby) to parenting philosophy, to sex, Dr. Crawford helps couples not only get through the transition of a growing family, but actually helps couple strengthen their marriage through this.
If I were to put the book into one word that describes what needs to be done in your marriage when a baby arrives, it would be intentionality. Both partners need to be intentional about maintaining their covenant to one another and must continue to work on it, not resting on the work that has already been laid.
One criticism I would offer the book is one I would offer to most parenting books. Dads are parents too. Many of the books I have perused have "dad sections" where dads should at least read this portion of the book, if they are not interested in reading the rest of the book. I gotta tell you, it seems our culture complains about, but also perpetuates the mom is the main parent rubbish.
Dads are more than just a support for moms with the kids. Dads are to actively involved and hands on. I think that many dads are, but moms are seen as the primary care-giver for children. I was pleased to come across a blog-ring of stay-at-home dads (especially as I may soon become one myself) and would like to see more written about holistic parenting - in the sense that parents are equals and all involved - children and both spouses - look at it that way.