Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Review: The Busy Couple's Guide

Esmé's Mommy again... The reviews are coming fast and furious this week, but they'll be slowing down in just a bit. (Of course, if you want more, you can always check out Winning Readings!)

The next exciting book we've got to share is The Busy Couple’s Guide to Sharing the Work and the Joy by Kathy Peel. This softcover book is published by Tyndale House Publishers and has a list price of $16.99.

Here's how the publisher describes the book: "Are you married to your housekeeping opposite? Feeling overworked and underappreciated? Struggling to agree on how a house “should” be run? America’s Family Manager and award-winning author Kathy Peel can help! In The Busy Couple’s Guide to Sharing the Work and the Joy, Kathy offers a much-needed look at a common area of division between couples: running a household. You’ll find tools to fairly divvy up parenting and household duties; teambuilding techniques for surviving and thriving amidst financial downturns; and steps to growing stronger in your faith as a family. Plus special “advice to guys” in each chapter from Bill Peel! This book is packed full of empowering steps you can take today to restore joy to your marriage, order to your home, and peace to daily life."

And some info about the author:

Kathy Peel is founder and CEO of Family Manager, a company that trains women in the art of family management. She has written 21 books, selling more than 2 million copies. Her latest works are The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Organized Home (winner of the 2009 Gold Mom’s Choice Award) and Desperate Households. She is AOL’s Kids & Family Coach, and she contributes to many publications, including FamilyFun, Parents, Woman’s World, Family Circle, and HomeLife. A popular speaker and media personality, Kathy’s Family Manager makeover stories have appeared on programs such as Oprah, The Early Show, The Today Show, and HGTV.

Mommy's Notes

Lots of ideas to solve the problems busy families face - packaged attractively in an easy-to-read format with tips in sidebars, discussion questions, tables, and worksheets to guide you through the problem-solving process. The topics addressed are especially helpful in a family like mine with cultural differences - the assumed roles of husbands and wives differ quite a bit from South Africa to the US, and this book takes a look at how to deal with differing perspectives like this.

The book is set up so you can work through it from start to finish, or you can jump to the chapter(s) that you most need. The author cautions not to attempt too many changes at once. Pick a few things to work on and conquer those before tacking the next, or you'll quickly feel overwhelmed.

I love the starting premise that 50-50 doesn't work. A big key to successful marriages is for both partners to try to outgive each other. To sit down and try to come up with a 50-50 compromise is to set up for failure.

I also appreciate the male perspective included in each chapter, especially since this is intended for use by a couple together. I'll be honest, though, and say that at least in this family, and in many others I know, getting the husband to sit down and work through a self-help book like this is not too feasible. There were times through this book that I wished I could go to my husband and say, "Read this! Do this! See, I'm not that abnormal! Can't we come to a compromise in THIS area? Let's talk about how you can support me in defining and achieving MY goals! Of course, I'll try to do the same for you..." While I will say that you'll get the best results from this book if you have both parties on board, I'll venture to say that changes by one party alone WILL positively affect the marriage!

The list of web resources at the end is terrific! And of course, the Christian aspect of this book appeals to me. For instance, in the section on managing yourself, the first tip for adding energy to your life is to incorporate a morning devotional, possibly during your commute, as you ask God's presence in everything else you do.

Thanks to Tyndale House for the review copy of this book, and to MamaBuzz for coordinating this tour.


Brooke said...

sounds like a book we need at my house. we had the "i wish you would do my laundry" "i wish i wasn't responsible for working 40 hours AND cleaning the entire house" argument again. it seems like a no win. i don't do his laundry, he's bitter. i do his laundry, i'm even more bitter that i have so much household resposiblity.

but you're right - chances of me getting him on board with this are slim to none.