29 January 2007

How parenthood changes marriage: Gottman's "And Baby Makes Three"

In: All Ages

Amazon: And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby ArrivesMichael (Philosopher Dad) followed up on my recent review of Babyproofing Your Marriage with this recommendation:

I wanted to point you to a book on the same subject by psychologist John Gottman. He has written a number of family-relationship-parenting books and his latest is called "And Baby Makes Three."

What separates Gottman from all the other parenting advice crap is research. The Gottman Institute has studied thousands of families over extended periods of time in order to find what really works in marriage and child rearing. I know I sound like an ad for the guy, but his work is a breath of fresh air in an area filled with chatter and nonsense.

I haven't read the book myself, and y'all know I take most "expert" advice with a grain of salt, but this is a pretty strong endorsement from a fellow Parenthacker.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?

Update: I have since read a bunch of Gottman's books and I have to agree with Michael -- his work is truly worthwhile. -- Asha

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I almost bought And Baby Makes Three this weekend. But I hesitated because I dont have a "baby" anymore....Grace is a toddler. Most of the advice in these books tends to speak to the night feedings and newborn/infant issue. What about those of us who find themselves needing the "spark" back with a toddler running around us in circles?!

Gottman's got you covered if you're dealing with toddlers, too. There is a lot of material about babies, yes, but the focus is on parental stress and getting the balance between parents and partners right or at least manageable.

I love the guy (just have to got get two heart rate monitors for this house).

I haven't read "And Baby Makes 3" but I heartily endorse Dr. Gottman. He's the real deal. Ben and I really enjoyed his Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last. (It explains, among other things, why that couple down the street that yells at each other all the time have a healthier marriage than the quiet friends who don't talk to each other enough...)

Boy-o-boy are there a lot of parenting/marriage books out there! You would think there would be a lot more good parents and, thus, good kids. Oh wait, most people don't read and the ones that take the time to read books like this are already somewhat decent mom and dads - for the simple fact that they recognize their shortcomings at parents (and spouses) and care enough to WANT to be better.

Unrelated to the baby impacting marriage thing, may I recommend "Dads & Daughters" by Joe Kelly. Great, important book on raising healthy young women in this crazy world.

Thanks.
Jeff

Interesting post. I've been writing about similar issues on my blog. Check out my latest post on raising six kids:

http://zenhabits.blogspot.com/2007/01/baby-makes-eight-raising-six-kids-part.html

Echoing what Sara in Austin said, I haven't read "And Baby Makes Three" but Gottman's "Why Marriages Succeed or Fail" is an excellent book.

On the topic of useful books for parents, I heartily recommend Robie Harris's (http://www.robieharris.com/) sex education books: It's Not the Stork, It's So Amazing and It's Perfectly Normal.

Weird. I just rearranged my bookshelves and came across "It's So Amazing," which Rael bought when I was pregnant the second time. An incredible book. My son was engrossed with the cartoon egg/sperm illustrations. Thanks for the reminder to add it to my sidebar.

fwiw, gottman is the researcher talked about at the beginning of "blink." he sounds like an interesting person and not someone who is out to "give advice." he has learned that he can tell people about themselves just by observing their behavior. "blink" makes a compelling case.

again. fwiw.

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