Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Naptime Is the New Happy Hour

I just had the chance to review a copy of the new book Naptime Is the New Happy Hour by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor thanks to the Mother Talk book tour. Some of you may know Stefanie's blog, and others may know her first book, Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay.

I read her first book, and was looking forward to this book. While the first dealt with the crazy changes that occur in your life immediately after becoming a mom, this book goes beyond the cozy, cuddly infant years and into the chaotic, tantrum-filled toddler years.

This is not a parenting how-to guide - more like a here's what its really like guide. Filled with lots of humor and honesty, Stefanie shares her experiences with raising her toddler daughter while wondering how anyone can survive this period without some form of chemical dependency.

What I like best is Stefanie's way of relieving all of the guilt that society heaps upon us. You know what I'm talking about - letting your kid watch TV, feeding her anything other than all-natural, organic, no-added-sugar foods, never letting your child throw a tantrum in public, etc. One part of the book discusses New Mommy Math, which helps you distinguish what the truth is when hearing another mom brag about some amazing feat of parenting. The truth is, none of us are perfect, and it's time to stop stressing about if our kid is getting the precise amount of stimulating play each day or if they happened to sneak an extra handful of M&Ms.

I also appreciated that Stefanie admits up front that she's not a perfect parent. It's nice to read about someone else admitting that she doesn't like her kid sometimes. Reading about her failures as well as her successes is refreshing. And her ability to come up with creative parent hacks rivals any parenting book on the market. Her ideas about taking your toddler to Target instead of an overpriced museum are brilliant. Her list of which TV shows to watch, and which are too painful to be worth it, are useful and amusing. And reading her opinion of the alterna-parent movement is absolutely hilarious. (It also reminds me not to expose my kids to too much of my music, lest they turn into sixth grade social outcasts!)

Naptime Is the New Happy Hour is a quick, light read - I'm a slow reader and still finished it within two days. While the material is presented in a humorous manner, don't think it might be light on substance. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders as I see in print another reaffirmation that I'm doing the best I can and shouldn't be stressed if I can't live up to the expectations of the competi-mommies out there. I will warn you that there is some strong language in this book, but if that doesn't bother you, you'll enjoy this take on surviving life with a toddler. I recommend this book for anyone currently in the trenches with a toddler or new moms who will get there eventually and need to know what's coming.


Mama Zen said...

Great review! I just finished this, and I thought that the New Mommy Math was hilarious.

Dawn said...

I loved this book!