Literary Time Out: Book Review: Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger by Julie K. Nelson
Ah parenting books….we have a love/hate relationship. I tend to avoid them for a couple reasons. 1-It’s not mind candy. Apparently I like fluff stories. I can whip through those in hours, no problem. Non-fiction books I slog though and hope to eventually finish because it’s good for me and I should be doing something better with my mind. 2-The guilt issue. I tend to avoid things that make me feel guilty 🙂
Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I’ll admit that it was the plunger that grabbed my interest. That, and the use of the word “surviving” in the title. They both seemed very apropos for my current parenting experience.
The very first thing I read in this book was chapter 9. Yes, I know that’s weird, but that’s what I did. It’s the chapter on how to stop yelling at your kids. Again, very relevant to my current situation. I’ve actually read that chapter twice now, and since I’m going to be watching my nephews for a week this chapter gave me some great ideas on how to calm everyone down (is that possible with 8 kids under 9 in your house?)
I actually finished this book very quickly (very unusual for me…see reason number one above). Although, I will admit to skimming chapters that didn’t relate to my current situation. I enjoyed the real life stories, the humor, and the reminder that we aren’t perfect, but we can keep trying. A couple things that stuck out to me were when she shared the quote, “Right is right, even if no one is doing it. Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it.” Amen, sister! Love that. And this quote I felt was basically the premise of her book. “In the long run, the only thing of lasting value you can give your child is your time and the memories of the time you shared together.” -Ibid, xxiv
There were so many topics covered in this book, it really seems like it had something for everyone. Everything from potty training, to blended families, to vacations, to honesty and values, and a whole lot more. It was well written in a non-guilt inducing way (although, let’s be honest…I’m a woman. Isn’t guilt hardwired into me somehow?)