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Babyproofing Your Marriage
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Babyproofing Your Marriage

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  750 ratings  ·  193 reviews
Warning! New parents are likely to experience:

Scorekeeping—An exceedingly complex, often relentless, tit-for-tat war waged by husbands and wives over the division of parenting responsibilities and domestic chores.

The Ten O'Clock Shoulder Tap—Considered by many men to be a form of foreplay. A paw on a wife's shoulder is how some men indicate their desire for sex. The Tap is
...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,483)
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Skylar Burris
I definitely do not recommend this book to couples who do NOT yet have children, because it is exaggerated and may thus be terrifying. For those of us who have had to face the reality that being parents does change our lives and marriages in ways that are not always uplifting, it may be worth a read.

I sometimes felt my feelings validated by this book, and I often found it humorous, but I also found it too often bordered on a female bitch session. It doesn't offer any advice that isn't to be fou
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Ashley
I should have heeded previous reviewers' warnings not to read this if you don't have kids. OMG. I'm not one to particularly like scare tactics and that's all this book was.

Alternate subtitles the authors should have considered:
1. How to Destroy Your Marriage, Resent Your Spouse, and Lose Yourself as Your Family Grows.
2. You Want Kids? Hahahahahaha, LOLsies, ROFLMAO, WTF. Seriously WTF - Your Life Will Suck.
3. We Totally Pulled it Off (One of us has THREE kids - OMG!!!1!!), But You Totally Can'
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Laura
Sep 09, 2007 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents and wanna-be parents
Shelves: baby-stuff, parenting
This has been a really good discussion point for my husband and me - we don't have kids yet, but it's good to see what kinds of issues we might have and discuss how we would like to deal with them, before we are angry and sleep-deprived all the time. The book tries to take into account both sides of each issue (each chapter is broken down into "how he feels" and "how she feels"), although sometimes they tend to be a little hard on men (there is more assumption that men will change than there is ...more
Michelle
I listened to this book on CDs. For women reading this, if your spouse is the jealous type, does no domestic chores and when he does he expects praises, always keeps score of what he did and thinks only of sex and will trade domestic chores for some fun in the sack, and you have no desire for sex, then this might be a good book for you. If your couple doesn't fit this stereotypical view, then this book might be a bit frustrating. There are some good tips in there, but lost in a sea of stereotypi ...more
Betsy
There's certainly a need for more literature about preparing marriages and partnerships for the impact of having children, so I'm glad "Babyproofing Your Marriage" exists. I only wish it had been written with a bit more professional input (all of the authors are simply writing from their perspectives as wives and mothers; no one seems to have a degree or professional background in counseling/mental health/etc.). The book also felt sexist at times, generalizing often boiling down issues to the co ...more
Ciara
i am relieved that i didn't read this until after i already had a baby, because it definitely would have scared me. but as a parent, i found it quite helpful. i picked it up from the library after yet another fight with jared. allow me to explain: in the almost-six years we were together before we had our baby, we had fights maybe once or twice a year. since we had ramona, we are averaging fights more like once or twice a month. that's still chump change compared to a lot of couples, i know, but ...more
Adam
Aug 16, 2007 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: heterosexual couples who have, or are considering having, kids
This is a very practical, specific, and insightful book regarding how men and women act in their marriage, why they do, and what changes (or will need to change) when you throw children into the mix. I especially recommend that couples read it so you can talk through the "do you *really* think that way?" sections. It's not a perfect book, but it is one of the best parenting books I've come across. The issues it does have are attributable less to fault by the authors and are more to its origins a ...more
Christopher McDonald
It's that time... the baby is almost here and apparently the dynamic of my marriage is going to change! Ha! It's not that I'm doubting it. I'm actually sure it will. A good number of my friends have had kids in the past 3-5 years and some of them were honest enough to open up to me about the critical adjustments in their lives. The funny thing, however, is they didn't invite me into that honesty until my wife was pregnant. So, just like this book says, it's almost taboo for people to admit the s ...more
Becki
This book covered a lot of the same things that most books do: splitting chores, giving each other free time, that this too shall pass, etc.
I appreciated the humor in the book and the way things were presented. And interesting topic I hadn't seen in other books of the same topic: the grandparent battle. However, I did not appreciate the foul language. I have (unfortunately) become used to that in popular fiction today. I didn't expect to see it in a non-fiction book on parenting a new baby and y
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nicole
This wasn’t the best or the worst of the baby books I’ve read so far, but I’ve got some child of divorce issues about this particular topic, so it was really important to me to read this one I’d heard about it. If nothing else, it’s been a great conversation starter as we enter the third trimester. Developing a system division of responsibilities was an important element of our first year of marriage, which quickly went downhill as keeping the couch warm and eating everything in the house rose i ...more
Marion
DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! It is utterly depressing and filled me with terror about life with kids. Maybe some of it is true but you just don't need to read about it. Deal with your own life and marriage. Don't read about other people's gripes.
Kalliope
To give myself a little credibility for this review: This was my reading material as I breastfed (or pumped for) my first-born baby. I finished it today and my son is only ten weeks old.

When approaching a self-helpy book, it is imperative to remember the true benefits of a stereotype (yes, benefits!). A book like this is written for a large demographic of people, covering a wide variety of very personal experiences. You must remember: if the shoe fits, wear it. If not, move along to the next pai
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Gie
Warning! New parents are likely to experience:

Scorekeeping—An exceedingly complex, often relentless, tit-for-tat war waged by husbands and wives over the division of parenting responsibilities and domestic chores.

The Ten O'Clock Shoulder Tap—Considered by many men to be a form of foreplay. A paw on a wife's shoulder is how some men indicate their desire for sex. The Tap is rarely accompanied by a term of endearment or any other verbal form of communication and is seldom well received by the ofte
...more
Shannon
Really disappointed by this book! First of all, it's quite apparent that this was written by three women. The flow is completely off, and it's annoyingly repetitive. They ask the same question in a dozen ways whenever a new topic comes along. Seriously, this should only be read by those who had a child after being in a dysfunctional marriage--if your marriage is healthy before the birth of your child, don't check this out. They talk about going from sex once a week pre-pregnancy to sex monthly a ...more
Chelsea
It's a good thing that I'm already pregnant because I would probably never want kids after reading this book haha! I thought that the book was pretty funny and entertaining but the authors focused so much on the negative side of parenting that it makes you wonder why anyone would even want kids. (Is it really THAT bad? Come on, moms have a lot of fun too! Surely, car pool isn't the end of the world.) However, even though I don't have a child yet I felt that it was right on about marriage and rel ...more
Lisa
Mar 25, 2008 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: new parent, expecting parents
The “Babyproofers” Stacie, Cathy, and Julia are a humorous bunch of moms (and wives) that not only give helpful tips, but they also share from their own experiences and experiences of others. Many stories and viewpoints from both the male and female perspective are given. The overall goal of this book is to unite husband and wives through the early childhood years while providing an understanding of what the other spouse needs and wants out of the marriage.

The authors go through lengthy descript
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Diana Siwek
This book has a good tone and is funny, informative, and easy to read. However, as the book continued, there seemed to be a deviation from a balanced perspective on both genders and it seemed to slip into husband bashing.

While I got a lot out of some chapters (specifically "how he thinks", "how she thinks"), I did feel as though the book generalized marriage roles and didn't spend enough time celebrating the good parts that undoubtedly come with having a baby.

Overall, I read the book because I v
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Eileen
One of my biggest concerns with having a baby is how it will impact my marriage. We've been happily married for 10 years and I know this is going to rock our world. This book did give me a few good insights. A few of the things I took away from it: remember that the difficult "baby" phase is only temporary. Remember to understand that your spouse doesn't always (and doesn't have to) do things your way. Be thankful for what he or she does to help out. Divide the labor as much as you can. Remember ...more
April
A friend gave me this book before our first was born. I started to read it, and it kept making me grumpy. I was so frustrated that they assumed my great husband, and my great marriage would not do well through babydom. We both stopped reading it, put it away and forgot about it. I was cleaning closets two 1/2 years later and reread it, now from the perspective of a mom whose marriage was in fact tested by the demands of having a baby and of my husband being not well through a lot of the demandin ...more
Joanne
I'm giving this to everybody who's having a baby this year, because even if you have a great marriage, it's nice to read other people's stories. It's written by three different women with different perspectives, and is both non-judgmental and funny. I don't read self-help books, and am naturally skeptical about most things, but picked this up and was quickly sucked in. It made me feel normal.

A sample:
"After living much of our pre-parenthood lives as relative equals, it comes as a surprise when,
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Brittany Seyb
As a relatively recent parent I found this book quite relative to my experience over the past year of parenthood. It's not really a book that tells you what to do to mold your spouse into being helpful it's basically a book that says "Hey, you aren't alone in the psychotic transition" There are so many incredibly annoying things that come along with having children and you feel as if you are alone on this little island and you find that in every moment you're at odds with your spouse. You begin ...more
Laura
This book had something for everyone in it--some humor for parents who have been there (and sometimes feel like they are losing it...) as well as great ideas for how to run your household more smoothly as a team. There are really solid ideas for how to communicate with your spouse to make your feelings known, but not to hurt theirs in the process. Plus, the authors are brutally honest (but with a light, sometimes humorous touch) about the less pretty side of being a parent, which happens to ever ...more
Sarah
My review can basically be summed up in two quotes from other Goodreads member reviews:

First: "I sometimes felt my feelings validated by this book, and I often found it humorous, but I also found it often bordered on a female bitch session."

This is pretty dead on. It was nice to know I'm not alone in being overwhelmed by some of the feelings and stresses involved in being a new mom. But sometimes it got a little too whiny, and I felt it went overboard with the stereotype of lazy/unhelpful/escapi
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Dawn
Overall, a useful book. I have been able to relate better to my husband since reading it. Like the subtitle says, it's about communication, and keeping your sense of humor in order to get your marriage through the hellacious time before your children start grade school.

My one quibble is in the chapter about dealing with the second child and onward. To quote, "In hindsight, taking care of one child was a hobby." (page 198) Have you ever heard someone say, “If I’d had that one first, I wouldn’t ha
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Carrie Palombo
This book is pretty awful at many points. I understand that to write such a book, you may have to make generalizations and stereotype groups ... but this is ridiculous. The book totally discredits men and their desires and capabilities. And it groups women together in very negative light.

Some lines I felt particularly gross: "Without doubt they (men) love their babies, but they just fine them (dare we say it) a bit boring."

"Men's love for their newborns is of the low-burn variety, however, not t
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Melissa Finn
I would recommend this book for anyone pregnant, with baby and/or small children, or planning on attending a baby shower and in need of some gift ideas. This book is not only fabulously funny (!), but also fabulously realistic...it invents a whole new vocabulary for new dad confusions, mama control buttons, the delicate post-baby sex issues, grandparent competitions, the division of labor, among other things. It is written in a spunky and interesting style that makes the issues and topics at han ...more
Lisa R.
Jun 15, 2008 Lisa R. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: New parents/expectant parents
I read this hilarious, practical book recently because my husband and I have argued more in the past 6 months (post-baby) than in our entire previous 5-year relationship - and I understand now that's par for the course with the sleep deprivation and added stress of bringing a new person into the world and your home.

This book is worth it just for the quotes from real-life parents, which truly let you know that you are not alone in your stress, anxiety, and frustration (although some of the quotes
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Sarah Taylor
It's definitely a 'pull your head out of your...' read. Great book and puts things into perspective that are lost with your sleep when the baby comes. Not a book I would recommend for people that are not yet married or do not yet have children. If I would have read it before we had our little man, I would probably be 50 and still waiting to want children, just kidding, but seriously. A must read for any couple with kids that may or may not think they need the 'baby proofing of their marriage'
David
Babyproofing Your Marriage is easily the best book on marital relationships I've ever encountered, let alone read. The authors (three women) do a better job of getting inside the male brain than any comparable book I've encountered. Specifically, they do an excellent job explaining how precisely men connect sex with self worth and intimacy, and how corrosive vicious cycles get started. In recognizing how effectively they get inside men's heads, I assume that their translations of women's emotion ...more
Carolyn
I actually never finished this book. It was interesting to read at first and even entertaining. But after while it just felt like too much complaining about marriage and it got old quick. The book described the general feelings between men and women in their marriages. (They gathered this info from their own marriages and a lot of people they talked to.) Basically, women feel like they are running the whole show in their married and family life and don't feel that their husbands help enough, let ...more
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“The time you spend together doing a thousand inconsequential things is what culminates in a meaningful childhood.” 2 likes
“Telling a mother who has a child and work committments to chill out is like telling a nuclear engineer not to worry about the leak in the reactor he has been sent in to fix.” 0 likes
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