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Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More and Argue Less As Your Family Grows
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Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More and Argue Less As Your Family Grows

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  954 Ratings  ·  224 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
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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)
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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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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
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
Zach Freeman
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Unless you are in a relationship where you and your spouse are hardcore aligned with gender norms from the last century about 3/4 of this book is just straight up bad. The other 1/4 will at least make you feel better about how you are doing with your spouse.

The majority of this book is directed towards women whose husbands a) do not like to nor, apparently, care to learn how to, cook, clean, or do anything remotely domestic, b) do not like spending time with their families, c) love all sports an
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Adam
Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Laura
Jul 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Mary
First off: I'm not pregnant. The only way I'd have a baby in my belly right now is if I ate it. So let's get that off the table.

This book reminds me a lot of the dog training reading I've done--don't let this little thing take over your life. That means carve out time for your marriage, and for your own interests and hobbies, and don't obsess too much about upping the ante with other baby owners: just like how the dog groomer will try to upsell you on the fur extensions (absolutely a real thing)
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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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Betsy
May 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Kimberly
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2016
One day the three authors were sitting around and discussing the problems in their marriage since the baby(ies) had arrived and realized that they all were having the same issues. So they wrote this book. It discusses the fighting, the scorekeeping, the in-laws, the lack of sex, etc. It's full of humor, snark, and tell-it-like-it-is.

Is there a life-changing method or revelation in this book? Probably not. But I found it cathartic to know that the struggles I've had in my marriage since the arriv
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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
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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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Marion
Jun 15, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Emily
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting-family
This book doesn't have a ton of brand new information, but I did think it helped me feel more informed about the male perspective, and I think it had some good reminders. I'm happy I read it.
Sonia Gill
Mar 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is horribly sexist. It's also poorly written and disorganized. I do not recommend it.
J.E. Raley
Often sterotypical but sheds light on the overwhelming patterns found in all marriages, especially once the complexities of children starts. Decent read and makes us feel less alone when we seem overworked, overtired, and stretched too thin with the many roles we play.
Taine Hatch-Rymer
A little outdated, but still good.
Kaitlin
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Stereotypical garbage. "Men and women are fundamentally different. Men wanna do it all the time and ladies are uninterested and too busy picking up socks anyway." Pass.
Angela
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a worthy (and much-needed) topic for a book about a stressful transition in life, but the execution disappointed me. A number of practical solutions to maintain a marriage through the baby transition are mentioned - I'm trying out the whole going away for a long weekend thing in a month and a half, and while it wasn't inspired by this book, it did give me the confidence to see that not only was everything going to be fine while I was gone, but my marriage would probably benefit on a numb ...more
nicole
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
Brittany Seyb
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-impact
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
Lisa
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  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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IRIFF
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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Sarah
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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April
Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Laura
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Joanne
Dec 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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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
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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“The time you spend together doing a thousand inconsequential things is what culminates in a meaningful childhood.” 3 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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