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Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life
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Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A wise and humorous book addressing the concerns of parents who are making the leap from one child to two . . . or more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published September 21st 2004 by Seal Press (first published August 31st 2004)
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Nicole Wagner
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I picked up this book idly, with the idea that I should probably not bring home a second child without being at all prepared. After reading it, laughing, shaking my head, and enjoying the honesty and down-to-earth confessions, I conclude that there is nothing that will prepare me and that I just have to figure it out, the same as I did when we brought home our first child. That's all good and fine. This was an entertaining, frank read, though a bit heavy with the privilege. (The author and her ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Some practical advice but mainly provides a perspective on what having two children vs. one is actually like - especially for a writer and current mother of one like me!

I do disagree with some of the other reviewers who say that the book is "nothing special," or that the author seems disingenuous and negative about the experience/choice of having a second. Given how few books there are on the parenting shelves about #2 and that this book is well-written and clearly a compilation of essays (not
Oct 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
this book is terrifying! if you thought one baby was difficult, she will let you know that one is a breeze compared to two. in general, it was a pretty good book. a few things were interesting... it was fine for me because i'm interested in having a second and i obsessively read about the experiences of people who have done something i'm about to do. but i wouldn't necessarily recommend it to other people.
Nov 03, 2007 rated it it was ok
These are mini-essays that the author wrote whenever she could, and as a result they are not particularly insightful beyond her own experience. In a nutshell, she's saying that if you have a second child two years after the first one, your life will suck until the kids are ages 3 and 5 and then you will start to enjoy them. I did find her citations interesting, however, and may read some of them.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Entertaining for the anecdotes and certainly offers a “gloves off” perspective on the challenges of parenting two. Hopefully like the parenting books I read before my first was born, they prepare you for a lot worse than it turns out to be. It was a tad long- I could have done with a few less chapters. It began to drag and feel repetitive about 30 pages from
The end. But I very much enjoyed her honesty and candor, and adored the chapter called “Memory”. It truly defined for me all the long game
Olivia Jensen
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it
The introduction of the book was the best part. The rest was a series of her experiences with preparing for and adding a second child to their family. Insightful, funny, a bit harrowing to imagine. She puts a lot of emphasis on how much easier or manageable parenting/life is when dad steps up to the plate and does just as much parenting and household duties as mom. (Thankful my husband does cause it sounds REALLY hard with a second child- twice the work).

Good stuff, but the book could have been
Sarah Sliva
Nov 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked this book off the shelf because I was looking for insights into life with two, but I ended up liking the intro more than the rest of the book. At this point in my life, I am more interested in the author's decision-making process in regards to making that leap from one to two. This book was more a collection of anecdotes about life beyond that - about the process of raising two kids (which I suppose is useful as well). Overall, I think she was very frank and realistic about it. I ...more
Not bad-many parts that make you smil. Picked up a couple things. She references a lot of other authors, so it might be worth it to just read their books... I liked the backup babysitter putting diet coke in the baby bottle(and still staying employed) story best so far.

She is right about one thing--there are not many books devoted to how to cope with more than one child. Many of the suggestions other child rearing books offer may not cut it with two.

Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really glad I received this recommendation. I think I read 20 books before my first baby and of course it was a big fat zero during this pregnancy until I picked up Beyond One. Some of the statistics were quite scary but I think Hull gave a funny and accurate portrayal of what my life is going to be like in 3 months. I will just have to remember the mantra 3 and 5 on tough days.
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was bittersweet. Before #2 came along, I found myself a little down about the transition, and skeptical of her sense of reality. But AFTER #2 came, and I reread this book, I realized with a sense of sadness (and relief) that she nailed a lot of the challenges. I now see positives in things that I used to think were negatives.
Alison Griffin
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, parenting
I started reading this book when I was pregnant with my second son. He is now 18 months old, a testament to the difficulty of having more than one child! However, this book made me laugh out loud, made me cry, and made me realize that I am not the 'only one' who struggles with the balance, love, and joy of parenting.

A must read for anyone considering growing their family 'beyond ONE.'
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of those books I wanted to start again as soon as I finished it. Full of specific, practical advice for life with 2 kids. I highly recommend it for any parent who has (or is about to have) 2 little ones!!
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Funny essays with both a realistic and poignant look at what adding a second child means to the family. Loved the short essays. Most made me laugh. Since the author has 2 girls, 2 years apart I felt I was peering into my future.
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Some funny and some insightful essays on motherhood and marriage after the second baby. I liked that this author didn't try to make it sound like she had it all figured out and tied up with a ribbon.
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
An entertaining and thought provoking look at parenting more than one. I couldn't relate to her exact circumstances, but I did laugh quite a bit. Especially loved the chapter called "Memory" - as an only child, this really hit home and was reflective of my reasons for having more than one child.
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
This author writes about crossing the divide from one child to two and the various adventures and trials associated with it. It was okay, but nothing special. I wouldn't read it again or recommend it to anyone.
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Practical; honest
Laura Smith Ramsborg
Excellent! A must-read for all moms "beyond one." My only criticism....sometimes the author rambles a little, but don't we all? Overall, a total survival guide.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
I started this book and got through the first couple chapters in a breeze and then decided her essays were more journaling in nature and I lost interest. I quit reading it.
Rebecca Dougherty
Only read the first couple of chapters, because it's geared more toward families with 2 kids.
Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
The book was interesting overall but by the end, I didn't like the author at all - seemed like she was presenting herself the way she wanted to be seen rather than as she really was
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good book for those with more than one child under 3!
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