If you are expecting your second child, or even thinking about a second child you must read this book.
Is that too strong? NO! I wish I had read this book while I was expecting my second! It certainly would not have changed my mind about having another child, but it would have made a real difference to know that all the feelings, problems and emotions that I was to experience were quite normal, quite common.
Mother of two Rebecca Abrams wrote this book after the experience of having her second child and discovering the whole new set of challenges to overcome.
When you have your first child, there is advice aplenty. You are advised to rest, what to eat, and you have lots of time to read up on pregnancy and parenting in books and magazines. Your midwife spells everything out for you, your friends, family and even strangers with children are quick to offer advice.
The second time round it all changes. It is assumed you know it all. Never mind that it may have been years since your last child, and frankly you have to learn so much that you tend to forget any information that does not refer to your child's current stage. Suddenly you are struggling to remember what not to eat, what appointments to keep. Instead of being able to sleep your way through the morning sickness your firstborn still wakes up at 6am and wants to be played with.
After the birth the advice you got for one child seems laughable. 'Rest when your baby sleeps' may have seemed like a joke first time round (so when are you supposed to get anything done?), but second time it is the only chance you get to spend time with the older child. An older child who has just experienced a massive upheaval in their life and needs their mummy!
Abrams addresses all these issues in this book, from how your feelings towards your children change (it's quite normal), to how your relationship with your partner will change again. There is practical advice on dealing with sibling rivalry. Then there are the problems of juggling two children and a job. If you cannot find a solution to this one you are not alone! None of the women interviewed in the book seem completely happy with the solution they found to work life balance.
'Three Shoes, One Sock and No Hairbrush' does not only draw on Abram's own personal experience. It has a perfect balance of anecdotal evidence from other mothers, literature, scientific research and historical evidence from the history of child rearing.
This book is important if you are pregnant now, and even if you have had your second child, this book will help you understand what you have experienced, and offer lots of valuable advice for dealing with two children.
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.