A Must-Read for Parents of All Ages, Wannabe Parents, and the Cheerfully Childfree!
In this fearlessly honest book, Susan Jeffers breaks the 'conspiracy of silence' and pulls no punches about how difficult parenthood is for many. With humour and compassion, she reveals the insidious guilt traps set by too many of the child-care 'experts' and the child-centred society we inhabit. She questions many fashionable myths and half-truths that add to a parent's sense of inadequacy and guilt, and she offers valuable 'survival' tools to cope with it all.
'I'm Okay...You're a Brat' explains:
why parenthood is a joy for some and a nightmare for others
why what you put in doesn't necessarily come out
why our relationship with our spouses often suffer when children enter the picture
why our lives change so drastically when a child is born
why we can love our kids yet hate parenthood
why we can have great fulfilment in life with - or without - children ... and much more!
'BRILLIANT! A brave and revolutionary book that dares to confront many of our long-cherished beliefs about parenthood and parenting.' -
Susan Forward, author of Emotional Blackmail
'Many welcome surprises await the reader of this marvelously honest book! I heartily recommend it! It will remove any guilt and confusion you may be having about so many aspects of parenthood...whether you are a parent or not.' -
Barbara De Angelis, Author of Secrets About Life Every Woman Should Know
'At last! An honest, guilt-free, and frankly overdue guide to raising for taking the fear out of responsible parenting. As an educator with over 17 years experience in the public schools teaching teenagers, (and currently teaching teachers) I enthusiastically recommend this book to all parents who need a refresher course on who's in charge!' -
Leslie Lafayette, M.A., founder of The ChildFree Network and Author of 'Why Don't You Have Kids: Living a Fulfilling Life Without Children'
Table Of Contents
INTRODUCTION: IT'S ABOUT TIME!
PART I: ANOTHER SIDE OF THE PICTURE
Chapter 1: Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me?
Chapter 2: I Want My Life Back
Chapter 3: Oil and Water: Sex and Diapers
Chapter 4: The Unspeakable Truth About Kids
PART II: SEND THE 'EXPERTS' BACK TO SCHOOL
Chapter 5 What You Put In Doesn't Necessarily Come Out
Chapter 6 Down With the Guilt Peddlers! Chapter 7 The Mad, Mad Myths of Parenthood
Chapter 8 The Dangers of Full-Time Parenting
Chapter 9 There's No Place Like Work
PART III SHOULD WE...SHOULDN'T WE...WHY DID WE?
Chapter 10 So Why Do We Do It?
Chapter 11 So Why DON'T We Do It? Chapter 12 If One Could Do It Over Again...
CONCLUSION And When All Is Said and Done
ADDENDUM A Survival Guide!
My son, Gerry, gave me the title for this book and I loved it the minute I heard it. It makes me laugh, as it does most people who hear it...which is a very good thing. It also expresses in a nutshell the frustration that all parents, even those who adore parenting, feel during those very difficult times which are an inevitable part of the raising of children.
One day we will look back and realize what crazy times we now live in when it comes to issues relating to parenthood. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are presently drowning in a sea of crazy-making myths that are mercilessly taking away our peace of mind. For those of us who are parents, these myths have filled us with guilt, fear, and confusion and they have ripped away our sacred trust in ourselves. For those of us who are would-be parents, they have misled us by painting a distorted picture of what having a child is truly about. It's definitely time for these destructive myths to be exposed so that the critical decisions we have to make, either as a parent or a would-be parent, are based on fact rather than fiction.
Before I go any further, let me give you my definition of 'myth' as I am using it here: A myth is an unproven collective belief that is accepted by society-at-large as truth. 'If everyone believes it, it must be so'. Need I remind you that everyone once believed that the earth was flat. Many of the decrees passed down by our society in recent years belong in the category of 'the earth is flat'...erroneous (or at least, questionable) beliefs that we've accepted as truth.
My goal in writing this book was to expose these harmful myths and in the process end the unnecessary suffering they have caused for so many of us. My deepest hope is that you will find a wonderful sense of comfort, understanding, lightness and inner wisdom that has eluded you before.
And there's more: For many reasons, which will become evident as you read, few people feel comfortable telling the whole truth about their parenting experience. As a result, we have in Western society a phenomenon that's been called the conspiracy of silence. This conspiracy has caused a lopsided picture of the parenting picture ...that is, the rewards are hugely magnified while the woes are glaringly absent. Again, this discrepancy affects not only parents, but also those who are thinking about becoming parents. It is so important for the well-being of all concerned, that the whole truth be known.
To this end, you will find on these pages, the de-glorified, de-sanctified and de-romanticized side of the story that you may never have heard before........