To Have and To Hold by Molly Millwood, Ph.D. | HarperCollins | Book Review

To Have and To Hold by Molly Millwood, Ph.D.

To Have and To Hold

Book Summary:

A clinical therapist’s exploration of the complexities of early motherhood, including its impact on a marriage, in a book that offers comfort, camaraderie, and practical guidance to new mothers.

When Molly Millwood became a mother, she was fully prepared for all that she would gain: an adorable baby boy, hard-won mothering skills, and a messy, chaotic, love-filled home. But she didn’t anticipate what she would lose: an identity, a baseline level of happiness, a general sense of wellbeing. And just when she was feeling her most vulnerable, her happy marriage-long a bedrock of stability and comfort-seemed to shift in unexpected ways too, tinged by anger and resentment.

As a clinical psychologist, Molly knew her experience was a normal response to a life-changing event-she was not broken, and neither was her marriage. But without the benefit of such a perspective, many of women she saw in treatment grappled with shame, self-doubt, and fear-all the while struggling to confide in, trust, or seek comfort in their partners.

In To Have and To Hold, Molly illuminates the ways in which motherhood impacts a woman emotionally, psychologically, physically, and professionally-as well as how it impacts the stability and harmony of her relationship. Along with the arrival of a bundle of joy comes thorny issues such as identity, control, autonomy, and dependency. And these issues are, most often, experienced within the context of an intimate relationship, adding another layer of complication, conflict, and confusion to an already challenging time.

As Molly examines the inextricable link between women’s wellbeing as new mothers and the wellbeing of their relationships, she offers information and guidance to help readers reclaim their identities and repair their relationships. A blend of personal narrative, rigorous research, and stories from Molly’s clinical practice, To Have and To Hold provides a lifeline to new mothers everywhere.”

Publication Date:

March 26th, 2019

Genre:

Motherhood/Parenting

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Motherhood is the hardest AND most wonderful thing I have ever done. While I am lucky to have had many conversations with the people in my personal life, never have I read something that explains the complexities of motherhood and marriage in such a profound manner until I read this book. The highs and lows of parenthood, the immense love and also the intense quest to reclaim ourselves as women and partners when our lives will never be the same are so real and valid.

To Have and to Hold spoke to me on so many levels. Millwood’s ability to write with both her voice as a professional and her voice as a mother was a perfect balance. It is relatable and real and I can’t stop thinking about it which is the sign of a 5-star book for me. ⁣

If you haven’t already checked this one out I highly recommend and she was absolutely wonderful on audio.

 

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids by Carla Naumburg PhD | Book Discussion & Review

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids

by Carla Naumburg, PhD

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids

Book Summary:

“Ever lose it with your kid? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Parenting is stressful, children are insane, and you’re only human. Carla Naumburg, PhD, a clinical social worker, was so at a loss with her daughters that she found herself Googling “how to stop yelling at my kids” during a particularly grueling evening. That moment led to this book—a short, empathic, insight-packed, and tip-filled program for how to manage your triggers, stop the meltdowns, and become a calmer, happier parent with calmer, happier kids.

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids not only explains why we explode at our children but also teaches us everything we need to know to decrease stress and increase patience, even in the most challenging family moments.

Based on recent research and evidence-based practices, and written in the warm, funny, instantly relatable tone of a parent who’s been there, the book guides even the most harried parents toward a new way of engaging with their children. Readers will come away feeling less ashamed and more empowered to get their sh*t together, instead of losing it.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

I remember so clearly the kind of parent I was going to be before I had kids…and then I became a parent. Our kids are kind, funny, curious, loving and they can totally make me lose my sh*t. We have two boys who are two years apart in age and parenting can feel like a total rollercoaster ride. No matter how hard you try, you are not going to be a perfect parent.

“When it comes to parenting, being awesome and screwing up are not mutually exclusive.” -Carla Naumburg

My Own Experience:

I can recall with such vivid memories how completely overwhelmed I was when our first son was a baby because the physically demanding aspects of parenting an infant who cried a lot and slept, umm, not a lot were 24/7. I was exhausted. As the years went by and we added a second child, not only did parenting feel physically hard but it became emotionally hard. This is also when we entered the stage of “losing our sh*t”.

You think it won’t happen to you, but then it does. Have you ever tried strapping a screeching toddler into a car seat while they are whacking you in the face while also making their entire body as straight and stiff as a board? Have you ever wanted to take a 3-minute shower without referring two children who are fighting over a toy neither one has previously played with in years? Have you ever been on a last minute work phone call and had to say “I am going to have to call you back” because you can’t hear anyone over the screeching of your children in the background of the car, who you previously explained to that you needed to make this important phone call? There are thousands of more examples, but this is just an example of how you may get to the “losing your sh*t” zone of parenting.

What This Book is About:

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids is a relatable and approachable discussion and action guide relating to the stresses of modern-day parenting. Naumburg starts with defining why parents can sometimes lose it, and then goes into the different steps of how you work towards losing it less.

The Most Important Steps:

TRIGGERS: Understand your triggers…we all have them even though they may be very different.

AWARENESS. Know what pushes your buttons and own it.

REFLECT. Having some insight into the WHY can help you have a plan.

REDUCE TRIGGERS: Work on reducing triggers. This makes you feel less out of control and enables you to be more proactive when you get into moments of frustration.

COMPASSION. Have compassion both with yourself and with your children…and really, the world around you. When you can look at something from a more empathetic viewpoint, it is easier to own the situation and then move forward. You always have another chance to have a more positive interaction.

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. In a fast-paced world, parents are juggling more things than ever before. Finding ways to take care of yourself actually makes YOU a better parent. Find your village and support system and choose wisely when saying YES…the fewer overcommitments the fewer triggers you might have. Unitask when you are able…multitasking usually causes nothing to get done well and often results in massive frustration levels for all.

Approachable, Proactive & Real:

I found this book to be approachable and real, yet also great at calling out what our issues might be so we can be more proactive about them in the future. There was a great balance of reflection and action no matter what your situation or triggers. Naumburg strives for progress, not perfection which feels attainable when you are in the thick of it.

Naumburg discusses with great detail how to catch yourself when you are in or about to enter a “losing it” moment and has reachable suggestions such as “notice, pause and do literally anything else”. I loved the section on compassion, both with ourselves and with our children. When we lose it, which will still happen sometimes, no matter how many things we put in place to stop it, the most important thing we can do is own it.

Reconnecting with ourselves can help guide us to why we might have reacted that way and provide us an opportunity to think about practical things we can put in place to help it from happening again…such as scheduling self-care, reaching out to our support system, etc.

Another step in compassion is reconnecting with our children. Getting calm and apologizing is one of the most powerful parts we can do, not only to repair and respect our relationships with our kids but also to help them see how powerful talking through moments can be for both parties.

Final Thoughts:

I found so many parts of this book helpful and highly recommend it to any parent who is looking for proactive and attainable advice. Thank you to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Documentaries & Poke Bowls

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Coffee Talk WEDNESDAY!

Hello! Do you notice anything different around here?! I feel like I have been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole with having Coffee Talk Tuesday. Absolutely NO ONE cares what day I post this, but I work best by external motivators so having a day I do things keeps me accountable.

Do you have a day of the week that always feels more frantic than the others? Tuesday is that for me. It is a shorter school day which means everything else is crammed into fewer hours and this blog, as much as I love, doesn’t always end up being my top priority. And I love sharing what I am currently loving, so I am devoting an entirely new day to it!

I often end up starting these posts (or any posts on here) and needing to come back to finish it later. I have this fantasy of writing pre-scheduled posts but I don’t know… I could do that with reviews and but I really like the journaling in real time aspect of blogging like this. Maybe it is because I was a “blogger” 10 years ago too and that is how it was done! I miss those days, times were so simple. 😉

Do you still read a lot of blogs? I still follow a ton on “Bloglovin” which I don’t think is entirely user-friendly but I like that it lets me know when blogs I follow are updated. I miss Google Reader and I was so sad when they shut it down because I haven’t found anything that compares…it was the best!

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Alright, enough of that…on to what I am currently up to this week…


Currently Loving…

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First, I need to give a shout out to the 24/7 chat support at WordPress! As I have been working on making this blog more user-friendly, content heavy and sometimes just more pleasing to the eye, I have had A LOT of questions. They are so helpful! It’s so nice to have immediate help even at 5 in the morning…So if you have a WordPress blog and have no idea what you are doing too…check out the help section!

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I am also loving all the sunshine this week, it truly makes such a big difference. We have had winter weather here since November and although it doesn’t look like spring quite yet, just having the longer days and some sunny days is so good for your soul and your mental health!

Currently Watching…

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We have been watching the HBO documentary about Adnan Syed and it is totally making me want to listen to Serial again! It has been so long that is hard for me to remember all the details. Like a lot of people, it was the first podcast I ever listened to and it opened my eyes to a whole new world of content!

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We also watched The Inventor: Out For Blood in Silicon Valley and now I really wanted to read Bad Blood. Have you read it? I have heard such great things!

Currently eating…

Well, I am not currently eating this but we have been on a poke bowl kick from The Scale lately and oh my gosh, it is just the best lunch ever! I have mine with salmon or tuna and Kristy likes chicken. We don’t get them a lot but is a fun lunch treat and is always so filling.

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Today I had a mozzarella burrata ball, carrot sticks, and 4 thin mints, so you can’t win them all…but it was delicious!

Currently listening to…

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I love listening to non-fiction on Audible and I am so excited to start this new book that was recommended by a reading friend. After being very disappointed by Girl, Stop Apologizing (review to come soon!),I am so excited to be moving on to something I think I will connect a lot more with.

Molly Millwood is a local psychologist and I am so looking forward to her conversation in To Have and to Hold regarding motherhood and marriage…As someone who struggled immensely during the transition to parenthood, I can so relate to how the addition of a small baby can rock your world in such a life-changing way.

“A clinical therapist’s exploration of the complexities of early motherhood, including its impact on a marriage, in a book that offers comfort, camaraderie, and practical guidance to new mothers.

When Molly Millwood became a mother, she was fully prepared for all that she would gain: an adorable baby boy, hard-won mothering skills, and a messy, chaotic, love-filled home. But she didn’t anticipate what she would lose: an identity, a baseline level of happiness, a general sense of wellbeing. And just when she was feeling her most vulnerable, her happy marriage-long a bedrock of stability and comfort-seemed to shift in unexpected ways too, tinged by anger and resentment.

As a clinical psychologist, Molly knew her experience was a normal response to a life-changing event-she was not broken, and neither was her marriage. But without the benefit of such a perspective, many of women she saw in treatment grappled with shame, self-doubt, and fear-all the while struggling to confide in, trust, or seek comfort in their partners.

In To Have and To Hold, Molly illuminates the ways in which motherhood impacts a woman emotionally, psychologically, physically, and professionally as well as how it impacts the stability and harmony of her relationship. Along with the arrival of a bundle of joy comes thorny issues such as identity, control, autonomy, and dependency. And these issues are, most often, experienced within the context of an intimate relationship, adding another layer of complication, conflict, and confusion to an already challenging time.

As Molly examines the inextricable link between women’s wellbeing as new mothers and the wellbeing of their relationships, she offers information and guidance to help readers reclaim their identities and repair their relationships. A blend of personal narrative, rigorous research, and stories from Molly’s clinical practice, To Have and To Hold provides a lifeline to new mothers everywhere.”


That’s all for today! I hope you have a great rest of your Wednesday. <3