The Kids Are in Bed by Rachel Bertsche | Dutton Books {Book Review}

Parenting Book

The Kids Are in Bed by Rachel Bertsche

Book Summary:

Journalist, bestselling author of MWF Seeking BFF, and mother of two Rachel Bertsche tries to find calm among the chaos and reclaim a personal life while raising her young kids and offers solutions for how all parents can do the same, once The Kids Are in Bed.

Picture it—it’s 8:30 p.m. You close the door to your child’s room just as you hear your partner closing the dishwasher. Your home is clean (enough). You’ve dealt with all the last-minute work emails. And now it’s time for an hour or two of glorious freedom. What do you do? Read the book you’ve been waiting to crack open all day? Chat on the phone with a friend, glass of wine in hand, or go out and meet old friends and share a whole bottle? Or, like many modern parents, do you get caught up in chores, busywork, and social media black holes?

Recent time-use studies show that even working parents have as many as 30 hours of leisure time a week, yet very few people know how to actually use that time to do something— anything!—pleasurable and fulfilling. In an original survey conducted for this book, 71 percent of parents said their free time didn’t feel free at all, because they were still thinking about all the things they should be doing for their kids, their jobs, and their households.

Rachel Bertsche constantly found herself in exactly that bind. Using a combination of memoir, interviews with scientists and parenting experts, and input from moms and dads all over the country, Rachel figured out how to transform her own patterns and reconnect to her pre-kids life. In The Kids Are in Bed, other parents can learn how to do the same, and truly enjoy the time after lights out.

Publication Date:

January 7th, 2020

Genre:

Parenting/Time Management

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

parenting time management

The Kids Are in Bed was my first book by Rachel Bertsche. In a society where people (and especially parents) are feeling more burnt out than ever before, I love the idea of rethinking the time that we DO have. The Kids Are in Bed shared some proactive ideas for parents about not getting “stuck” in every day (sometimes very monotonous) family life grind and utilizing the downtime that you do have in your daily/weekly/monthly schedules.

I thought Bertsche really succeeded at sharing helping everyday tips and hack to not falling into the trap of not having enough time for ourselves, our marriage, friendships, etc. While life may look a lot different than it did “before kids” and the “downtime” we have may well be less, when we look at our habits and chunks of time, it can help us adjust the way we utilize it.

I did find that the stories in The Kids Are In Bed were primarily about her own very specific situation (with fairly young children), and although she did share ideas cited directly from other sources, I would have loved for there to be a bigger variety of examples of family life, especially with different aged children.

The challenges vary so much as you move through the life stages of having kids at home from babies to teens…all with their own set of positives and challenges. I think this would open this book up to a larger audience and also help broaden the perspective beyond her own immediate experiences.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

Juliet’s School of Possibilities | Laura Vanderkam | Penguin Group Portfolio| Book Review

Laura Vanderkam + time management

Juliet’s School of Possibilities by Laura Vanderkam

Book Summary:

“A charming, life-changing fable that will help you rethink your whole approach to time, priorities, and possibilities.

Riley Jenkins is in trouble. An ambitious, hardworking consultant in her late twenties, she’s used to a lifetime of nearly perfect evaluations – until she gets a terrible performance review from her boss. How is that possible when Riley does everything her clients want – including answering emails 24/7 – faster than they expect it?

That’s precisely the problem: she’s spread too thin. Despite her insane hours and attention to detail, Riley can’t produce the thoughtful work her clients expect. Now she’s been given thirty days to close a major deal, or she’s out. Meanwhile, her personal life is also on the edge of disaster, with her boyfriend and close friends losing patience with her chronic unavailability.

The last thing Riley wants, at a stressful time like this, is to attend a women’s leadership retreat with some of her colleagues. But she can’t get out of her commitment: a weekend in New Jersey at some silly-sounding place called Juliet’s School of Possibilities.

Yet before long, Riley is surprised to find herself intrigued by Juliet, the lifestyle maven who hosts the conference. How does a single mother of two, run a successful business while acting as if she has all the time in the world? The answer may lie in one of Juliet’s Zen-like comments: “Expectations are infinite. Time is finite. You are always choosing. Choose well.”

By the end of this story, you’ll join Riley in rethinking the balance between your present and your future, between the things you have to do and the things you want to do. Like Riley, you can free yourself from feeling overwhelmed and pursue your highest possibilities.”

Publication Date:

March 12th, 2019

Genre:

Time Management, Self-Help & Personal Growth

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

I love Vanderkam’s nonfiction books about time management and this is her first novella. In Juliet’s School of Possibilities, Vanderkam incorporates her knowledge and expertise into a short fable about a woman named Riley who is “spread too thin”. ⁣⁣⁣I wasn’t sure how this would work but I was definitely intrigued and it ended up being a small book that packed a big punch.
⁣⁣⁣
In a society where “busy” reigns supreme, Vanderkam’s books are a wonderful reminder about how we get to choose how we spend our time and energy and this book is such a fun spin-off. We meet Juliet who shares profound wisdom and helps Riley rethink this balance.

“I don’t have time’ means ‘It’s not a priority.’ We always have time for what matters to us.”

This book is a quick read but it one that I think back to all the time. I love the idea that we are in control of our time and we choose what we prioritize and how we react to the chaos life can sometimes throw at us.  When I am having one of those days where I feel I am feeling rushed and stressed, I think back to Juliet and how she would react.

“Expectations are infinite. Time is finite. You are always choosing. Choose well.”

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Portfolio for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.