This was originally composed in Fall 2011, so some information is a bit out of date.
This one took a while to get through. I’m not sure why, perhaps because it’s not exactly a Grisham page-turner. It’s from the same people who wrote Your Pregnancy Week by Week, and is full of information for men who are going to become fathers. It seems to be good information, but I won’t know for sure until I’m a father and have the opportunity to test out my new knowledge.
Like many books on health or parenthood it’s written for an American audience, (I guess we Canadians just aren’t a big enough market to justify additional research and a separate edition), so there’s a bunch of stuff about paying medical expenses that I didn’t really need to know, and several suggestions of government programs and laws that help with everything from saving for a a child’s education to maternity & paternity leave that don’t exist at all in Canada, or if they do exist are different and have different names.
I also found it interesting that the chapter “If There Are Pregnancy Problems” started with a suggestion that readers may want to skip the chapter unless there is a problem. I’m not sure this is the best idea. When something goes wrong you may not have a chance to pull out a book and read the chapter on things that might go wrong. Read the chapter now, but realize that you probably won’t, and don’t want to, need the information, kind of like a CPR course.
Even though it was the chapter that talked about USA-specific laws I enjoyed the chapter on the financial side of becoming a parent. There seems to be an expectation out there that your baby needs the newest and best of everything, and that would be nice, but the reality is, (and the book points it out), that you might not need a thousand-dollar stroller, and most babies outgrow their clothes before wearing them out so not everything has to be straight from the store. Again, we’ll have to see how things turn out in the future, but I’m not convinced that children have to be money pits.
In the end this is a hard book to judge until I’ve lived the experience, and when that’s happened I’ll probably have forgotten what I learned where. However, it was interesting to read and seems to be full of good advice for someone who is planning on becoming a father.