Wednesday, November 20, 2019

I'm Sorry....Love, Your Husband: Honest, Hilarious Stories From a Father of Three Who Made All the Mistakes (And Made Up For Them) - Clint Edwards

This book was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: He may not win Father of the Year, but Clint Edwards has won the hearts of thousands -- including the New York Times, Scarry Mommy and Good Morning America-- thanks to his candor and irreverence when it comes to raising kids, being married and learning from his mistakes.

Clint has three children: Tristan (the know it all), Norah (the snarky princess), and Aspen (the worst roommate ever). He describes parenting as "a million different gears turning in a million different directions, all of them covered in sour milk."  In this inspiring and unconventional book of essays, he sheds light on the darker yet hilarious side of domestic life.

Owning up to all his mishaps and dumbassery, Edwards shares essays on just about every topic fellow spouses and parents can appreciate, including: stupid things he's said to his pregnant wife, the trauma of taking a toddler shopping, revelations on buying a minivan and the struggle to not fight the nosy neighbor (who is five years old).

Clint's funny, heartwarming account of the terrifying yet  completely rewarding life of a parent is a breath of fresh air.  Each essay in I'm Sorry...Love, Your Husband will have you thinking finally, someone gets it.  (Summary from back of book - Image from amazon.com)

My Review:  I first heard about Clint Edwards through a viral blog post on Facebook.  I can't remember what he had written, but I remember laughing my butt off and binge reading a bunch of his other posts on No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog.  When I discovered he'd written a book (three, actually), I knew I needed to get my hands on at least one of them and thankfully the author was kind enough to send me a copy of I'm Sorry...Love, Your Husband: Honest, Hilarious Stories From a Father of Three Who Made All the Mistakes (And Made Up for Them).

Clint Edwards calls parenting "the most difficult thing in the history of ever" (AMEN!) and lends his own brand of wry, often self-deprecating, humor to an insightful collection of essays on life, marriage, and fatherhood.  Whether he is writing about the rigors of trying to shop with a nearly-feral toddler, his unsuccessful adventures in poop avoidance, how to successfully navigate advanced sleep deprivation, or the critical difference between venting and complaining, his essays are a deft mixture of snort-inducing humor and sage advice -- and they are unbelievably spot-on.   Each essay is only a few pages long and can be read by itself or as part of a greater treatise on how to be a better husband and father.  If you're a parent and (like me) and struggle to find the time or energy to read an entire book in one sitting, this book is perfect for you.

In, I'm Sorry...Love, Your Husband the author offers himself up as a case study in what not to do or say in essays like: All the Things I Never Should Have Said to My Pregnant Wife, Pregnancy Pro Tips I Learned Through Trial and Error, All the Things I Never Should Have Said After Our First Child, etc. He seems to favor learning life's lessons (like most of us) by making mistakes and immediately recognizing the error of his ways OR by getting his crapped called by his loving, but exasperated, spouse.  He isn't too proud to admit these mistakes either. In fact, he waves them like a giant red flag in an effort to keep others from falling into the same trap.

In an increasingly Instagram-filtered world, Clint Edwards provides an unflinchingly honest, thoroughly amusing, and relatable view of parenthood, filled with hilarious stories and cautionary tales.  I'm Sorry...Love, Your Husband is a proverbial fist raised in solidarity for all the parents out there just trying to keep their heads above water and their adorable monsters alive. While reading, there were countless moments where I felt emotionally validated and understood. Take, for example, the chapter on why Clint's wife, Mel, stays up so late.  In it Clint was frustrated with Mel for intentionally staying up late instead of getting some much-needed sleep.  My husband and I have gone the rounds on this same topic, so I could probably have written this chapter myself. Mel explained that after putting the kids to bed and spending quality time with Clint, she craved a little time by herself -- time to not being needed, called, or crawled on, and that she would happily sacrifice sleep if it meant being able to tend to her own needs.  I felt unbelievably relieved when I read the chapter -- like I wasn't crazy or selfish for wanting the same thing for myself from time to time. I imagine other parents out there might feel the same.

Though I laughed a great deal throughout, the experience wasn't entirely composed of snorts and giggles.  The author touches on serious topics too, like how reliance on out-dated gender roles (e.g., the wife being responsible for the entirety of the cleaning or childcare) can negatively affect a marriage.  There are also solemn moments where he talks about his relationship with his own father (who abandoned the family when he was little), surprisingly tender moments where he talks about the singular experience of raising daughters, and even a few regretful ones about missed opportunities to spend time with his son when he was little, because he was so focused on providing for the family financially.  These moments enhanced the overall feel of the book, and proved that the author was not only skilled in comedic writing but equally capable of  sincere reflection and depth.

Overall, I'm Sorry....Love, Your Husband contains the often-entertaining reflections of a well-meaning husband and father, as he looks back on what he has done right, what he could have done better, and shares that insight with the world.  It would make a great gift for new (and perhaps not-so-new) husbands and fathers and I would also recommend it to any mothers or wives who might feel a little overwhelmed or just need to laugh their butts off.   Afterwards, they can passive-aggressively leave it in the bathroom for their significant other to curiously flip through.

My Rating: 4 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  Some language, generally (but not always) self-deprecating in nature, used by the author to reference himself or his choices.

On a more slightly more personal note: I'd just like to give Clint and Mel mad props -- Mel, for being willing to clearly communicate her feelings and needs and Clint for listening to her concerns and giving them (even more) weight.  They didn't try to pretend that their marriage or family is perfect and I appreciate their willingness to lay things bare so that others might learn from their mistakes and successes.

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