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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Keep It Real ... You Might Learn Something

(Image from author's blog)

My kids have been out of school for a couple days now and, let me tell you, parenting just got a lot more real around here!  For the past ten months, all four of my children have been spending most of their day at school.  Now that summer break is here?  They're home.  All day.  With assorted friends in tow.  My quiet halcyon days are no more—now they're filled with the sounds of video games, cartoons and whines of "I'm bored" and "Mooommmm, he/she's teasing me!"  Every summer I wonder if I'm going to survive the next couple months, let alone the remainder of my parenting career (which, as you know, is pretty much a life-long thing). 

Enter Julie K. Nelson, a blogger, college professor, and (most importantly) the mother of five children.  Her new book, Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger, offers some tried-and-true, down-to-Earth advice about how to maintain your sanity while working "the toughest job you'll ever love."  Parenting isn't for wimps, after all.  Nelson's 25 Tips for Surviving Parenthood are a little random—they run the gamut from how to soothe your child's fears to inspiring kids through learning their family history to controlling Internet use at home to the importance of having a pet.  Each section offers expert advice pulled from Nelson's own experience, quotes from prominent members of society, and suggestions from other moms who have spent some time in the parenting trenches. 

Keep It Real and Grab a Plunger doesn't say anything new or revolutionary.  You've heard it all before.  But, Nelson says her piece in an upbeat, encouraging manner that makes her book very readable.  Truthfully, I wasn't expecting any big a-ha moments while reading it, so the chapter on yelling (Keep It Real ... and Take a Time-Out) surprised me with its aptness.  It offered some great tactics that I hadn't necessarily considered (Let your kids record your tirades with a cell phone?  That would be sobering.)  As parents, we need all the help we can get (even if we've been on the job so long we think we know everything), and Keep It Real and Grab a Plunger offers that.  Maybe you won't learn anything new from it, but maybe you'll find a nugget or two of useful information.  I did.  So, while this book won't revolutionize the parenting world, it's definitely worth a read.  

(Readalikes:  Other parenting books, although no specific title comes to mind)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished e-copy of Keep It Real and Grab a Plunger from its generous author, Julie K. Nelson.  Thank you!


  1. I usually find that books like this don't offer anything new but I usually like them anyway. Good luck this summer!

  2. Yep! The summer months with kids in and out of the house, messing things up as they go, not wanting to follow any routine whatsoever...I hear you! The title of this book made me smile.


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