*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, all opinions here are 100% mine!*

There are so many things I bet all of us wish we had known before we became parents. Things you wish you would have talked about with your partner. The real truth about how much being a parent changes you and your life. And the honest to goodness truth about how your priorities change, or have to change whether you like it or not. In conversations with other friends who have recently become parents we find ourselves saying, they should make a handbook about all of these changes.

Well, I was pretty excited when I received a copy of the book “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents” by Gary Chapman with Shannon Warden. If Gary Chapman’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he is the author of The 5 Love Languages. I know many of my friends who have read and LOVED that book, well if you liked that one, you will like this book as well.

An initial look at the book:

Before I even started reading the book I did a quick flip through the pages (I do this to all of my books, I like the smell of books, so it is honestly just so I can get a good whiff of that book smell. Don’t get judgy). Anyways, after the quick scan I noticed that after each chapter the Chapman and Warden give talking points for you and your partner based on each topic. This is important because while some of these topics seem like no-brainers like All Children are Different (NO DUH) but actually it isn’t that obvious and a lot of times as parents we do compare our children to others or how our friends’ kids are. Well, just because it worked for one child to sleep a certain way or eat a certain thing does not mean your kid will. So it is pretty important to be prepared for that. And, it’s even more important to talk about that possibility with your husband/wife/partner about it.

This book does a great job of providing you with opportunities to talk to each other about the parenting topics you will find in this book.

I also like that this book gets really real with you. So much of parenting is sugar coated. How many times do you hear people say, “Parenting is hard, but it’s totally worth it”? While that is super duper true it also sort of brushes off some of the more difficult topics of parenting. Sometimes I think parents say that because they want to maintain the image of being that picture perfect parent. But, lets face it, no one is a perfect parent. If you think someone is a perfect parent, it’s only because they are really good at pretending. Chapman and Warden lay it out there for you in “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents”.

The topics in this book are things that often aren’t talked about between other parents, things that we maybe don’t want others to know we’re having a hard time with or didn’t know ourselves.

And lastly, upon my initial flip through the book before I even started reading, I knew that Chapman and Warden had a sense of humor throughout these topics. As a parent you probably need a sense of humor and while this book is honest and to the point it does so in a light-hearted way. Just like parenting: It’s a big job and no laughing matter, but you need a sense of humor or you’ll never make it out in one piece!

After Diving In To Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents:

I’m going to admit, I have been plugging along at this book for awhile because well parenthood. I’m a SAHM and most of the time the only books I get through are Little Blue Truck or something by Dr. Suess. So, this past week I deleted a handful of apps off of my phone and decided to reinstate my reading before bed ritual. Once I did that, finishing this book was a breeze. When I was reading I felt like I was having a conversation with Chapman and Warden about parenting because the writing style here is so conversational and approachable. So many books on parenting are unapproachable in my opinion I don’t want to read something too scientific, I want a conversation!

Here are things I LOVED about “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents”:

  1. They cover a lot of topics that get you thinking about things you will face when you become parents.
  2. This book will be a GREAT resource to reference for many years to come as we encounter the different topics.
  3. The topics range from how parenting changes YOUR life to how your parenting will affect your child’s life.
  4. Parenting isn’t all about raising a book smart child.
  5. That overall parenting is a great blessing full of joy!

“Finding Joy In Play”

A section in the last chapter is especially applicable to be, being the Small Town Mom Who Has Big Fun, which is finding joy in play.

Play comes naturally for children. Through play, children express themselves, explore the world around them, solve problems, connect with others, and build valuable life skills. Thus, play provides wonderful opportunities for parents to connect with, understand, and encourage their children. In so doing, parents find great joy.

I LOVE this, this is the whole message that I am trying to convey and LIVE through this blog. I believe play is the best way to learn.

As parents, we need to make time to participate in play time with our kiddos. This sections explains that it’s important to make that a priority.

Let’s Talk:

So, if you are already a parent, what is something you wish you had known beforehand? Me? I wish I had known how much your lifestyle really does change.

Now it’s what you have all been waiting for….


For one week, anyone who subscribes to my email list will be entered for a chance to win their very own copy of this book. This book is great for new parents, old parents, soon-to-be parents and more. I know I will definitely be referring back to this book in the future. So….just fill out the form below for your chance to win your very own copy of “Thing’s I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents”


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