NEW YORK (AP) -- A new baby surely can enhance a family, bringing a unique joy and pleasure to every mom, dad and sibling. It's also likely, though, that a growing family will experience some growing pains.
Once a second -- or third, fourth or more -- child enters the portrait, everything becomes a matter of logistics: New autos are chosen for the number of car-seat tethers and parents find themselves lugging already-full bags filled with snacks and toys as they head into the mall.
Parents who had been able to sneak in a few hours together or phone calls with friends when they had one tot suddenly don't have any free time at all.
Journalist Jennifer Hull, who had mostly written about business issues for the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, among other publications, turned her attention to parenting when she had her first daughter six years ago. Since having her second daughter, Hull has focused her writing on parenting more than one child.
The result is "Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life" (Seal Press).
"After I had the first baby I was really interested in 'What To Expect' and how-to books, but after I got pregnant with the second, I wanted to read about the mom's life, including the kids but also about marriage and work life," Hull says. "I wanted to know how the second would affect me."
She had a hard time finding reading material, and that's why, even though her household was getting busier by the moment, she decided to write a book that would be for smart, savvy mothers who had already mastered diaper-changing.
A lot of books ignore the changes that children bring to a marriage, Hull says, and that was something she was particularly interested in. Hull says she's heard a lot of women talk about the "romance" between a couple when they have their first baby, but that the relationship becomes a "partnership" with two.
She points out in the chapter called "Dreaming of Divorce" -- if only so she can "date" her husband -- that her informal survey of acquaintances shows that parents are most likely to enter couples' therapy when the kids are 2 and 4. It's also when parents need each other most.
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