And Then I Had Kids: A Book Review

Author: Susan Alexander Yates

And yet another great find from BOOKSALE. For now, I’m posting a review done by a fellow mom posted on the amazon site for this book. I have yet to finish reading, but even before my pupils reach half of what’s written, I’m already all into it. Feeling with the author and getting all excited with everything that’s in it. So for the meantime even as I read on, I hope to share this with you. . .

Reviewer: Heather Ivester (Georgia)

AND THEN I HAD KIDS is my all-time favorite parenting book, and I’ve read dozens. While so many authors give parents specific how-to tips and make us feel like failures if we don’t follow their advice exactly, Yates shows us it’s a tough but often hilarious calling to raise young children.

Because her book was first published in 1988, readers today can be assured Yates knows what she’s talking about. Her five children are now grown, married, and raising their own families. Since her husband and children have also written books, the Yates’ successful parenting experience is documented in the various stages of their journey.

From this authority, Yates offers expert survival tips for mothers still in the trenches raising young children. Her book opens with the sinking feeling that her house is too quiet. Where are the twins? She discovers little black footprints trailing from the fireplace, across the brand new carpet, to the utility room freezer. “Peering inside, I found two little girls black with soot joyfully looking at books!” By seeing her in this situation, we understand she’s been there, done that, and she knows what moms of young kids go through every day.

The book is divided into ten sections: the first chapter offers a general overview of the challenges that face mothers, then the next eight sections look at each challenge specifically and offer tips for overcoming them. Examples include maintaining a positive image, establishing priorities that work, becoming a best friend in marriage despite the heavy demands of child-rearing, disciplining children, and shaping a Christian home. She ends the book with ideas for parents heading into the teen years, which is another age she writes about in AND THEN I HAD TEENAGERS.

If you enjoy this book, you’ll also like Yates’ essays, which are archived on the site for Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Parents of college students will be blessed by another book written by the Yates’ sons, THE INCREDIBLE FOUR-YEAR ADVENTURE: FINDING REAL FAITH, FUN, AND FRIENDSHIP AT COLLEGE.

I highly recommend Yates’ book for young moms, even going so far as to say it’s my “Bible of parenting.” I’ve given away so many copies of this book to women in need of encouragement, and I’ve read and reread it dozens of times myself. Although many more recent books have been written on this topic, this is one of the absolute best.


I hope to post my piece on this book in the coming days. Watch out for it. But as far as my reading went, it leans towards the tolerant side of parenting, which is not much of what me and my husband have in the way we raise our kid. It is a casual book. I do not even get it when “they” (the book is more like a story telling book of their family life), the parents even allow such chaos to erupt in more ways than one. Reading “The Strong-Willed Child” by Dr. Dobson must just have a greater influence on us and the principles he shared are more on the Biblical side than this one.

And Then I Had Kids: A Book Review
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