Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life

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Review of Beyond One, by Jennifer Bingham Hull

By Wendy Hoke, Special to The Cleveland Plain Dealer
October 13, 2004

Hull is the kind of woman many moms long to be friends with. She's read enough parenting books to be a human encyclopedia on topics ranging from slings to swings.

With her first child, Hull learned how to do everything the right way, the best way.

When Hull had her second child, she learned how to do things the smart way, the realistic way.

While there is no shortage of books attempting to answer the questions faced by new moms, few adequately address the issues of moms contemplating child No. 2, including sibling rivalry, mobility and free time for parents.

If having another child doesn't seem like such a significant transition, Hull mentions one survey finding that a woman's life satisfaction is at "an all-time low in the year after the arrival of a second child."

Through 30 humorous essays, Hull writes on lowering her standards for the sake of her sanity, salvaging a sex life, losing baby weight and remaining close to the firstborn.

While the book is not laid out in a way to address issues medically or psychologically, Hull refers readers to authors and book titles that helped her in her metamorphosis from a by-the-book rookie mom to a go-with-the-flow veteran.



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