Book Review

LOVE, SEX, FLEAS, GOD: Confessions Of A Stay-At-Home Dad      

Bruce Clark

Confessions of a stay-at-home dad

Bruce Clark’s book is possibly one of the funniest books I have ever read…and possibly one of the most heart-wrenching as well. It’s true, as a stay-at-home dad he covers all those aspects that brought him to where he finds himself today. He explores his relationship with his own mother and the detrimental effect brought on by her string of relationships. In one instance, he wonders why his mother got married at all.

That his childhood greatly influenced the type of father he became is very clear. I for one am glad that he is the kind of father he is. He attempts to instil the best possible foundation in his children while going through countless moments of, “Am I doing the right thing?”

I bought the book for purely selfish reasons; to see how women and men fare in the stay-at-home department. I expected greatly to find echoes of failure in Clark’s book. What I found was a reflection of myself, having gone through the motions as a stay-at-home parent.

I related every step of the reading experience except for when he spoke about Scientology. He also points out his disillusionment with the futuristic and useless practice. I like the fact that the book is so conversational and that a man who is apparently uneducated (in the formal sense, I guess) wrote such a concise and well-put confession.

Clark also touches on the Affirmative Action policies and his anger not being able to break through the mould is apparent. I had split opinions on that: On the one hand I felt Clark totally ignores the fact that more blacks than whites in this country face bleak prospects in this country. However, the desire to protect and nurture one’s family is also very real and one of the means of effective parenting emanates from being able to provide.

Clark has a cunning wit and his ability to remain devastatingly funny through tough and draining moments is astounding and makes the book such a pleasure to read. The message he drives home is that parenting is a set of processes: In the process of imparting learning, manners and values to the little ones- a parent also experiences some form of learning of their own. Therefore, there is no perfect parent out there. You don’t need to be a parent to read this one, if you have a sense of humour this one is a good read.

Publisher: Umuzi

192 Pages, R125