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Just a Stage, a book about parenting
Chapter 1

“Why Dads Shouldn’t Nurse Babies”
...   Some dads want to help as much as they can. When one couple we knew was pregnant for the first time, the father had a book called “Breast Feeding and the Father” or something like that. There’s even a contraption that a dad can strap around his chest like a big bra, then he can insert a bottle in a hole so he get the breast feeding experience. The people who bought these are probably the same ones who bought those long funnels that you could place on the woman’s stomach to talk to the baby in utero. In French. That way your baby could be born with the capability to order crème brulee in Provence.
   Nursing is for mothers. Nursing a baby is sometimes the only chance a new mother gets to sit down. Besides, fathers are needed for equally important things, like getting her juice or a pillow, or telling her for the 87th time that she will one day wear her jeans again, and besides he loves her just as much with the 20 extra pounds and the additional chin.
   Even when parenting an infant overwhelms you, don’t forget your friends, especially the childless ones. It is difficult to do this because you have to a) remember what you used to do B.C (before children) b) try to carry on a conversation about it. When you talk to them, try to accentuate the positive aspects of parenthood. Remember – these same people who irritate you when they say that maternity leave is like a vacation are the same people who, if left unenlightened about the realities of tiny babies, may offer to baby-sit ...

Just a Stage, a book about parenting
Chapter 2

“Heaven Help the Younger Sibling”
  Every smile, frown, laugh and cry of the first child is recorded on film and a new room is added to the house to hold the photo albums.
   The second child is still fairly well photographed, although the number of baby albums is dramatically reduced and all the baby photos may actually fit into one album.
   The third child will inevitably grow up and inquire one day, “Was I adopted into this family at a late age?”

"Doers and Sitters"
  I’ve found there are two types of carpool drivers. There are those of us who sit staring vacantly at the “I Love My Jack Russell Terrier” bumper sticker on the car in front of us, pondering if we can avoid a torturous trip to the grocery store by taking the leftover chicken and green beans in the refrigerator and adding some sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, thereby producing a Martha Stewart-esque dinner that our husbands will admire and the children won’t even feed to the already-waddling-from-previously-unpopular-meals dog, and wondering whether the kid we drive who has been practicing belching his ABCs will ever get past the letter ‘G.’
   Then there is the second type. This group is composed of women whose homes seem to run with Swiss-like efficiency. You know the kind – women who have coke cans lined up in the refrigerator with all the labels facing the same way in order by expiration date; sheets neatly folded and placed on the expertly coordinated-to-match-the-wallpaper shelf paper in the linen closet with labels for which bed they belong to; and pristine coffee pots in which they brew freshly ground coffee and through which they run vinegar the first Friday of every month.

Just a Stage, a book about parenting
Chapter 3

“Sanity Scarce in Early Evening”
  My worst 5-7 p.m. happened when the children were small. The day had been so bad already that as a last resort I threw the kids in the bathtub in the afternoon, just so I could catch my breath. There were in there 3.2 seconds when my daughter yelled, “Christopher just pooped in the tub!” I took them out of the tub, drained it, scrubbed it and refilled it. Meanwhile the children were joyfully doing laps around the house, what we call nudie runs.
   When I called them to get back in the tub, I saw that my son had continued the poop-fest, leaving deposits all over the house.

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About Just A Stage
Jan takes real life stories and turns them into comedy routines. Any woman who has ever spent time with kids – as a mother or otherwise – will laugh at her fresh, yet familiar style. If you’re exasperated and exhausted from trying to understand the male psyche, juggling your life around a carpool schedule or simply because you can’t find five minutes of “me” time, this collection of lighthearted readings will give your soul a much-needed break.

Pour yourself a nice glass of red wine and start turning pages. You deserve it. And you won’t regret it – unlike your decision to volunteer for extra carpool duty or let your kids adopt that third kitten.
– Stephanie Oswald, Editor-in-Chief, travelgirl magazine

I would love to prescribe “Just a Stage” to my patients who have children and to those who are planning to be parents soon. It’s just what the doctor ordered to relieve a little of the stress and let all pregnant women and moms know they are not alone.
– George Long, M.D. OB/GYN

Jan writes about parenting situations so familiar you’ll wonder where the hidden camera is, and presents them with humor and wisdom born of experience. All mothers should read this book – it gives you hope and lets you know you’re not alone!
– Judy Bass, mother of two

Jan Butsch’s book is a “must read” for new and expectant parents. Every page reveals anecdotes whose truths are clearly evident to the experienced parent. It’s a pleasure to know that we can still look upon many of our parenting “disasters” with a sense of humor. I highly recommend “Just a Stage” and guarantee smiles, chuckles and laughter to anyone who has been there and done that.
– Tom Calk, M.D., Pediatrician

Sometimes Jan’s stories make me laugh until I cry – because it’s all so true – and sometimes my kids have to tell me to breathe.
– Melissa Allen Heath, frantic but cheerful working mother of two

The funniest Mom in America! I’m not a parent, but I’ve been clipping her columns and sharing them with my friends who have kids for years.
– Brian Zimmerman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Online Advertising

Award-winning journalist Jan Butsch has been
entertaining readers for years with her humorous
columns about parenting. Finally, here in book
form, are her columns. Buy it and start laughing.

Jan Butsch's parenting book, Just a Stage, is a parenting book for mom to read. If you are a new or expecting mom and you want to read a humorous parenting book about children, then this is the parenting book for you. If you want to know you are not alone, read this parenting book. She makes parenting really funny. She also makes parenting fun, even though parenting can be very difficult. She finds the humor in parenting.

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