Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

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Overview

2013 Mom's Choice Awards® Winner

MEN: Ever wonder about stay-at-home dads? What in the name of testosterone do they DO all day with those kids? I mean, are they really men at all, or are they some strange, invasive alien species, sent to Earth to defy and destroy all gender stereotypes?

WOMEN: Ever dream about stay-at-home dads? Do they really wash clothes, pick up after themselves, take great care of your ...

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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

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Overview

2013 Mom's Choice Awards® Winner

MEN: Ever wonder about stay-at-home dads? What in the name of testosterone do they DO all day with those kids? I mean, are they really men at all, or are they some strange, invasive alien species, sent to Earth to defy and destroy all gender stereotypes?

WOMEN: Ever dream about stay-at-home dads? Do they really wash clothes, pick up after themselves, take great care of your kids, and have dinner waiting for you when you get home? There must be horrible, secret downside that they don’t warn you about, right?

Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal provides a rare glimpse into the natural habitat of this most mysterious and splendid of creatures, the North American Stay-at-Home Father (Paternus domesticus). Learn what motivates a man to pursue this noble occupation. Discover the countless joys and periodic sorrows that come with raising a family.

Witness the life and family of Scott Benner, author, activist, humorist, and 12-year stay-at-home dad. When Scott’s daughter, Arden, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two, his world took a sharp turn, but his positive outlook on life did not waver.

Scott’s colloquial wisdom will warm your heart while it challenges your ideas about parenting and gender roles in today’s household. Written from a truly unique point of view in a style both poignant and playful, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal is an honest portrait of the modern family.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Benner paints himself as a bumbling father with self-deprecating stories of being in over his head. However, he loves his children fervently and asserts the secret to happiness is to never stop and never give up...his unabashed “dad humor” brings a distinct charm to his writing without being mawkish or overly sentimental.
- Erin Shea, Library Journal

"Scott’s open and frank discussion about life, love and making the most of every memory is advice of value to all of us. This book should be read by everyone who loves to laugh and values their family. His unique perspective and wonderful humor made this book a pure pleasure to read and a book that must be shared with everyone in your life–young or older."
- Barbara Wagstaff, Diabetes Advocacy

"Most memoirs are written in the rear-view mirror of events and relationships long past. Scott Benner’s first book, “Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad,” looks through the windshield at a family in progress."
- Gwen Shrift, phillyBurbs.com

“It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time. I’m just having so much fun reading [this] book.”
- Mike Hoskins, DiabetesMine (on Blogging Diabetes with Tony Rose)

"Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad is by far one of the best books that I have read in a long time."
- Chris Stocker, The Life of a Diabetic

"I'll spare the hyperbole and elaborate metaphors and simply say it was a joy to read and I would recommend it to anyone."
- Christopher Snider, Just Talking Podcast

“You don’t have to have diabetes. You don’t have to be a parent. But I can guarantee you if you read this book you’re going to be laughing, and laughing out loud like I was…heavy endorsement by me.”
- Tony Rose, Blogging Diabetes with Tony Rose

"As a pediatrician and a parent myself, I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun but poignant read. Benner takes stay at home parenting, actually just parenting in general, to a whole new level. His anecdotes alternate between hilarious and touching, and the book's conclusion will leave you crying and wanting for more."
- Adam Naddelman, MD, President, Princeton Nassau Pediatrics, P.A.

“This was a funny look at both fatherhood and parenting and you have to love the author's approach and writing style! Humorous and witty, this book will leaving you laughing in many places and touched in others.”
- Christopher Lewis, Dad of Divas' Reviews

"Indeed, I can't think of many people I wouldn't recommend this book to. It's an honest, sweet, and fun look at parenting that is a love letter to all the mothers and fathers out there, not just the ones who are lucky enough--and brave enough--to stay at home. If you've ever been curious about what can make a man turn to this female-dominated profession, if you've ever wondered what awaits the life of a homemaker, or if you simply can't believe that such a thing as a good stay-at-home dad can exist, Benner's story will enlighten you to no end."
- Eric Magill, Open Salon, The Unapologetic Geek

"I honestly can’t say enough good things about his book...I literally could not put my advanced copy down once I began reading it."
- Laura Kolodjeski, Discuss Diabetes

"Scott's first book (being such a great writer, I sure hope it's only his first!) is so chock full of moments you cannot avoid but smile at, think through, and cry to, as he describes the innermost details of his life as a stay-at-home dad. He exhibits the courage to bare his soul every bit as much as he makes you crack up with his brilliant humor."
- Manny Hernandez, TuDiabetes

"If you are young, old, male, female, married, or thinking about someday getting married and maybe, someday, having children, I couldn’t recommend a better way to learn about the trouble and joy you’re getting yourself into!"
- Ginger Vieira, Diabetes Daily

"Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal is a fast-paced, witty, and ultimately poignant book that is hard to put down and easy to finish in a couple of days. Filled with great advice, it is a great introduction to at-home parenting suitable for any parent, and a familiar take on a life that more and more dads are leading."
- David Ozab, Fatherhood, Etc.

"[Benner's] award-winning book, Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal, is giving fellow stay-at-home dads, caregiving parents, and folks who just want to peek into what it’s like to be on constant “dad duty” a chance to do just that."
- The DX

Library Journal
Benner is a member of what he refers to as the DOC, or diabetes online community. Since 2007, he has chronicled his struggles caring for a child with Type 1 diabetes on his blog ArdensDay.com. Here he takes a different route and describes meeting and courting his wife, his daily life as a stay-at-home parent, and how his father abandoned him and his siblings, coloring his own approach to parenthood. Benner paints himself as a bumbling father with self-deprecating stories of being in over his head. However, he loves his children fervently and asserts the secret to happiness is to never stop and never give up. VERDICT Benner gained an online following by chronicling his life as a caregiver to his daughter with Type 1 diabetes, yet details about this part of his life don’t appear until the last third of the book. Still, his unabashed “dad humor” brings a distinct charm to his writing without being mawkish or overly sentimental.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781938170157
  • Publisher: Spry Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 4/2/2013
  • Pages: 230
  • Sales rank: 634,107
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    I had the pleasure of reading "Life is Short" while on

    I had the pleasure of reading "Life is Short" while on a plane this past weekend. I found myself laughing out loud, smiling at the warmth my heart was feeling, and choking back tears all while reading from cover to cover in one sitting. I am quite certain the gentleman next to me thought I was emotionally unstable :-)
    Your funny, touching, and candid way of sharing your story (and admiral views on life/family) are so entertaining...you nailed it Scott!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    Life is Short Laundry is Eternal had me by my dirty socks in the

    Life is Short Laundry is Eternal had me by my dirty socks in the first chapter. I cried, I laughed and found myself wanting to get in my car and drive to my parents’ house to thank them. I am recently engaged and looking forward to starting my own life with my fiancé and of course having children together. Life is Short will be my handbook…especially on those challenging days.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    To say everyone can related to this book is an understatement. S

    To say everyone can related to this book is an understatement. Scott does an awesome job at explaining the ups and downs of life with a sense of humor and honesty that is unmatched. Scott writes about the things we all think about on a daily basis, but probably don't say. Life is Short is great book that realistically explains parenthood, marriage, and giving your self selflessly to your family.

    As a recently laid off Mom who worked outside the home for the first 7 year of my son's life, I didn't appreciate all that a stay at home parent does until it happened to me, but I could never write my thoughts as eloquently and humorously as Scott did. He nailed it. I would recommend this book to any parent who needs a reality check that parenthood is the most exhausting and most rewarding time one can experience. The way Scott writes about his love for his kids and his wife is raw, unfiltered, and refreshing.

    Scott's writing is full of lessons about parenthood, marriage, and dealing with your past in a healthy way. I literally could not put the book down and laughed and cried my way through the entire book and was sad when I was finished. I can only hope Mr. Benner continues to write.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    This was a fantastic book from start to finish. Anyone with kids

    This was a fantastic book from start to finish. Anyone with kids or planning to have kids should read this book, as it will put a lot of things into perspective for you. Obviously, this book is also a must-read for anyone in the diabetes community as well. The individual stories are well put together and the book has a tremendous flow to it. You will laugh, you may cry and you'll definitely take a hard look at some things after reading this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    I enjoyed all aspects of this book, it makes you laugh, want to

    I enjoyed all aspects of this book, it makes you laugh, want to cry and be happy all at the same time. It goes through parts of parenthood that we all go through but don't always want to talk about out loud. Come on, we have all dropped the baby, lol. He really hit his stride talking about his daughter Arden and her having type 1 diabetes. It was a pleasure to read about his perspective from a man's point of view, without him giving parenting advice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2013

    "In 66 years I have read many a book. Nothing I can remembe

    "In 66 years I have read many a book. Nothing I can remember has ever touched me more. I laughed then I cried and then I laughed again, out loud. Scott hits the essence of being a father, at least in my terms. My dad didn't leave voluntarily like Scott's did, but died at 49 when I was 21. But I felt the loss much like Scott did. And, hopefully, his loss made me a better father and grandfather, just like Scott (even though he is far from being a grandfather yet, but I know when the time is right, he will be a great one). His message of love for family is one that everyone needs to embrace. Keep writing Scott, and I will keep reading."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2013

    One of the best non fiction books i've ever read. It's funny, to

    One of the best non fiction books i've ever read. It's funny, touching and heartwarming all at the same time. Reading it felt like listening to the author talk directly to you. He has a unique voice that I look forward to reading again!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Scott Benner's

    I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Scott Benner's inaugural book, Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal. There are a lot of books out there claiming to have all the answers to parents' insecurities about how to best raise their children, and many of them come off as pedantic and sanctimonious, turning most readers immediately off. Benner's book does the exact opposite. From the first chapter, I was pulled into the book and couldn't put it down. As a pediatrician and a parent myself, I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun but poignant read-- Benner takes stay at home parenting, actually just parenting in general, to a whole new level. His anecdotes alternate between hilarious and touching, and the book's conclusion will leave you crying and wanting for more. Parents of kids with chronic illness will especially appreciate the anxieties and insecurities Benner reveals, and his advice for dealing with them truly comes from his heart. I can't recommend this book highly enough. You won't regret it.

    Adam Naddelman, MD
    President, Princeton Nassau Pediatrics, PA

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Life is Short, Laundry is Eterna is a recipient of the prestigio

    Life is Short, Laundry is Eterna is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author and; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books. Parents and educators look for the Mom’s Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    Good parenting is tough. Benner tells it honestly.

    This is a fantastic must-read for any parent. Scott Benner is surprisingly honest and blunt about the ups and downs of being a stay-at-home Dad/Parent. Its funny, heart-wrenching and most of all - inspiring. Great parents everywhere will want to be even better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2013

    It is truly a special, and unique experience when an author bare

    It is truly a special, and unique experience when an author bares his heart and soul for all to see. When this experience is also hilarious at the same time, you have Life is Short Laundry is Eternal by Scott Benner. This natural story-teller captivated my attention fom the start of this book, and made it so I could not put it down. This is not a cute story about a stay-at-home dad, but rather the path of a human being tackling themes of love, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice (while being thoroughly entertaining at the same time). The author bares his heart, and soul to all, and it is beautiful!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2013

    What a great read- humorous, inspiring & honest! Scott¿s lov

    What a great read- humorous, inspiring & honest! Scott’s love for his children and his devotion to his family saturate every page. How refreshing to read an honest book about family life that celebrates the mundane and so beautifully captures what it means to be a family. Though Scott’s family may not be “traditional” in terms of breadwinner-dad or dual-income parents, their challenges and victories are universal. As the mother of three children with a life-threatening chronic condition, I found myself nodding (and occasionally crying) in agreement as I read Scott’s words. This book reminded me that I am not alone in the absurdly overwhelming & utterly exhausting task of keeping my kids alive another day. Life is Short Laundry is Eternal provided me a much needed reminder that humor, limitless love & devotion override the uncertainty, and occasional terror, that all parents face.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    I am a little biased. I have known Scott for over 20 years. I wa

    I am a little biased. I have known Scott for over 20 years. I was amazed with his talent as a writer. I always know that he was a creative person, but never in a million years thought he would be a published author. There were stories in this book that I knew, and others that I didn’t. I enjoyed them more knowing what was going thru Scott’s head as they happened. I don’t think that I could have the dedication and determination that it takes to be a stay at home dad, and I work from home. This is a truly inspiring story,. Spend the money and buy his book, so he can get to write another, because there are more stories and adventures out there are even more entertaining. Maybe then he can afford to get someone else to do his laundry.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2015

    Loved it!

    Wonderful read, like chatting with a close friend about life.

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  • Posted February 7, 2014

    Unlike most parenting books this book relates to all ages rather

    Unlike most parenting books this book relates to all ages rather then just one specific age. The book captures a funny perspective on life but also shows the reality many of us go through everyday. This book is a must read! I recommend this book to anyone and everyone! If your looking for a book with lots of laughs and a good story line then this is your book! I hope everyone can enjoy this book as much as I did!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    Loved

    What a great reminder not to take life for granted! Laughter and tears.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Loved the book! I couldn't put it down once I started reading i

    Loved the book! I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. I laughed and cried all the way through. Glad to see a
    male's perspective of raising children and housework. Way to go Scott!!!! Can't wait until your next book is published.
    Friend in AZ..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    I must start off by saying that this book will make you laugh ou

    I must start off by saying that this book will make you laugh out loud AND cry so be wary of where you read (if you care about such things. I don’t. Hence why everyone at the gym now thinks I’m a weirdo who cries and laughs while riding the stationary bike. Whatevs.). I was struck immediately by Scott’s honesty. He wasn’t scared to tackle any topic (sex, gender roles, how unprepared he felt for parenthood etc) and the love for his wife and his family was actually palpable.




    I loved Scott’s writing style. As I stated it was honest yet also educational and self deprecating. It was real. It was like having a conversation with a friend. For the first 75% of the book before diabetes enters the picture he talks about how we wooed his wife, how they got pregnant the first time, learning to be a parent and so on. But I loved reading about when he took Cole to Barack Obama’s inauguration or to the zoo to watch the lions feed. There was so much detail that not only could I picture it in my head, I could feel it my heart and it was almost as if those memories were my own due to their vividity. I was simply blown away by how amazingly talented of a writer he is.




    Then Arden was diagnosed with diabetes. That’s when I cried. I cried for the fear and despair that Scott felt. I cried for a life that will never be “normal” for Arden. I cried for my own diagnosis. But I cheered when Scott  got blunt about diabetes. Instead of getting technical with medical terminology and acronyms (which is more or less the day to day conversational speech when you have a chronic illness), he made a simple comparison. He discussed how the one thing keeping his child alive was also the one thing that could take her life if the proper calculations aren’t made. I won’t lie, I try not to associate my mortality with diabetes. More or less because in order to survive I can’t constantly be thinking about how I’m dying every minute and instead I need to focus on caring for myself to the best of my abilities. He found a way to say to the world that diabetes sucks. And it’s scary. But you do what you have to do and you keep on keepin’ on. 




    So, if I can say one thing to anyone reading this blog right now, it’s get out and read this book. And then pass it on. It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t have children or if you do or don’t have diabetes. Everyone can take something away from this book. What are you waiting for? Get reading! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Right from the opening chapter I was hooked. It felt like we we

    Right from the opening chapter I was hooked. It felt like we were sitting down together on the sofa chatting…..about our mutual dislike for laundry. And this was the tone for the rest of the book, like old friends chatting about life, work, family, values and history.

    I’m a big believer of parental leave. Not just maternity leave, but parental leave. I feel that it’s not just the mom’s job to raise the kids, or to stay at home, but it is a shared responsibility between both parents. How you’re family dynamic works for you, is your decision, but people need to know that there are other, non traditional options, out there. I feel this was portrayed beautifully here.

    Benner seems to downplay what he does, with anecdotes of how he came “close to breaking, losing or otherwise ending Cole’s life three times” but this makes him relatable. All the fear that he felt before his first child was the same fear that I felt before mine. Just like most parents, he is initially apprehensive as he learns the ropes, but appears to do everything with love and for the betterment of his family.

    Although I found it very easy to relate to the entire book, the chapters about Arden’s diagnosis with T1D were definitely the most emotional for me. It brought me back to our own diagnosis day and all the fear and uncertainty came flooding back. I’m hoping that in the years to come, my family is able to fit diabetes into our lives as seamlessly as it is described here. I’m sure it’s founded from a tremendous amount of work, but they make management look easy and natural, when diabetes is anything but.

    The emotion that Benner shows towards his wife is incredible, and every woman should be so lucky to have a partner that is so obviously head over heals in love with them. I love how he thanks his wife for giving him the opportunity to be there for his children, and acknowledges the work that she does outside the home.

    To me, his underlying messages are to learn from your mistakes, communicate, and just love your family. Don’t just walk away if the going gets tough, that “if you stay until the end, the good parts will far outweigh the bad ones”.

    I laughed, I cried and I nodded my head in agreement. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Life is Short Laundry is eternal, Confessions of a stay at home dad today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book. Benner is so witty that it really ma

    I really enjoyed this book. Benner is so witty that it really made for fun reading! I was able to relate to so much of what he said in the book. With summer coming, pick up ths book. You will not be disappointed!

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