The Bottom Line
- A fresh look at stay-at-home fatherhood
- Helps fathers who become stay-at-home dads through layoff see the bright side
- Runs the gamut from smiles to out-loud laughs with almost every page turn
- Language can be a bit crude at times
- Not a book you want to leave laying around for children to read
- Sugar Milk is the story of a father's journey through divorce, internet dating and blending a family
- Ron Mattocks' narrative of his experiences is thoughtful and entertaining
- Job loss leading to becoming a stay-at-home stepfather offers a helpful perspective
Guide Review - Sugar Milk: What One Dad Drinks When He Can't Afford Vodka
And yet more and more fathers are experiencing at least part of this phenomenon. Check out these statistics:
- In just the period from July 2008 to July 2009, the number of unemployed men in the United States grew by 77%
- Of all preschoolers in the United States with a working mother, fully 1 out of 4 have their father as the primary caregiver
- Over one million families in the U.S. had a working mom, at least one child under 18 and an unemployed father
So Sugar Milk is a story with which more than a million dads can relate. And Ron's story is compelling.
From a great job in an executive suite with a wife and three boys, Ron moves through a challenging divorce, leaves his job to take another one closer to his boys, meets a marries a woman with two little girls, adjusts to his new blended family and then loses his job and takes on the task of becoming a stay-at-home dad. And Sugar Milk, the story and memoir of his journey, tells the tale with incredible humor, insight and perspective.
I appreciated the way Ron tells his story; it is at times funny, irreverent, hopeful and realistic. I could feel his pain and empathize with the job loss experience. I appreciated his having to shift from an all-boy parenting style to an all-girl world of step-parenting. And along the way, I laughed out loud at the way he portrayed some of the wry and challenging moments of life as a man, father, non-custodial dad, stepparent and partner.
Candidly, the book was a bit too irreverent for my tastes. I just don't enjoy having some things made light of, but then again I know I am a bit more sensitive to such things than most. Dads with a more earthy sense of humor will laugh at parts of Sugar Milk at which I cringed.
But all in all, I think Sugar Milk is a book that many dads will love and identify with. Ron Mattocks has an engaging and entertaining writing style that will keep you laughing and get you thinking about life as a father and about the curve balls that life seems to throw at us. The lesson of Sugar Milk is to keep up hope and look for the bright side in every curve ball situation.