Mamas, do you ever treat yourself to a little something on Mother’s Day? Or, on your birthday? I usually do and it’s definitely not a mani or pedi or facial. Call me weird, but this girl would much rather spend a quiet hour in a bookstore than in any salon. Today I’m going to share a few of my favorite books on motherhood for your reading enjoyment.
5 Must-Have Books on Motherhood
Kenison has written two memoirs on motherhood and both books grace my bookshelf. I love Kenison’s messages: to slow down, to rejoice in the ordinary moments, to simplify, to focus on the now. In this day and age of go-go-go and do all the things, it is easy to get caught up in the overscheduled shuffle. If you find yourself yearning for a simpler, more fulfilling day-to-day, look no further than these two books. You’ll close the covers feeling refreshed!
If there is a classic book on the journey of motherhood, this is it. Originally published in 1955, Gift from the Sea is a beautifully written memoir on the seasons of motherhood. Lindbergh, a mother of five, reflects upon the many seasons of life while collecting sea shells on vacation in Florida. Lindbergh writes about the ebbs and flows of motherhood and emphasizes the importance of simplicity, contentment, and taking care of oneself- themes which ring true as much now as they did back then.
Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick
This book is hilarious. I have been following Amber Dusick’s blog since the beginning and I just love her. She gets it, folks. And, not only does she get it, but she can make every last bit of it laugh-out-loud funny. If you want a laugh, or if you know a mom who is in dire need of a laugh, you need to read this book.
Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a Momastery fan, and so naturally I have Melton’s book on my shelf. Glennon writes with honesty, humor, and candor and is just so very likable. In this book, G shares many of her classics from Momastery, interwoven with stories from her life. What I appreciate about Glennon is that she doesn’t try to pretend that life and motherhood and marriage are easy, but rather she presents herself, her family, and her marriage in all its beautiful, messy, chaotic glory.
And, here are my three favorite parenting books:
My favorite parenting book, hands down, is The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. Since reading it, I give the book to all new parents in my life and include it with baby shower gifts. Parents tend to place the sole responsibility for reading development on our teachers and schools but, as stated in The Read Aloud Handbook, our children spend only 900 hours per year in school whereas they spend 7,800 hours per year outside of school. Those numbers are striking. Put simply, reading is a skill. Like any skill, one must practice the skill and work to become better at it. One needs to be motivated to work hard at something. Children need to want to read. What motivates children to read? Living in a home that values the written word, where print is readily available in various forms, where parents are seen reading often, and where children are frequently read to. It is important to read aloud to children even when they can read on their own. It is important to keep reading to them until they leave for college. Reading aloud to children every single day is arguably the best thing you can do to help your children later in life. If every parent and every teacher in this world read this book, amazing things would happen!
Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv is a best-selling book that explores research linking children’s health and well-being to their direct exposure to nature. The reality is, nowadays, our children are better able to identify jungle and zoo animals than the animals that live in their own backyard. In this age of screens, our nation’s children are not outside enough and this has a direct impact on their health and happiness. I don’t know who originally said this but one of my favorite sayings is: children cannot bounce off the walls when there are none. As the mom to three very active youngsters (and one crazy-super-active almost 7-year-old), I notice a significant difference in our children’s happiness and behavior when we have had plenty of outdoor time. Heck, I notice a difference in my own happiness when I’ve been outdoors. I wish there was a way to make this book required reading for all parents because I feel quite certain that we would see a significant improvement in the happiness and health of our nation’s children, including a decrease in mental health concerns, attention difficulties, and obesity levels.
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa Ross
In this go-go-go, overscheduled, trying-to-do-all-the-things society that we live in, kids are not allowed to be kids anymore. They are schlepped around from activity to activity, provided with a plethora of toys with bells and whistles, and their every move is watched by hovering parents. Kids today have too many choices and too many things to do. They aren’t allowed the opportunity to experience boredom. Yes, opportunity- boredom fuels creativity. It’s an important skill to be able to just be with yourself, without having someone entertain you all day long. Simplicity Parenting is a refreshing book about protecting childhood. By cutting back and simplifying, you realize what is truly most important. It’s a must-read for anyone who is tired of the pressure to keep up with the Joneses.