I love to read! Mostly fiction, but I do enjoy a good self-discovery and/or parenting book. I'll treat this as a living list and as I read more, I'll share my favorites here! You'll notice a theme in which the books I'm recommending are based on scientific research, data, or professional experience of the authors. When reading any kind of self-help book, it's important to read reputable authors and sources.
Especially for Moms
by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
I picked up this book because as I was entering the toddler years with my son, who very much has a mind of his own, I was curious what research currently showed in terms of effective, supportive, and loving discipline. So, how can we, as parents, discipline our kids so they learn acceptable behavior and boundaries without entering those dreaded toddler power struggles, while also fostering connection? This book is full of scientific and research-based approaches to loving, supportive, and respectful discipline. I've actually tried out what I learned in this book and found that these techniques worked for us! It definitely takes practice, patience, and mindfulness, and there will never be 100% perfection, but this book really helped my son and I have more enjoyable days!
by Jancee Dunn
Do you ever sit there and wonder, "How does he not know what I need from him right now?" and then sit there fuming because your needs, even the obvious ones, aren't being met? This was a huge obstacle for me and it's still a challenge some days. But oh, my goodness, this book was tremendously helpful! I also really enjoyed the way this author wrote - it felt like you were sitting down having a conversation with a good friend. Anyway, I started implementing what I learned in this book and man, what a difference it made for me (I'm talking about getting to enjoying a sweet treat/moment to breathe while my husband gets our son ready for bed)! I recommend both moms AND dads to pick this one up! Even though it's written from a wife's perspective about her experiences with her husband, what I learned can really be applied to other women too: our own mothers, sisters, aunts, friends - really anyone in our child-raising village.
by Barbara Reich
Do yourself a favor, and pick up this book! Barbara Reich takes you room by room and helps you organize literally everything! She even includes sections that tackle holiday decorations, emails, mail, packing for traveling and for moving. She even offers money saving tips (aka rescues us from buying all the unnecessary things that we really don't need) and gives us permission to just say 'no' when we need to for self-preservation whether it be for our wallets or our sanity. I have gone through my own house and organized everything, using this book as my organizing bible! It truly is amazing how effective this book is! How amazing you ask? Well, let's just say my husband was so inspired, that he organized our garage! I mean, what more do you need to know?
by Dr. Becky Kennedy
I cannot say enough good things about this book or about Dr. Becky! Dr. Becky's parenting philosophies just make so much sense and provides a new, healthy perspective to parenting struggles as well as a new way to think about our kids when they are having a hard time. Dr. Becky writes through the lens of two schools of thought: We are all good inside and two things can be true. This translates to, we are good parents with good kids, even when we and/or our kids are having a hard time. That tantruming toddler is a good kid, who is having a hard time. That moms who loses her ever-loving mind is a good mom, who is having a hard time. Dr. Becky also emphasizes the power and importance of repair. Dr. Becky gives us permission to recognize that when we lose our cool with our kids, we are still good parents, and we can repair the breakdown when it happens. Trust me, that repair is so healing for both moms and our little ones.
Dr. Becky provides scenarios and scripts for those difficult moments and I can personally attest that her guides and advice, work! I have put so many of her practices into place and the positive effects are wonderful and definitely help me in those moments that could easily spiral into power struggles with my two year old. However, like every mom, I'm nowhere near perfect but I'm still a good mom who has a good kid.
Dr. Becky also has a podcast that I highly recommend checking out!
This Book Sucks; Feeding Your Baby Doesn't Have To
by Lori Theisen, BA, BSN, RN, IBCLC
Lori Theisen is an Registered Nurse as well as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who started her nursing and lactation support journey after the birth of her son as she realized her joy and purpose was in helping other moms the way she was helped and also to help other new moms in ways she was not helped. This book is simple, quick, and sets up new moms who want to breastfeed to be successful and confident. I love this book because Lori Theisen writes from the perspective of not making breastfeeding harder than it actually is. I highly recommend this book for any pregnant moms or moms who are early in their breastfeeding journeys.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
by Brené Brown Ph.D., L.M.S.W
Brené Brown is a shame researcher and a licensed social worker. She's also amazing! This book is more data-driven, but Dr. Brown has a great writing style that makes it easy to read and understand. I could have also included this as a parenting book as I think a lot of what Dr. Brown writes about can be applied to motherhood and what we think of ourselves in a mom-shaming society. In this book, Dr. Brown tackles two questions: one, why do we care so much about what other people think, and two, are we good enough the way we are? It is such a great read, and I would recommend this book to all women, and it should be considered for your next book club!