The journey to motherhood is paved with new experiences – sleepless nights, prenatal vitamins, and doctor visits to name a few – and books are a huge step in preparing for the journey. What to Expect When You’re Expecting covers everything a mom-to-be may need to know, from pregnancy pains to delivery dilemmas to the beast that is breastfeeding. At first these books scare you, but by the end you feel like confident in your parenting capabilities and even ask friends to call you Super Mom. But then your baby arrives. All of a sudden, you forget everything you’ve learned over the past nine months and are anxious to find a book for new moms that explains what the hell is happening here.
I hate to break it to you, but there is no manual. You can read all the books you want, but there are still going to be days where you feel utterly alone and helpless. Everyone will tell you to rely on your intuition, but even that will feel foreign to you (I mean, you’re a new mom. How are you supposed to know what a mother’s intuition feels like?) Take a deep breath. Becoming a mom is going to be one of the most magical things to ever happen to you. It’s OK if that’s all you know. There may not be a book to explain it all, but there are 11 books every mom should read to get through the everyday trials and tribulations that come with being a parent.
When You Have That, “OMG I’m A Mom,” Moment. . .
It might happen in the hospital as you learn how to swaddle your newborn or six months later when you’re buying eighteen wallet-sized photos of your baby on Santa’s lap. Eventually it hits you that you’re a mom, and when it does you want to have Listen to Your Mother by the bedside. In reading Ann Imig’s collection of essays, you will feel as if you’re talking to a friend who understand exactly what you’re going through, and realize that yes, you are a mom – a f*cking awesome one at that!
When You’re Stressing Over Those Last Few Pregnancy Pounds. . .
It’s totally normal to rock your maternity jeans after your baby has made his debut. So instead of stressing over everything you eat, snuggle up with your baby while reading Emily Giffin’s The One & Only. A down-to-earth and touching read, this novel will take your mind off of those pregnancy pounds and remind you of the more important things in life, like, I dunno, the baby you just brought into the world.
When Your Boobs Are Leaking. . .
Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed, there will come a time when your nipples start to leak. Even though this is totally natural, it is seriously one of the weirdest experience in the world. To put things into perspective, read Get In Trouble by Kelly Link. This collection of short stories cover every odd, unimaginable phenomenon, from Ouija boards to evil twins, making you feel lucky that all you have to deal with is breast milk.
When Your Baby Won’t Sleep. . .
There are going to be nights when your baby refuses to sleep, and you’ll either need a distraction from all that crying or something to keep you awake in the glider. Gone Girl, a page-turning thriller by Gillian Flynn, is sure to keep you going on those nights when your baby’s ready to party.
When You Get The OK To Have Sex Again . . .
The baby’s asleep, you’re not exhausted, and the doctor says you can finally get it on. But after a few weeks out of the sheets, so to speak, you’ll want to make this night extra special for your partner. To get you in the mood and give you a few ideas, try Grey by EL James. Told from the perspective of fetish fiend Christian Grey, this book will quickly have you pulling your partner into bed . . . and never wanting to leave.
When You Finally Have Some Time To Yourself. . .
Rejoice in the fact that your baby is with grandma for the weekend with Kristin Hannah’s bestselling novel, The Nightingale. You’ll quickly lose yourself in the story of two sisters experiencing World War II in German-occupied France, and forget all about your mommy troubles.
When Someone Judges Your Parenting Choices. . .
Very few women escape motherhood without receiving a judgy comment or two. Instead of letting the haters shake your confidence, take the time to sit down with Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child. A story of a child denied love by her own mother, this books serves as a reminder that your parenting skills are on point and your child will be just fine.
When Your Staples Are Out & It’s Safe To Laugh. . .
Speaking as a C-section mama, there is nothing more painful than laughing before those staples are finally removed. I assume stitches in your nether regions don’t feel so great either, so when you’re free of all incision bindings, pick up Tina Fey’s best-selling Bossypants. Laugh with wild abandon at her stories, especially the ones on motherhood, without worrying about any literal gut-busting.
When Baby Sleeps In Their Nursery For The First Time. . .
Baby’s first night alone in their nursery can be a terrifying experience for first-time moms. Step away from the baby monitor (I promise, your child is safe) and pick up Megan Mayhew Bergman’s Almost Famous Women. A collection of stories starring some fiercely independent women, you’ll stop weeping by the bassinet and start brainstorming ways to raise an independent child.
When You’re Covered In Pee. . .
You didn’t need a reminder that life is messy, but your kid gave you one anyway (don’t worry – pee is totally sterile). Finish that diaper change and then sit down with Jillian Lauren’s memoir, Everything You Ever Wanted. This incredible story of getting a second chance at life through motherhood will make you realize just how lucky you are to be covered in pee.
When You’re Not Sure Of Your Identity. . .
Nothing causes an identity crisis like having a child. You’re unsure what kind of parent you are, and worried about how this new role will affect other areas of your life. When you’re dealing with an identity struggle, Elisa Albert’s After Birth will remind you that you’re not alone. You’ll instantly connect with Ari, a mom for a year who has no idea what world she’s created for herself or where she stands in it. Pick it up and root for her, just like you’re rooting for yourself.
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