Motherhood isn't easy, everybody knows that. But it can also make you feel incredibly guilty, worried, and frustrated. At least once a day, I feel bad for something I have done as a mother, and no matter how happy and loved my daughter is, no matter how much she loves me back, those hard moments weigh like burdens on my chest. But with a few books to remind you that you're a good mom on your shelf, you can help ease the weight of your worries and fears.
Don't worry, they don't have to be self-help books or books written by psychologists that tell you how to raise your children. You already have those tools. What you need is a reminder that you are a great mama, and you are doing the best you can already. It's hard to keep that in mind when your house is a wreck, when your kids are crying, and when you're exhausted. But look at the bigger picture — your house is a wreck because you decided to take your kids on vacation and haven't unpacked yet. Your kids are crying because they are overly tired from staying up late putting together puzzles and eating snacks with you. You're exhausted because the sheer love you have for your children, the constant worrying over them everyday, is hugely tiring.
So take a deep breath. You are an awesome mom and these 11 books will remind you of that every time you read them. A mother's love is like no other, so don't ever forget the power you hold.
1. 'Catastrophic Happiness' by Catherine Newman
Raising babies is challenging enough, but in Catastrophic Happiness, the author focuses on raising kiddos between the ages of 4 and 14. It's hard, it's trying, and you wonder if you're doing right by your kids, but this sweet memoir will remind you that you are. It is hilarious, insightful, and what every mom needs to read.
2. 'The Rainbabies' by Laura Krauss Melmed
It may be a children's book, but The Rainbabies is a beautiful, tender story that every mother should read. An older couple's deepest wish is to have a child and they find 12 tiny babies in their grass after a moonshower. Because they take such good care of the little ones, they are given a beautiful daughter. It's a lovely story, but it's also an incredible reminder that you deserve your sweet babies and are doing all you can for them.
3. 'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott
There are few mothers more beloved in literature than Marmee which is exactly why Little Women is a must for any mom struggling in motherhood. It's easy to forget how important you are to your kids when it feels like you're constantly being pushed in another direction, but this classic novel can set you straight.
4. 'One Plus One' by Jojo Moyes
Feel like you're struggling too much? Feel like you aren't doing anything right as a parent? Read One Plus One. The novel about a single mom trying to take care of her non-traditional, blended family all on her own will make your heart sing and make you do a fist pump all at the same time.
5. 'Toddlers Are A**holes' by Bunmi Laditan
Every mom has her days where she wants to throw her hands up, run away from home, and declare herself the worst mother ever. Hey — you're doing just fine. Read Toddlers Are A**holes: It's Not Your Fault to remind yourself that it's not crummy parenting that makes your kid hate the color of their toast.
6. 'Beloved' by Toni Morrison
Beloved is not an easy read, but its haunting story line is incredibly moving, especially for mothers. Sethe may have lost her own baby, but she is still connected deeply to her baby's spirit, proving nothing, not even death, can keep your love away from your child.
7. 'Waiting For Birdy' by Catherine Newman
Everyone feels like they're messing up as parents. Trust me, you aren't alone. And Waiting For Birdy will remind you that all mothers worry, panic, and stress about not only bringing another life into this world, but about making them happy, well-loved, and well-adjusted.
8. 'Room' by Emma Donoghue
The strength of your love for your child could handle anything and the proof is in the novel Room. Ma and her son Jack have lived their entire lives in one room as her abductor keeps them captured, but she has done absolutely everything she can to create a life for her little boy and when she plans their escape, she'll stop at nothing to make their lives free.
9. 'The Nightingale' by Kristin Hannah
Another novel that shares what a mother's love can do, The Nightingale is set during World War II when a woman and her daughter must live in their home, even after it has been invaded by Germans. Vianne will do whatever it takes to protect her family, regardless of how impossible the choices seem.
10. 'Bad Mother' by Ayelet Waldman
Another modern memoir, Bad Mother is the perfect book to give you encouragement when you need it and a push when you need to get through your mommy guilt and just do what's best for you and your kid.
11. 'Mommie Dearest' by Christina Crawford
And finally, read Mommie Dearest when you just need a reminder that at least you aren't that bad of a mama. Trust me, you'll feel like the greatest mom ever after you read this book.