13 Books Every Mom Should Read To Get Through Those Major Milestones

by Lindsay E. Mack

Whether you’re chasing down a toddler or teaching a teen to drive, you face many unique challenges as a mother. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the daily duties of parenting, which makes finding support all the more important. So it’s always a good idea to arm yourself with for books every mom should read to feel less alone when facing parenting challenges. After all, you’re reading to your kids all the time, why not do the same favor for yourself?

Whether you want to learn more about the world, reflect on your own family, or just escape and relax for a few minutes, there’s a book out there for you. And what better way to instill a love of reading in your children than by modelling it yourself? Carving out a few minutes each day to enjoy reading — maybe while your children are at the playground, or after they have gone to bed — may help you stay calm amidst the chaos. And it’s always fun to learn about the world from a new perspective. So here is a grab bag of biographies, thrillers, and humorous books to help you celebrate the joys of motherhood, as well as get through those inevitable rough patches intact.

When You Just Need to Breathe


Meditation for Momswill help you stay relaxed and focused while making use of your (admittedly limited) free time. With all the energy and chaos that young children bring into the house, you may need a little help in making time to just breathe.  

When You’ve Read the Same Children’s Book Too Many Times


Inspired by the Lewis Carroll character, Christna Henry's Alice explores the classic tale from a more modern — and twisted — perspective. This is one to enjoy after the kids are in bed. 

When You Need Some Strength

Untamedwill give you a totally different perspective on what constitutes normal. This biography of Carol Ruckdeschel profiles the advocate and naturalist who lived in a cabin on a wild island. The next time your kids complain about dinner, for instance, you can tell them about how Ruckdeschel had to eat road kill to get by.

When It’s Time to Unwind


Coloring isn’t just for the kids anymore. You can use Secret Garden to grab a few minutes of calm and creativity whenever you need it.

When You and Your Daughter Don’t See Eye to Eye


Mothers and Daughters is a poetry collection that examines the unique bond, and you may see yourself and your own daughter reflected in the lines. With poems that cover topics from toddlerhood to leaving home, you’re certain to relate to the feelings expressed in this collection.

When You Need a Laugh


The Mindy Project star’s book Why Not Me? details her ongoing adventures in Hollywood. Themes of finding new friends and fitting in are explored in hilarious and unconventional ways. 

When Your Kid is Weirding You Out


In The Girl with All the Gifts, little Melanie is gifted — well, in a way. This new take on dystopian fiction may leave you convinced your own kid is pretty normal after all. 

When You Want to Reflect


Written in the 1950s, Gift From the Sea is still a relevant read. The collection of essays offer insightful and inspirational reflections on every aspect of a woman’s life, from youth to the final days. Mark your favorite story and reread when you need a little peace.

When You’re Feeling #Blessed


This gratitude journal was designed by the prolific freelance writer Catherine Price, and it’s filled with prompts and quotes to get you reflecting on the positive. This is a great tool to have on hand so you can find the moments of joy in even the most hectic days.

When You’re Worried About Your Son


Mothers of boys not only want to raise sons who respect women, but ones who are able to express their feelings in a healthy way. Written by two of the country's leading child psychologists, Raising Cainexamines the emotional needs of boys and how parents can help them cultivate a happy and healthy outlook.

When You’re Trying to Make It as a Single Mom


An emotional and honest novel, Love Me Back follows the life of Marie — a young, single mom trying to make ends meet while battling her own demons. Although you may not related to Marie’s addictions, you will identify with her struggles to find her adult identity while simultaneously raising a child on her own.

When You’re Trying to Have It All


If you’re constantly running from meetings to playgroups, then you need to take a few notes from Kristin van Ogtrop. In her book Just Let Me Lie Down, the Real Simple editor provides readers with a necessary lexicon for the “half-insane working mom,”  using her trials and tribulations as a working mother of three to drive the points home. This hilarious handbook is perfect for those who try to do it all, but don’t always succeed.

When You Think You’re Effing It All Up


Think you’re the only mom who feeds her kids fast food or plops her tots in front of the TV so she can pee in peace? Jill Smokler, creator of Scary Mommy. Her debut book Confessions of a Scary Mommy chronicles Smokler’s life as a parent — the good, the bad, and the, well scary — and serves as a reminder to other moms that no one is perfect.

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