Babies change everything. This is the adage that new mothers everywhere hear, and for most of them it rings true. The addition of a little person is bound to shake up any household and force you to rearrange your schedule, priorities, and more or less entire life. Fortunately, there are some great books every woman with kids should read to help her navigate this major life shift.
When you feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of motherhood, you can take solace in the knowledge that you are not alone. Plenty of women — even those who appear to be picture-perfect mothers in every way — face the same struggles that you do. After all, spit-up and tantrums are universal realities for any mother.
Some of the books moms should read cover factual information to help your baby through early childhood illnesses, as well as activities that will help your child’s development (and keep you entertained as well). Others are merely fun novels that feature relatable, baby-focused protagonists — who have a sometimes neurotic approach to the task of child rearing —who may feel comfortingly familiar. And then there are a few memoirs from fellow mothers to drive home the fact that the joys and struggles you face every day are just a part of the job. Whatever you prefer, there's bound to be a book on this list that relates to your struggles as a woman with kids.
1When You Bring Home A Newborn
Even newborns have something to say, and Your Baby Is Speaking to You by Kevin Nugent will help you decode their language. Smiles, cries, and even yawns can help your newborn communicate with you.
2When You’re Dealing With 3 A.M. Cry Sessions
The Happiest Baby On the Block provides parents with methods for calming a crying baby. By engaging babies' calming reflex, you may be able to get at least a few more minutes of sleep each night.
3When Motherhood Feels Overwhelming
If you're exhausted and a bit burned-out with the baby business, The Second Nine Months will help you feel less alone. The author's truthful, warts-and-all look at motherhood will feel like a breath of fresh air.
4When Your Playgroup Starts Forming
Cutting Teeth, a novel by Julia Fierro, details the friendships and competitions that develop among a group of 30-something parents who meet up for one summer weekend. Your own play group will probably look a thousand times friendlier and more functional in comparison to these people.
5When Your Baby Needs Playtime
Is peek-a-boo getting a bit played out? Baby Play offers up over 100 age-appropriate activities for babies and parents. From ball rolling to interactive play, these activities answer the "What will we do today?" question.
6When Your Baby Doesn't Feel Well
Mayo Clinic Guide To Your Baby's First Year offers parents a thorough, well-organized guide to babies and their health. Presented in a no-nonsense manner, the book details many aspects of child development and care in addition to the different symptoms of illnesses that newborns may experience.
7When You Feel Less Than Perfect
The pressure many women feel to be flawless mothers is overwhelming. But Kat Ryan dispels the myth of perfection in Confessions Of the Perfect Mom. Though she may look perfect from afar — she homeschools her children, bakes regularly, and keeps her hair and makeup on-point — Ryan’s tales of tantrums, potty training, and breastfeeding will ring true with any mother.
8When You Over-Analyze Motherhood
Mira Harlon’s novel Psycho-Mommy details a successful type-A woman’s unexpected honeymoon baby, and her quirky, somewhat obsessive reaction to the pregnancy. You’ll likely relate to her first-time mom worries and triumphs.
9When You Want To Stay True To Yourself
Carrie Visintainer 's Wild Mama details the author’s decision to remain true to herself as a traveler and artist while embracing motherhood. Her non-traditional approach to parenting may inspire you to keep up your own passions.
Images: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier / Flickr