It's Mother's Day this weekend and with it all the weight of womanhood in world that expects everything and gives very little. Personally? I'd be just fine if we canceled the whole thing. Motherhood, and by extension womanhood, is far too complicated a thing to be boiled down to a day with some pancakes, cards, and flowers.
Nonetheless, here we find ourselves. As I'm sitting at my computer typing I can hear Ava laying in her bed singing Christmas Carols at the top of her lungs and I'm wondering, where is the manual that says how to turn that off?
There isn't one. Dagnabbit.
But there are books that try. Fifteen million ways to Sunday on how to get your kid to sleep, how to get them to stay asleep, how to many letters they should know and words they should be speaking. Pages and pages on how to feed them, and far we should let them wander away from us. Tomes on how to get your children to believe in all the right things and behave all the right ways.
Just thinking about them all makes me want to take a nap. But of course I can't, because the Christmas Carols.
So I thought this might be a good week to share a few books on parenting that won't drive you out of your mind.
These are books are less "how and what" and more "why and who"; they describe instead of prescribe and they pull back the big picture. In fact, if it is possible to describe a parenting book as so, I would call them atmospheric. That's just more my style.
Feathers From My Nest by Beth Moore: I don't even know where this came from. I literally picked it up off my own book shelves, having never purchased it, when I had two baby girls under two and I was scared half out of my mind about being their mom. I cried. (No surprise there.) It turns out on every re-read, I've cried again. And there have been ever so many rereads. If you need a big picture grace for small days of parenting, read this.
Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa Jo Baker: I remember when she came out with this book and as soon as I saw the title, I bought it. Because, yes. That. As someone who never imagined herself a mother I was shocked at how quickly it changed my apathetic heart to a ferocious well of love. I was further astonished when I realized that even with that even all that passion for it didn't make it any easier. Possibly motherhood hasn't come with any surprises for you, but I doubt that.
The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson: Forgive me if I say that I owned at least three Sally Clarkson books on motherhood that I never read. I would pick them up, read the first chapter, and put them right back down. They were just so precious. I am many things, but precious isn't one of them. I was having trouble relating. But also? With five kids under six and a major battle with postpartum depression, I wasn't feeling like our home was very life giving. So I grabbed this and here is the kicker with this book: She writes it with her daughter Sarah. Sarah explains clearly and beautifully the theology behind home-making and the ideas they implement. It was exactly what I needed. I even went back and read her other books and...I loved them!
The Soul of Discipline by Kim John Payne: Textbook Millennial here. While my birthday says I'm toeing the line, my generational presentation says otherwise. To say I have had to battle my entitlement would be an understatement. In my early life I don't remember ever not getting what I wanted and I also don't ever remember being any kind of grateful for it. So Payne's first book: Simplicity Parenting really appealed to me. It makes sense that a generation that got everything they wanted and found out it wasn't enough would be a bunch of minimalist, but what really surprised me is how hard I found it to discipline my own children. If love isn't really getting everything you want then how is this supposed to work? So this book is a life-saver, because instead of just specific strategies, it lays the groundwork of season, cycles, and growth in a gentle and loving way.
So tell me, do you have any parenting books you've loved? Share in the comments!