We all need a boost now and then. Reassurance we’re doing ok by our kids, or at least no worse than anyone else is. A bit of impartial advice from someone who’s not our family or friend. Sometimes we need step-by-step guidance on how to tackle something new. Anything that makes you more confident as a mother is to be welcomed – so here are seven great books about being a mum.
1Operating Instructions: A Journey of My Son’s First Year – Anne Lamott
This is arguably the all-time classic when it comes to mummy memoirs. Long before blogs were popular, Lamott recorded her honest, funny and heart-breaking account of life as a single mum. She shares her highs, lows and moments of total despair.
It’s funny and comforting, offering situations and snapshots of life that all mums will recognise. We can sympathise, while laughing at the same time.
2From The Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Uncensored, Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Becoming A Parent – Rebecca Odes & Ceridwen Morris
Everyone needs at least one all-encompassing guide about motherhood. This covers everything from pregnancy to childcare and taking care of your own body after giving birth. It offers judgment-free analysis of issues such as pre-natal testing, breast or bottle-feeding, and circumcision. It looks at how to manage your life after having a baby, reconnecting with your partner and everything in between. Best of all, it does it in a non-preachy fashion and draws on hundreds of real-life experiences. Recommended.
3The Happiest Baby on the Block – Harvey Karp
A crying baby is stressful, distressing and makes you feel helpless. Dr Harvey Karp explains how babies work, and how his ‘Five Ss’ trigger a calming reflex. He’s worked with celebrities including Madonna and Pierce Brosnan, who swear by his methods. If you want to know how to calm your newborn and get more sleep, this is for you.
4Waiting for Birdy – Catherine Newman
If you’re expecting your second child, this one will strike a chord – no matter how emotional and fragile you might be feeling. Newman had just got used to life with a toddler when the discovered her second child was on the way.
She captures the new anxieties you’re likely to feel perfectly. How will the new arrival change your relationship with your first child? Will the older sibling like having a brother or sister? She talks about the despair she felt when pregnancy hormones meant she suddenly couldn’t stand the thought of her son’s breath, which she’d always loved. A humorous and reassuring read.
5How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, And Listen So Kids Will Talk – Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
Communicating with children can be a challenge, but this book offers fresh insights as well as tried-and-tested solutions. It will help you to manage your child’s negative feelings, resolve conflict, and set boundaries with their cooperation. You’ll also learn how to express your own emotions without making them feel hurt or as though you’re criticising.
6The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide To Raising Adolescents and Young Adults – Frances E Jensen with Amy Ellis Nutt
Teenagers have baffled parents for generations – even though we’ve been through those years ourselves. Research has discovered that, during these years, the brain has very distinct stages of development. Dr Jensen explains this in the context of everyday tasks and learning, helping parents understand their teenagers and feel less helpless about parenting them.