Motherhood; The Gratifying Journey
Motherhood is one of the most demanding and gratifying roles many of us will play. However, being a mom can be a lonely journey with little to no reward when seen against other areas of our lives. Once you begin the journey into having a family, you go through many changes; changes within your relationship with your partner, your friend groups, and shifts within other family dynamics, to name a few. The journey you go through is a solitary one in many aspects, as we habitually do when we feel like we are failing in one thing or another, we tend to go inside ourselves and not discuss what we see as our shortcomings. Some of the books listed below allow space for moms to see that others are experiencing similar feelings, troubles with changes, parenting challenges, or ever-present loneliness. Navigating motherhood can be an incredible and fulfilling journey, but it can also come with its challenges. Utilizing self-care and building upon our circle of friends will help us moms to stick closer together, thus helping us not to feel so alone.
Hands Free Support
As a mom myself, I know asking a busy mom to read is sometimes the last thing on the to-do list. Believe me, I get it. Something I do, when I am just too busy, is listen to audiobooks. I know they aren’t for everyone, but as long as the narrator “speaks” to me (they have to be enjoyable), I can listen in the car while doing dishes, cooking dinner, or even doing a light workout. You have to find what works for you! Of course, these books are suggestions, and some may not fit what you are looking for or be something that is of total interest to you, but many of these authors are real moms showing a real-life glimpse at what we tell ourselves. Even when you feel like you are not at your best, these little humans love you and think you hung the moon. In reality, you are probably doing significantly more amazing things than you see; maybe take a chance and ask your significant other or kids what things they love the most about having you be their mom or the mom to their children.
Five Books Geared Toward Moms
- Mommy Burnout: How to Reclaim Your Life and Raise Healthier Children in the Process by Sheryl Gonzalez-Ziegler
This book… I don’t think I can say enough about the material and down to Earth way Dr. Ziegler equated some of the things moms experience. We often see moms striving to be the expectation of a perfect mom and putting massive amounts of time and effort into meeting the expectations of others. These expectations can be from society, culture, or even internal beliefs that moms put on themselves. Dr. Ziegler took a first-person stance and discussed her feelings within her own family along with her experience in her work with her client’s parents and listening to their words on how they feel and the struggles they experience. She put a name on the tired, overwhelmed, and stressed-out emotions that many parents face, especially today. That name is “Mommy Burnout.” This book addresses both the working mom and stay-at-home mom struggles. It gives each person practical tips to put in place and a beginning glimpse to see that we are not alone in the experience of feeling exhausted and unseen within mommy burnout.
Ashlee Gadd wrote this fantastic book allowing moms a space to realize that they are, indeed, not in this alone. Parenting is hard work; trying to do everything in the best way possible and constantly feeling lacking, seeing your spouse or significant other doing an incredible job parenting, and just feeling inadequate is something so many moms experience. The author and her team have written a book from a collection of stories, and rather than offering advice, they share more about the fears, worries, love, joy, anxiousness, and all the good and bad messy parts of motherhood that they have felt in their journeys. These stories share about body image, friendship, faith, miscarriage, infertility, etc. You are not alone, and through reading these stories, you will see that there is magic throughout all stages of parenting.
Dr. Lisa Damour allows parents to glimpse into the teen years of the charged and sometimes perplexing behaviors we see in our daughters. Dr. Damour explains through what she has called seven transitions in an attempt to offer parents hints and tips to know how to help, when to intercede, and when to worry. She gives parents realistic scenarios and advice on communicating and engaging their daughters. Most importantly, this book helps parents connect with their daughters so they can begin to enjoy this time more and allow their daughters to grow into happy and well-rounded adults.
Clinical psychologist Molly Millwood explores the unknown parts of becoming a new mom through the psychological, emotional, physical, professional, and personal challenges that come with starting a family. Many times moms will have to deal with self-doubt, guilt, and all-encompassing fear that just about makes them feel like no one else could be experiencing this, all while their partner does not experience as much of the same challenges. Our partners often have smaller bits of these challenges that will occur within their lives; however, it most commonly occurs in moms, along with feeling shame for experiencing the struggle many new moms face (especially when new and unexpected things happen). Dr. Millwood offers guidance to help moms overcome shame and guilt and repair their relationships through scientific research, her own stories, and her knowledge of her work in psychology.
- Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids by Hunter Clarke-Fields
Parents often learn how to or how not to parent from their caregivers. We have no clear how-to guide, and our experiences shape how we parent. This book shows that when a parent reacts with kindness and patience, the child will also begin to emulate what they see. Parenting with kindness and compassion begins to change generational patterns and allows parents to see there is more than the knee-jerk reactions many of us have experienced. The author’s sincerity is apparent as they wrote the book with their knowledge from working with families and personal experience to help other parents gain confidence in working with their children to become their best selves.