The best honest, real life, emotion evoking books to fill your parenting arsenal with

Dawn Thomas-Cameron Author Of The Path to Perfection: Parenting without a roadmap: tales from a (non) perfect parent
By Dawn Thomas-Cameron

Who am I?

I started this book in 2007. It was a compilation of stories from my experience as a parent; there was no structure to it at all. When my second husband passed in 2017, an ad appeared in Facebook for Author Academy Elite (AAE). I knew it was my late husband giving me that one final push to get the book done. As a (non) perfect parent of three children, I felt my experience could benefit others as I am continuing my journey along my Path to Perfection. As a person who has struggled with depression for her entire life, I can honestly say that parenting is hard. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. And that’s why I think you’ll enjoy these books!


I wrote...

The Path to Perfection: Parenting without a roadmap: tales from a (non) perfect parent

By Dawn Thomas-Cameron,

Book cover of The Path to Perfection: Parenting without a roadmap: tales from a (non) perfect parent

What is my book about?

If Perfection were an actual place, like a city or town, would there be one clearly marked exit on the road there? One that would result in you winding up in a specific location with a plethora of other perfect parents? Would this Path to Perfection be smooth and straight? Or would it be curvy, bumpy, and fraught with detours? More importantly, would anyone actually be there when (or if) you arrived?

Join author, Dawn Thomas-Cameron, as she explores the answers to these questions and more! The Path to Perfection is broken into three main sections: Things That Could Have Been Done Differently, Things I Handled Like a Rock Star! and Pearls of Wisdom. This book is sure to evoke a rollercoaster of emotions as you journey along. And yes, you will cry during parts. That’s the nature of parenting.

The books I picked & why

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Life as a mother: From the Diamonds to the Dirt of Motherhood

By Chantelle Lambert,

Book cover of Life as a mother: From the Diamonds to the Dirt of Motherhood

Why this book?

Motherhood is a gift. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. Chantelle, the author, touches on the less pleasant parts of motherhood. I cried 11 pages in because I empathized with a lot of what Chantelle was saying. I think I related to the author’s story so much because she struggled with her own mental health issues throughout her time as a mother. The book touches on postpartum depression (for moms and dads). Yes, dads can have postpartum too!

The book is raw, emotional, and the absolute truth.


Parenting With Depression Made Easier: how to defeat depression and mental illness with power, love and family.

By Evan Richards,

Book cover of Parenting With Depression Made Easier: how to defeat depression and mental illness with power, love and family.

Why this book?

This book, again, tackles mental health issues. And yes, I cried reading it. It defines depression and explains the different types of mental illness. In the second chapter, it debunks 10 myths around depression. The author encourages you to address your mental illness and gives you various methods to do so.



The Smiling Mask: Truths about Postpartum Depression and Parenthood

By Carla Joan O'Reilly, Peggy Collins, Tania Bird, Elita Paterson

Book cover of The Smiling Mask: Truths about Postpartum Depression and Parenthood

Why this book?

This book focused on three stories from women who experienced postpartum depression in varying degrees. Through the stories, it raises awareness about various degrees of postpartum depression and the spectrum of symptoms. The stories are raw and emotional.  And yes, I cried through many parts of the story.

The title refers to how we try to hide from the realities of parenting by wearing smiling masks even when we are depressed. A must-read for ANY parent – any gender, any experience level.


Diapers to Dorms: Raising Kids You Actually Like, Who Others Like, and Who Like Themselves

By Randy Pardue,

Book cover of Diapers to Dorms: Raising Kids You Actually Like, Who Others Like, and Who Like Themselves

Why this book?

This unique book is from a father's perspective, which you don't see very much these days. The lessons in this book are told through humorous stories, which we can all relate to. It tackles topics like building your confidence as a parent, recognizing the fact your children are different and identifying what’s important during each stage of a child’s life. The book is more of a “how-to” manual. It is rooted in Christianity.


The 10-Minute Refresh for Moms: Less Stress, More Joy

By Nichole B. Clark,

Book cover of The 10-Minute Refresh for Moms: Less Stress, More Joy

Why this book?

As a parent, we all struggle with self-care.  The book is relatable. Real-life stories highlight the struggles many moms go through. The author talks about how we put so much on ourselves as moms and yet we still feel unworthy.

With the help of this book, moms can evoke self-care for themselves - in as little as 10 minutes a day. There is a course you can take along with it if you want.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in postpartum depression, emotions, and parenting?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Sad Dad, Happy With Baby, and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child if you like this list.