The best parenthood books

Many authors have picked their favorite books about parenthood and why they recommend each book.

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The Unmumsy Mum

By Sarah Turner,

Book cover of The Unmumsy Mum: The Hilarious Highs and Emotional Lows of Motherhood

The Unmumsy Mum is a fresh, funny, and incredibly brave account of one woman’s struggles through motherhood. Best of all, it is HILARIOUS! I laughed out loud SO many times. It’s a great book to keep you company through new motherhood and beyond. This is the funniest book I have read in years. It’s also refreshingly honest! Anyone who’s been through the turmoil of a new baby will relate to Sarah’s highs and lows. When I read this book, I felt like Sarah was a new best friend and a really funny one. Thank you Sarah for being brave enough to bare it all and making us laugh along the way.


Who am I?

When I first became a mother, life as I knew it disappeared. I REALLY struggled with new motherhood, and funny, relatable books about parenthood showed me I wasn’t alone. Early motherhood inspired me to write the Bad Mother’s Diary – mainly because I wanted to cheer myself up and turn difficulty into comedy. I loved writing the Bad Mother’s series and am so honoured by all the emails and Facebook comments I receive begging for more books. Thank you readers!


I wrote...

The Bad Mother's Diary

By Suzy K. Quinn,

Book cover of The Bad Mother's Diary

What is my book about?

Juliette wants a happy family. But Daisy’s dad just walked out. Can she find love with a baby in tow?

By the time I got knocked up, I thought I’d be married and living happily ever after. But Daisy is already three months old and Nick has only just proposed. And I’m not all that sure I should have said yes. Nick isn’t behaving like a responsible husband to be. Instead, he’s bar-hopping while I stay home with the baby. With a wedding fast approaching, I have to decide whether to stay with the father of my child or try a new relationship with my childhood sweetheart. But how can consider seeing handsome, successful Alex Dalton, when my bathroom is full of suppositories and stretch mark cream?

No More Perfect Kids

By Jill Savage, Kathy Koch,

Book cover of No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids for Who They Are

Mom and dad, your kids are created in God's image, not your own. Jill Savage and Kathy Koch will guide you in truly appreciating your kids. They will teach you how to study and become an expert on your children, because you cannot fully embrace them until you truly know them. In No More Perfect Kids, Jill Savage and Kathy Koch equip us with the tools and perspective to:

Identify and remove the Perfection Infection from our parenting
Release our children from unrealistic expectations
Answer the questions our kids are silently asking in a way that gives them the courage and freedom to be themselves
Meet the needs of our children, including those with special needs

Written in a passionate, candid, and personal tone, the authors will instill within you hope and contentment. You'll be inspired to apply the practical, realistic, and relevant ideas and tactics Jill and Kathy…


Who am I?

Before becoming a mom, my career was as an actress in Hollywood. Once I took on the role of Mother, however, I stepped off of the stage and onto the page. Telling stories about my weary-making days raising children allowed me to encourage other moms to persevere in doing right even when their own kids do wrong. I wrote Triggers with Amber Lia in 2016 and it has been a best-selling parenting resource year after year.


I wrote...

Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

By Amber Lia, Wendy Speake,

Book cover of Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

What is my book about?

Do you believe your struggle with anger stems from the wrong behavior you see displayed in your children? The knee-jerk reactions and blow-ups you’re facing are often a result of a bigger set of “triggers.” Some of these are external, like a child’s disobedience, backtalk, or selective hearing, while others are internal, like an overflowing schedule, sleep deprivation, or perhaps your own painful experiences from childhood.

Triggers examines common parenting issues that cause us to explode inappropriately at our children. Moving beyond simple parenting tips on how to change your child’s behavior, we offer biblical insight and practical tools to equip and encourage you on the journey away from anger-filled reactions toward gentle, biblical responses.

Baby Bomb

By Kara Hoppe, Stan Tatkin,

Book cover of Baby Bomb: A Relationship Survival Guide for New Parents

Attachment theory – the theory that humans need to form a close emotional bond with a caregiver early in life to survive and thrive – is near and dear to my heart as a therapist and coach for expectant and new parents. Tatkin is a master of human attachment in adult relationships, having created the PACT (psychobiological approach to couple therapy) training for therapists. The book, written with Hoppe, uses the science behind attachment theory to help couples strengthen their relationship and meet each other’s needs as a couple in order to be the best parents they can be. It offers tried and true ways to nurture your couple bond so you can not only be present for your baby, but also for each other.


Who am I?

As a trained therapist, educator, and coach for expectant and new parents, I understand on a deep level the importance of creating a strong foundation in building a family. I also was personally humbled at how difficult the transition to parenthood was for me and the challenges it presented in my relationship with my husband. While we’ve grown exponentially, I wanted to make it a little easier for other expectant parents to avoid some of the pitfalls that aren’t spoken about as much in becoming parents. I also wanted to help the new little beings arriving in the world to have more resourced, present parents. It’s a win-win.


I wrote...

Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families

By Stephanie Dueger,

Book cover of Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families

What is my book about?

Couples often spend surprisingly little time getting ready for this huge rite of passage. The first of its kind, this interactive book provides couples with essential conversation-starters and action items to complete before becoming parents. In Preparing for Parenthood, you’ll discover how to transition to parenting in ways that align with your own beliefs and values by: learning the biggest concerns couples face when becoming new parents and how to discuss them; finding your unique strengths as a couple, and addressing challenges as you embark on this journey; and developing greater confidence as parents so you can feel more relaxed and prepared.

This small and indispensable book will help you alleviate stress and answer some of the biggest questions you’ll want to address before your baby arrives.

Small Animals

By Kim Brooks,

Book cover of Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear

On the opposite end of the crime continuum from A Mother’s Reckoning, this deeply researched personal narrative explores how the smallest missteps – leaving a child briefly alone in a vehicle in a public parking lot – can lead to a domino effect of potentially catastrophic outcomes for a mother figure, in this case, saved only by her white middle-class status. I’ve witnessed first-hand through personal experience and my husband’s work in the criminal justice system how communities rush to judge and persecute mothers for the smallest infractions.


Who am I?

I wear many aprons. I am a writer; a professor of creative writing and literature; a mother to five children – daughters and sons; the wife of a criminal defense attorney; and the daughter of therapists. I read and write at the intersection of these influences: crime, motherhood, and psychology. When I teach children’s literature, I lean toward the Brothers Grimm. Childhood is grittier – more suspenseful – when we darken the stories. The same is true of motherhood. Nobody wants to read about a perfect mother, especially when mothers spend so much of our psychic energy worried about our children in the forms of violence, illness, and death. I prefer to seek out books that complicate the otherwise pristine stories of our lives we pretend to tell.


I wrote...

The Motherhood Affidavits: A Memoir

By Laura Jean Baker,

Book cover of The Motherhood Affidavits: A Memoir

What is my book about?

With the birth of her first child, soon-to-be professor Laura Jean Baker finds herself electrified by oxytocin, the “love hormone”—the first effective antidote to her lifelong depression. Over the next eight years, her “oxy” cravings, and her family, only grow—to the dismay of her husband, Ryan, a freelance public defender. As her reckless baby-making threatens her family’s middle–class existence, Baker identifies more and more with Ryan’s legal clients, often drug-addled fellow citizens of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Is she any less desperate for her next fix?

Baker is in an impossible bind: The same drive that sustains her endangers her family; the cure is also the disease. She explores this all–too–human paradox by threading her story through those of her local counterparts who’ve run afoul of the law—like Rob McNally, the lovable junkie who keeps resurfacing in Ryan’s life.

A Beautiful Truth

By Colin McAdam,

Book cover of A Beautiful Truth

A childless couple adopts a chimpanzee named Looee, and you already know from reading that sentence that it will lead to trouble and heartbreak. After a few pages, I didn’t care. In McAdam’s skilled hands, the inevitable sadness doesn’t matter, because the delicately handled point of view perfectly captures a doomed creature trapped between two opposing identities. In contrast, we also meet Podo, an alpha chimp at a research facility seeking to test the intelligence of primates. Podo is fully ape, but he is turning into something more. Their paths soon join, taking them deeper into a gray area between human and animal that I had never seen rendered on the page so vividly before. 


Who am I?

In addition to writing novels, I’m a humanities editor for Oxford University Press. So, I’m interested in the political and theological implications of non-human intelligence. I wonder how people would react to such a revelation. Some would be fascinated by this radical new perspective. Others would be horrified at what they perceive as a transgression against nature. I’m also drawn to this topic because I still vividly recall the entertainment of my youth, which regularly featured anthropomorphic animals. Sometimes they’re just cool or funny. But on occasion—like with The Secret of NIMH—they raise profound questions of identity and rebellion, even for an audience that is too young to understand.


I wrote...

Morte

By Robert Repino,

Book cover of Morte

What is my book about?

The “war with no name” has begun. The instigator is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who have raised an army that will wipe out the humans and build a new utopia. As a final step in the war effort, the Colony uses its strange technology to transform the surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who rise up to kill their masters.

Former housecat turned war hero, Mort(e) is famous for taking on the most dangerous missions. But his true motivation is his search for a pre-transformation friend—a dog named Sheba. When he receives a mysterious message claiming Sheba is alive, he begins a journey that will lead to the heart of the Colony, where he will discover the ultimate fate of all the earth's creatures.

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