Who doesn’t need help with being a woman, a wife and a mom? Recently,
ETMB posted an Instagram pic of the books I’ve been reading and we had some feedback and questions, asking what types of books they were and what the target demographic is, so I thought it would be helpful to list them here.
We’re going on 15 years of marriage, almost 9 years of being parents and I’m still surprised when I find myself surprised by things in either of those areas. We’re fighting about how or when someone makes the bed? Why am I surprised by that? The kids are being messy and arguing over a piece of string (?!?!?!… no, for real) and coloring on furniture with markers? Why am I surprised by that?
They’re kids. That’s their job; it’s what they do.
I’m grateful to have a network of other wives and moms that I share life with, and when one of these issues arises – small or great – I can go to them and ask for help. But for those who don’t already have that network, or who want to do some independent study, I’ve compiled a list of books that I would recommend: some come from recommendation of my mom, who raised 4 awesome kids (if I do say so myself) and has taught parenting classes at their local church. Some, I have read myself and I’ll give my opinion on those. Some were recommended to me by others: a sister-in-law, a close friend, a blog post…
If you do have a close network of mom friends and they’ve read something, when you ask for advice you get a 2-for-1 with a summary of what they’ve read plus their personal experience thrown in. 🙂 BONUS.
Disclaimer: I’m a Christian, so a majority of the books I’ve read or been recommended come from a faith-based perspective. I will say, all of them have something worthwhile to say on each topic, regardless of whether you come from a Christian background or not. I will try to designate a few in my descriptions below. If the book title is pretty self-explanatory… I won’t give an explanation. 🙂
Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs – Great book on the roles of husband and wife, and how each sees marriage, and their own needs, differently
Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow – Helpful for knowing how to complement your husband and support him in your role as his mate and helper
For Women Only and For Men Only by Feldhahn – If you want a book you can read and then discuss with your spouse, this it it. Feldhahn polled men on the different areas of their lives (Do you worry daily about providing for your family? etc) and puts it in data form. Makes for great discussion! Make a date night out of it. “Honey, it says here a high % of men stress about being the provider for the family. Is that true for you too?”
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr Laura Schlessinger – Funny. Lady. If you’ve ever heard her radio program, this is it in book form. Hysterical. Practical. (Not a Christian, I think she’s Jewish.) No-nonsense, common sense advice. Read it.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Versions available for kids or teens too, and there’s a test/survey you can take online for free to see which “language” your child speaks) – This book is getting cliche in the Christian community, but it’s a life-changer whether you’re Christian or not. A simple survey of the 5 main ways people give and receive love, and helps you identify the “language” of your spouse. What do they value the most – affirming words or quality time? Physical touch or a special act of service? I highly recommend this one for everyone. It’s a quick read.
His Needs, Her Needs by William F. Harley, Jr.
Staying Close by Dennis & Barbara Rainey
What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew about Women by Dobson
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch – I haven’t read this one, but… YES. The title. YES.
Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle, Biblical Responses by Amber Lia & Wendy Speaker – This one came recommended by a mom of 5: teenagers down to a 4-year old, so yes, I will try it. I find myself reacting in anger which only teaches my kids that it’s okay to react that way as well. I suppose this could go in the Mom section rather than the parenting section, because this one is about how to change yourself. Ugh. Punch in the face.
Child Training Tips by Reb Bradley – I’m halfway through this one and also, YES. Practical. “Don’t let your kids talk back to you.” Oh yeah, duh. I have underlined, dog-eared, and I will go back and read it again when I finish. This is stuff you can implement the day that you read it.
No Drama Discipline by Siegel and Bryson – A more philosophical study of children and how their brain works. How to engage with your children when they are stressed, emotional or just being kids. This one wasn’t as practical, but was a good study into the behind-the-scenes of WHY a kid acts the way they do.
Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel – Christian perspective, how to love and discipline your kids through the lens of grace. Understanding the line between discipline and training, and treating your kids as precious gifts from God.
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tripp – Similar to the Grace Based (above). Christian perspective.
Cleaning House by Kay Wyma – Sounds like a cleaning and organization book. NOT. Addresses the issue of entitlement with kids and helps you “clean house” of the bad habits kids develop when they think the world revolves around them. Emphasizes hard & meaningful work, building self-confidence when they can do things for themselves, and a concern for others. This is on my list of “next-to-read.”
The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey – Haven’t read, but also on my next-to-read list. How to teach your kids through their failures and not protect them from it. Can’t wait to try this one.
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman
Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman
The Strong Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson – YES. We have one of those.
Parenting isn’t for Cowards by Dr. James Dobson – And YES. Ain’t that the truth?
Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst – GREAT book. Christian perspective but oh so practical when it comes to controlling your emotions in the crazy of life as a wife and mom. If you’ve ever come unglued… yep. As I’m shouting at my 8-year old daughter “Can you just have some SELF CONTROL?!” I realize… who really needs the self control here? Oh, the 36-year old does? Okay, great. This is a good read.
I’m Happy for You, Sort of, Not Really by Kay Wyma – The title says it all. A book on comparison and how it robs your joy. Pinterest/Instagram/Facebook anyone?
What is a Family? by Edith Schaeffer – OLD classic. And boy, sometimes the old classic opinion is just refreshing.