I love to read, so it stands to reason that I look to books for advice on parenting. Here are a few that I’ve read over the past year that I’ve really enjoyed and I think you would too!
1. What to Expect the First Year
The first book I’ve found helpful is the ubiquitous What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff. This is much more of a “baby encyclopedia” than a reading book. It’s great for all that factual stuff like what a baby’s temperature should be, guidelines for month-by-month development, and helpful advice in certain situations (what to do when your nursing babe starts biting, for example). I keep it on hand to reference, bearing in mind that it’s helpful advice but remembering to also trust my instincts and check with my mom-tors if something really has me stumped.
2. Parenting with Love and Logic
This book by Foster Cline and Jim Fay was recommended to me by Andrea. While it’s not terribly applicable to an infant, the basic principle of allowing your kids freedom to make decisions and mistakes is one that I’m trying to implement from the beginning with Javi. There are also some really interesting situations in the second half of the book that show how to apply the principles of Love and Logic.
3. Grace Based Parenting
I can’t remember how I came across this book by Dr. Tim Kimmel, but I loved it. The gist of this parenting book is the idea that Christ loves us and extends grace to us, allowing us to learn and grow, and we should do the same for our children. Dr Kimmel explains how it’s tempting to set up an inflexible system of rules and regulations for our kids so that they make us look good, but that what is lost in that style of parenting is a concern for our children’s heart attitudes. I loved this book.
4. A Woman After God’s Own Heart
This wonderful book by Elizabeth George isn’t a parenting book per se, but there are several sections that speak specifically to parenting. It’s a great book on what it looks like to truly live for God as a woman, wife, mother and friend. She gives lots of examples from her life and the book is written in a very approachable, relateable tone. Almost like a virtual mentor!
I loved this book, written by American Pamela Druckerman raising her three children in Paris. It was interesting to compare the French philosophy of parenting to the philosophies I’ve observed here and in Spain, and see the differences. If nothing else, this book will challenge you to see that there isn’t just one “right” way to raise your children.
6. Loving the Little Years
This book by Rachel Jankovic is a little nugget of encouragement and laughter. The tagline is Motherhood in the Trenches, which is so perfect. She has some really good advice, but mostly encourages you to buck up and do what you know is right in those busy, all consuming years of parenting little children. And, it’s a quick read so it’s easy to fit in a chapter at a time!
I’m not trying to be cliche here, or earn brownie points by telling you that you should also read the Bible and look to it as a parenting resource. It truly is a book I find helpful (oh so helpful!) for encouragement, direction, and wisdom for each day. Javi and I are reading through the Psalms right now, which always encourage and uplift me. The Proverbs are full of parenting advice. Paul’s epistles encourage me to live victoriously, not as a failure, because the Creator of the Universe loves me and made me a part of his family. That’s why I recommend the Bible! :-)
So there you have it. A handful of books that have really helped me in this first year of motherhood. I’d love to hear about any other books you’ve read that you’ve found to be helpful. I’m always looking for my next book! :-)