I've written before how traditional "Pregnancy Guides" and "Parenting Books" gave me more anxiety than comfort, and yet I desperately craved direction and wisdom. And so I came up with my own list of books that I wish I had back then:
1. Tiny Blue Lines by Chaunie Marie Brusie: A book that includes things that the typical pregnancy guide doesn't — like whether or not to get married, the truth about rude comments, and how to balance college with motherhood. Stay tuned for an interview and giveaway with Chaunie here on Early Mama, and read more from her blog.
2. Rockabye: From Wild to Child by Rebecca Woolf: Before she was the beloved blogger of Girl's Gone Child, mother of four, she was a commitment-phobic 23-year-old girl with a wild streak who suddenly got pregnant with a man she barely knew. You know where she ended up, but young moms will be inspired to see how it all started.
3. You Look Too Young to be a Mom: An anthology of essays from real teen moms — beyond the train-wrecks on MTV. I haven't read this book yet myself, but this review from The Mothers Movement concludes with:
'You Look Too Young to be a Mom' makes it clear that teen motherhood — just like every other kind of motherhood — is rich with opportunities to learn more about the elastic properties of real love and what it means to be human and vulnerable in a complicated and imperfect world.
This isn't the kind of attitude most books would lend to a pregnant teen, but it's the attitude they deserve.
4. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra: Heidi named this one of the five books that changed her life during her "Quarter-Life Crisis," when Heidi — halfway through her 20s with a husband and children — branched off into a deeper exploration of self-awareness and self-growth. Us young moms are growing up through motherhood — maturing and evolving and changing into adulthood — and so it's important to focus on our own development, along with our children's.
5. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown: This is a book for all humans, not just young moms, and yet it might especially speak to those of us exposed to unusual amounts of shame, vulnerability, and guilt.
6. Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford: I included this book because our generation of mothers is the most connected, tech-involved generation in the history of the world, and so we might need to hear this message from Rachel Macy Stafford more than anyone: Put down the screens and distractions; embrace life. I've been working my way through this beautiful book for a few months now, and it always clicks me back into a healthier, more tuned-in perspective.
Speaking of Deepak Chopra, Heidi (Early Mama contributor and founder of The Conscious Perspective) recently had the opportunity to pick his brain (!!!!!) and you can read all about it here and here. For anyone looking for inner growth and clarity (like every 20-something person I know), Deepak Chopra is a popular place to start.
She's also giving away his newest book, What Are You Hungry For?, which ties our diet/eating habits to a deeper issue of self-fulfillment and self-awareness.
What are some of your book recommendations for young women navigating early motherhood? Share in the comments below.