Do I Hear A Hammock Calling?
I know that I'm a mom and all and I'm supposed to constantly complain about how I'm so busy and how I have no time for myself, but can I be honest for a minute?
I need time for myself
I crave time for myself. And I'm pretty sure that I would be a lot more of an impatient mother if I didn't have something that I did for myself.
And for me, that "me time" is found in the shape of a big, fat book. A bookworm at heart, since the day I donned my first pair of oversized glasses and tore through every book on my parents' shelves, I have had an open and loving relationship with the written word. These days, I take my children to the library to yes, instill a love of reading in them, but also so I can get them hyped to ride the elevator up to the adult book section, where I will blindly toss as many books as I can grab into my trusty library bag, before the 1-year-old breaks down.
Yes, I love books. And quite honestly, I feel lost without a book to tuck into at night after my kids have gone to bed. But because spring is in the air and I'll be spending endless amounts of time "watching" my kids play in the sandbox, I'm loading up on some literary goodies to indulge in. While writing my own book, Tiny Blue Lines: Reclaiming Your Life, Preparing For Your Baby, and Moving Forward with Faith in an Unplanned Pregnancy, I became fascinated with pregnancy books. Here are six I recommend to my pregnant friends.
For the spiritual mom
I absolutely adore the book Great with Child: Reflection on Faith, Fullness and Becoming a Mother by Debra Rienstra. I actually stumbled upon this dusty read at a garage sale, but I've read it and re-read it with each of my subsequent pregnancies and every time, I find something new to love about it. It ties pregnancy into the great experience of being a woman, along with spiritual reflections and relatable insight that all mothers will understand. (Amazon, $19)
For the mom looking for a laugh
I pretty much recommend Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth to every expecting mom that I know because it's just that hilarious. I know she's somewhat of a controversial figure these days, but that has no bearing on the laugh-out-loud descriptions of how she eats an entire pan of brownies in the kitchen or paints a vivid picture of the "cottage cheese dripping off her thighs" in the book. It's a rare feat when a book makes me LOL, but this one does it every time. (Amazon, $10)
For the young mom (or the young-at-heart mom)
Although I became a young mom at 21, Rebecca Woolf takes things to a whole new level with her memoir about becoming a mother at 23, marrying her rocker boyfriend and combining a rock 'n roll lifestyle with motherhood in her book, From Wild to Child. She's hilarious, irreverent and she speaks volumes to the stereotypes of young motherhood and everything that a mother is "supposed" to be. Seriously one of my all-time favorite mom idols and just a plain good read. (Amazon, $14)
For the mom going from one to two
When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I had incredible amounts of anxiety about going from one to two children. Would my daughter resent losing her "only child" status? Would they get along? Would I be able to handle it? I've seen so many mothers undergoing the transition that have the same fears and anxieties, which is why I was so excited to come across the e-book, When Baby Becomes Big Sibling by blogger Paula Rollo. "I love this realistic approach to parenting. If you want a real mom's perspective on things, not a cookie cutter, Pinterest-perfect view, then this book is for you. She gives practical advice on everything from juggling the two fussy kiddos to which books to read to help your little one get used to the idea of having a baby around," said one reviewer. (Amazon, $4/Kindle version)
For the midwife-loving mom
The Birth House by Ami McKay is a wonderful novel to read during pregnancy, especially for mothers mystified (like I am) by the world of pregnancy and childbirth. The novel was inspired by the author's real-life birth house and delves into an almost mystical world of midwifery, all while looking at the right of women to fight for their own beliefs about childbirth from a historical standpoint. (Amazon, $11)
For the curious mom
Tina Cassidy's Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born is a fascinating look at pregnancy and childbirth history, along with fun cultural facts and tidbits about birth around the world. Even if you're not a die-hard birth and pregnancy fanatic, the book is an easy read that really highlights some of the top issues that all mothers need to be aware of, like the alarming U.S. maternal morbidity rate and the truth behind "emergency" C-sections. This book will prepare you, equip you and open your eyes before your own birth. (Amazon, $11)