Reading As Self-Care
Moms are busy. Summer is gone, along with extra time for fun and activities galore. Finding time to read as busy mom is hard–you can find yourself lucky to page through an old Pottery Barn catalogue at this point of the year. For years I was jealous of people that made summer or yearly reading lists and actually spent time outside, feet up, deep in a book. I figured they had some time I didn’t have. I thought (crazily, wrongly) that people who were home with kids had more time than me, spending endless naptime hours (ha ha!) paging through paperbacks and sipping iced tea. I was so wrong. Right now is a particularly delicious time to read and many people including moms do it, because they make it a priority and choose the right books.
Here’s my number one reading tip for any season, if you don’t like the book, if you can’t get into it or dread opening it, stop reading it. You’re no longer in school; your reading choices are your own. Put the book aside, bring it back to the library, pass it on to a friend and grab something else. Reading, should be enjoyable. Here are some of my favorite books for busy moms as to get you started. Happy reading!
For the Mom That Has No Time
This short book by Broadway powerhouse Lin-Manuel Miranda is the perfect gift for the new mom in your life. A collection of Lin-Manuel’s funny, poignant, hopeful tweets accompanied by line drawings by Jonny Sun it is something you can dig into anytime, anywhere. You’ll smile, you’ll think, you’ll never lose your place and most of all you’ll be able to finish it.
For The Mom That Digs Data
I absolutely loved Emily Oster’s Expecting Better when I read it during my first pregnancy so I was thrilled that Oster has brought her practical eye and background in economics to focus on parenting from birth to preschool. If you want a parenting book that will give you hard data but won’t freak you out this summer, this one is for you.
For The Mom That Likes To Keep It Real
I nodded, I laughed and I cringed reading And Now We Have Everything, but most of all I was relieved that someone blasted the sugar coating off sweet pastel parenting memoirs and dove deeper than belly laughs to tell it like it is. Meaghan O’Connell’s account of her pregnancy, birth and first year of parenting her son is real and raw. I admire her courage and appreciate her honesty. She shares it all.
For The Mom That Cannot Read Another Parenting Book
Escaping into a book doesn’t always mean diving into fiction. When you live in the DC area and politics are inescapable it’s hard to believe that the true story of a twenty-something in the Obama White House could be as engaging as a traditional beach read but From The Corner of the Oval is. Beck Dorey-Stein’s memoir of her time as a White House stenographer offers a glimpse into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the travel, gossip, romance, drama and young idealists at the center of the most powerful address in the world.
For The Mompreneur
After the success of Girl, Wash Your Face Rachel Hollis is everywhere. She followed up her first NYT Bestseller with Girl, Stop Apologizing, a book that is part memoir/part pep-talk. 100% “you do, you” with a special emphasis on moms. If you feel like you need a kick in the Spanx this summer or simply a reminder of why your side hustle, freelance gig, full-time or volunteer work is important and meaningful, this is it.
For The Mom Facing A Significant Birthday
I adored Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bebe so was excited to get my hands on her latest memoir, There Are No Grown-ups. A series of essays and reflections loosely tied to her 40th birthday and aging, I could relate to many of the themes, enjoyed the humor and of course the snapshot of Druckerman’s life and parenting in Paris. We all sometimes need a reminder to step back and take ourselves a little less seriously because there really are no grown-ups.
Feeling inspired to turn the pages, slow down and make some you time this summer? Put off your to do list for an afternoon, grab a couple stray minutes as you wait for swim practice to end, break out a good book and start your summer reading. It’s self-care.
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