• Carmen Graham

TCY Book Club Guide: Books on Motherhood

Updated: May 17, 2020

Picture it: You're on your 6th hour of Blippi’s Garbage Truck song on my phone, and The Lion King reboot on TV. You've scrolled through Instagram long enough to get to the "You're up to date" message. Maybe it's time to pick up a nice juicy book. Since having kids, personally I've found it helpful to find a little bit of perspective on motherhood through novels and non-fiction alike. These are some new classics you should absolutely check out!

For moms of daughters–or those days your kid is really testing you: Blue Nights by Joan Didion

If you’ve never entered the Church of Joan, I HIGHLY recommend it. Your hipster friends will be like wow she’s cool, but also, she is an American treasure. And Blue Nights is sort of the culminating proof. Between the descriptions of her life in 70s LA to the way she understood her daughter to the very bitter end–intimately, almost painfully so–you’ll be in tears without a doubt.

For EVERY woman–especially one who thinks kids are in their path: The Ambition Decisions

I went to an all girls high school (shout out OLLA) and firmly believe this book should be on the required reading list. Two women interview all the women in their college sorority class to see where people end up. Do the driven ones end up CEOs as anticipated? Do the homemaker types end up LOVING their SAHM life? Ultimately, they debunk the myth that there's a right and wrong way to "make it."

Oldie but a goodie for those days you feel like you’ve truly ruined your child: Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

I read this for the first time when I was like 12, and didn’t understand it at all. As an angsty teen, I totally related to the very angry Sidda. But as I’ve aged, so has this novel. Like a fine wine. And Vivi... well let’s just say cut her some slack. Also, the movie does NOT do it justice.

For pregnant mommas: Expecting Better

I was gifted this book by one of the moms I respect most, and gift it to my nearest and dearest who need to hear this: You will not die from a little wine + camembert. Take some of the pressure off the pregnancy rules with the data and logic driven approach the author lays out. The paranoia that society has placed on pregnant women is the patriarchy at work. Don't @ me.

For anyone who has ever experienced loss, especially as a mom: The Rules Do Not Apply This book is triggering, to be sure, but an important reminder that even when you think you have it together, your world is still subject to change without your approval. A story of resilience and deeply personal, it also might help you to help your friends who might be going through something. Plus it’s a quick read, brief but powerful and you won’t be able to put it down.

For moms with siblings or of siblings–also great for moms of mixed families: Commonwealth

It took me a minute to get into this one, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. This is a story, in my opinion, about siblings. Now that I have two, my sweetest moments are when they love each other, but my biggest fear is that they are mean to each other in high school  (don’t know why.....but my siblings might). The way it all turns out just makes you realize that maybe your biggest job as a parent is to raise kids who love each other–with the ups downs and in between that sibling love means.

For moms who wonder what they'll do if their kid ever gets into serious trouble–aka all of us: All We Ever Wanted

You know how we all have that nightmare of the accident, the expulsion, the call from jail we'll get from our kids? This book by chick lit author Emily Giffin walks you through it. Give it a read and let us know what you would do in this sitch.

For the mom who's trying to figure out the nanny dynamic–and misses her old self a little.

Such a Fun Age

I LOVE how this book tackles the dynamic between mom and nanny, race, and that nagging feeling that maybe our old life was a little better SO well. You'll hate every character by the end but in that "God I hope I'm not like that" type of way.


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