Updated: May 5, 2020
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Whether you want to learn about what is happening to your growing baby now, what to expect once you deliver, how to transition back to work, organization, or your relationship with your partner these books were well worth the read! In fact I will be reading them again(trying to) just to refresh myself on what to expect during the next couple of years. Some of these are more scientific and informative, while others provide some humor to calm your nerves and realize that many of us are doing this for the first time, maybe second. So none of us have it "right". We are learning everyday and figuring out what will work best for our family. The following six books were just a few of many that I came across and actually found the time to read.
I'm pretty confident that this book saved my life and made me a better functioning parent as my baby was sleeping through the night in her own crib at 8 weeks old. This means I was getting 8 plus hours of sleep right as I was transitioning back to work. I know this is not everyone's priority, but for me 8 hours of solid sleep was a priority.
Before reading this book, I had zero understanding of what a baby's schedule could look like. What I loved about this book is it helps you figure out a sleeping and eating schedule for your baby that is neither strictly parent-led nor baby-led. It's a schedule that balances both and allows for flexibility when needed. I feel that babies, like kids, benefit from structure as they learn what to expect throughout the day. They know when nap time is and they know when meals or snacks will be.
For the record, I love my husband and he did a fabulous job helping with our first baby, but there are still things that come up throughout that first year that you have to be prepared for. You will argue about new things, you will have new chores/responsibilities, your weekends will look different, your budget will look different and much much more.
I found that this book was great at putting humor to some of these new and maybe unexpected frustrations. The author even shared about her own experience going to counseling with her husband and what that process entailed. Most of the time you just hear the phrase "everything will change after baby", but this book really detailed some of the seemingly small, but difficult transitions that come up while making some recommendations to be preventative.
I don't know about the rest of you, but clutter makes me very anxious. I usually can't work on a project or rest when there are toys everywhere or lots of "stuff" just hanging out. This doesn't mean my dishes don't pile up and my house is spotless, but I do try to minimize "stuff" so that when it gets bad it can only get so bad. I think a big focus of this book is only having out what you actually use on a daily basis. Everything else is stored out of site.
I also love the Ten Commandments of Organizing in this book. Number 10, one of my favorite - "Make a decision and act on it. If you receive an invitation, respond yes or no. Don't look at it, ponder it, then put it in a stack. The same thing goes for unwanted items in your house. If you hate that lamp, why would you store it in your closet? Don't delay making a decision: you hate it, so get rid of it" . The author writes about every single room in your house and gives specific tips on keeping it organized.
This book was helpful on so many levels. Meg Meeker has been a Pediatrician and mother for over 25 years. She shares so many of her experiences with mothers through her work and what all of us struggle with. Just a few of the topics she discusses are maintaining key friendships, your value as a mother, your faith, a healthy relationship with money, and letting go of fear.
One of the first things she talks about is your value as a mother and wrapping our mind around that. "It can change us in a way where we wake up every morning excited for the day rather than feeling as though we've been hit by a truck during the night. Most of us mothers are just a few beliefs away from living life this way". I discuss more about this in my recent blog post "You Need to Own it to Hone it".
Talk about a book that really helps lower your anxiety about going back to work! I chose to go back to work at 8 weeks, mostly for financial reasons, as my maternity leave was unpaid. I was able to do some work from home so that at least helped through the transition. This book was a lifesaver though as the author talked about everything from childcare, getting through that first three months at work(the fifth trimester), and body image to pumping at work and managing coworkers who might not understand what you're experiencing.
One of the best pieces of advice had to do with making requests for your situation without feeling "mommy guilt" or feeling that you were asking for an accommodation. For example, I had about a 45 minute commute so I asked to work from home when it made sense. It didn't mean I was putting out poor work, I was simply asking to work differently, but it wouldn't change the work I put out. It is a very valuable resource to help women change the way their workplaces view mothers and showed that new moms can still add a value to their workplace; it just might look different now.
I feel like this one is a no-brainer which is why I just stuck it here at the end. I feel like every mom has this book and they wont lend you their copy so you'll have to buy it yourself. It is so cool to read about what is happening each week with your baby and it helps you feel connected especially in those first few weeks when maybe all you feel is nausea and horrible symptoms. I am not a super "sciencey" person and found that it was pretty easy to understand.
Well I hope these encourage you in your pregnancy journey and again these are just a few books that I came across during my first baby. When it comes to being a mom, pregnancy, and babies there is SO much information out there. I always stress doing what works best for your baby and family. Take what you need and leave what you don't. Thanks for stopping by!