Surviving Parenthood

When I was around 14 years of age I would tag along with my mom to the grocery store in the hopes of getting a new magazine. I can recall staring at the glossy covers with models’ in their blaring blue eyeshadow and fuchsia lips. Neon, fishnet, off the shoulder tops over three tank tops and a pair of yellow leggings. Sigh. I couldn’t wait to read how I too could look so glamorous.

Over the last *cough*20years*cough* my tastes have changed slightly in reading material. From fashion magazines to fine literature to best sellers to entertainment magazines to art publications to the BABY years. Oooh, the baby years! I drank in everything that I could lay my eyes on about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, diapering, child rearing, etc.. Some of it was helpful and some was not.

Today, with a six and eight year old, I have narrowed down my choices for my favorite reads for parenting and all that goes with it. These include those I couldn’t have lived without through pregnancy and childbirth to the early years and now. Sort of an A-Z of how I have kept my kids happy (sometimes), my house kinda clean, my creative juices flowing and my sanity intact for the last nine years.

1. Birthing From Within by England and Horowitz- While everyone, from family to doctors to strangers, were focused on how my body was changing in pregnancy this book helped me focus on what emotional, mental and spiritual changes I was going through and would go through during the birth.. It can get a little “flowery” at times but I found it so beneficial when preparing for the natural birth of my second child.

2.The Baby Book by Dr. William and Martha Sears- By far the most informative comprehensive book on babies from birth to age two. While reading it I found myself nodding my head in agreement. Dr. Sears gets it, he understands. The things he suggested felt right to me and to my baby. I still recommend this book to any friend or family that is somewhere between trimester one and year one.

3.The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding published by La Leche League International- I was considering breastfeeding when my mother-in-law gave me this book. After absorbing all I could from it, I KNEW that breastfeeding was for me. It focuses not just on breastfeeding but ways to take care of yourself as a mother, gets things done while caring for your baby, starting solids, etc.. Written with the input of hundreds of women and over 50 years of insight by the foremost supporters and educators on breastfeeding.

4.Mothering Magazine- Someone gave me one of these when Bella was less than a year. It focused on things that other fluff parenting magazines that I found in the waiting room of my doctor’s office avoided. They write about things that I don’t always agree with but the articles always make me think. They state on their website “As a readers' magazine, we recognize parents as the experts and wish to provide truly helpful information upon which parents can base informed choices.” I love that.

5.Love and Limits by Elizabeth Crary- A very thin book that gives real tools and techniques for parents working through discipline issues. It talks about child development, temperaments, and offers guidance on how to practice “STAR“ parenting. I have read it many times and recommend it often.

6.Wondertime Magazine- I discovered this magazine a few years ago when I quickly scratched down a few magazines I was willing to buy for a school fundraiser. One issue that happens to be laying in front of me has articles titled The Ultimate Comfort Foods, Mom Friendships, and The Birds and The Bees (I gobbled this one up since I am dreading the ever more detail oriented questions about where babies come from). The magazine’s layout is beautiful and exciting with vivid photography and clean sharp graphics. And there is always a recipe or project that I want to try.

7. Real Simple Magazine- I love this magazine. For it’s clean, beautiful layouts, wonderful articles, gorgeous and funny photography. I always take something away from each issue. And I usually return to it again and again. Great recipes, parenting ideas, home organization, finance, art and crafts. Did I mention, I love this magazine?

There they are, my top seven picks that have stood the test of time (a whopping nine years). I will probably have a whole new top picks when my girls hit puberty. Does Dr. Sears write a book about what to do when daughters start dating?


  1. You are an inspiration to mothers-to-be. I had two c-sections, couldn't breastfeed, felt like a failure for all of that. I still have pangs of guilt for being cut open, not trying harder, giving formula. I'm glad you're here for the new mommies.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Kym! There is no guilt in motherhood (or there shouldn't be), there are many things I regret or wish I had done differently. We do the best we can with what we can.

  3. I love this post! Believe it or not I haven't really seen any of these - I would like to try the Mothering mag and Love and Limits. :-) Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. i agree with all the things in this post... i read mothering magazine and i loved the baby book and the womanly art of breastfeeding :)

    Ive subscribed to ur blog


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