Mother’s Day is coming up soon. It’s nice to have a day to celebrate our mothers. Also, for me, I have a day to feel guilty that I made my mom’s life so hard when I was growing up. (Sorry, Mom. You were right, I didn’t get it until I had kids of my own.)
It’s also nice to have a day where I get to be celebrated a little bit. I love being a mom. I straight up love it.
I work really hard at the parenting thing, but sometimes I fall short. Then I feel bad about my failures as a mom. Grace for myself is a work in progress.
My parenting is also a work in progress. There is good news, however: I know that this year I am a better mom than I was last year at Mother’s Day.
Part of what led to that growth was reading some really fantastic parenting books!
If Mother’s Day has you inspired to learn to be a better mom, check out this parenting book list that changed my parenting for the better this year.
4 Books That Made Me A Better Parent:
The book that changed how I view motherhood
Title: Grace Based Parenting
Author: Tim Kimmel
Details: Thomas Nelson, May 15, 2005
Length: 272 pages
This is my go-to baby shower gift for parents at church. It should be at the top of any parenting book list. The book is definitely meant for a Christian audience, but the basic idea is universal. The main idea of the book is that we need to have grace on our kids. (Hence that super creative title…)
Kimmel writes about how we make parenting and our kids’ behavior about ourselves, and that’s not a good way to parent. We need to chill-out with the rules a little bit to allow our kids to grow up to be who they are.
That makes it sound sort of (as my mom would say) hippy-dippy, but it isn’t. It’s just a great reminder that your kids are little, individual people, and you should treat them that way. They need grace, just like we do.
I laughed, I cried, I recommend it to everyone.
The book that forced me to get rid of stuff
Title: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Author: Kristen Welch
Details: NavPress, Jan 26, 2016
Length: 272 pages
Kristen Welch is apparently a very popular blogger, but I had never heard of her before my book club read this book. Now, I’m a total Welch-ian! Welch-ite? Whatever, I just really liked the book.
I’m pretty good about getting my kids to say “thanks,” but I’m not too sure how I’m doing with helping them have actually grateful hearts. Thankfully, this book covers all that!
The thing I liked most about it is that this is not a book about parenting theory. This is a book filled with things you can do with your kids today and everyday. It is obvious from her writing that Welch is here in the thick of parenting with us, and she’s here to help us.
If you think your house needs a good decluttering, or you’ve noticed that your kids might be just a tad spoiled, this is the book for you.
The book that helped me be more patient
Title: Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses
Authors: Amber Lia, Wendy Speake
Details: Same Page Press, Feb 3, 2016
Length: 268 pages
My name is Kristin, and I struggle with anger. Thankfully, I am apparently not alone, since Lia and Speake wrote a whole book about how to Biblically deal with mom-anger.
The book is set up with daily readings, and there is a very helpful workbook that goes along with the text. I actually preferred the workbook to the book many times.
Word of warning: this book is very repetitive. Very. Repetitive.
I still read it all, mainly because I needed it. However, if you do not struggle with anger and you don’t need to hear about how to not be angry a dozen times, this is probably not the book for you.
Also, if this isn’t something you struggle with, come and teach me your calm-mama ways.
The book that equipped me to talk to my kids about money
Title: Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money
Authors: Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze
Details: Lampo Press, 2014
Length: 251 pages
I get a rush of late-90s nostalgia just thinking about the author of this last book. Dave Ramsey and his money tips have been around FOREVER. Back in the day my parents were on Dave’s plan, and my husband and I have read and implemented a lot of the budgeting and saving tips he gives in his many books. In this book, written with his daughter, they dive into how to teach your kids about money.
I learned so much! The book covers how to teach your child to save, how to become a generous family, and much more. Personally, I’m better at handling the kids whining at the store because of this book.
My oldest child was only 4 when I read this, but I still felt behind after reading the plans for teaching kids how to handle money. Your kids are never too young for you to read this book!
I know I’ll be even better next year.
A good self-help book equips you to change your behavior or thought patterns, and it makes you feel like the work to make the changes is worth it. These four definitely did that for me. If you are looking for a plan to step up your parenting, you should read all four of these great parenting guides!
Now, if only I could find a book to tackle my mom guilt, then maybe I could stop feeling like I need to read so many parenting books!