3 Books Every Christian Mom Should Read

books mom should read

books mom should readIf you’ve been around the blog for long, you’ll know I love to read. My ideal way to spend an afternoon is curled up with a warm beverage and this month’s book club pick, and I wish my favorite fictional characters could be my real life friends.

As a mom, I tend to have a love/hate relationship with books on motherhood. Often, books written for women/moms can tend to be more fluff and less substance. Since I’m a working mom with two toddlers 3-and-under, time for reading is a prized commodity, and I want to spend my time on something that’s going to be impactful and “meaty.” With that said, there have been a few books about motherhood that have made a lasting impression on me, and to which I return often for a renewed perspective or encouragement. Here are 3 books I think every Christian mom should read:

  1. Beyond Bath Time: Embracing Motherhood as a Sacred Role by Erin Davis. Beyond Bath Time is a great book for new moms. I read this book within the first few months of having my first child, and it helped me to embrace my calling as a mother. When I got pregnant, I struggled with how motherhood would limit my ability to use my gifts and education in a way that would be fulfilling to me. Beyond Bath Time helps moms recognize the importance motherhood plays in the kingdom of God, and it gave me a newfound perspective for seeing my children as my mission field.
  2. Treasuring Christ when Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman. I first read Treasuring Christ when we had our second child. If you’re a mom, you know that going from one kid to two is one of the hardest transitions in parenting. Not to mention, our daughter was just turning two years old, so we had two kids 2-and-under. I was in the trenches of diapers, night-time waking, breastfeeding and postpartum depression while also moving with a newborn and a toddler. I was overwhelmed, and Treasuring Christ provided such rich, gospel-centered truth to keep my eyes pointed towards Christ when everything around me felt chaotic. It also helped me to identify my life-verse for motherhood, 2 Corinthians 9:8, And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. Motherhood is a good workand God’s grace abounds to us moms so that we may abound in our mothering. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
  3. Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. If you didn’t know this already, I have a strong-willed kid. She is both a delight and a challenge. After reaching my wits’ end with her one day, I reached out to friends on Facebook for advice and this book was overwhelmingly recommended to me. After reading it myself, I wholeheartedly agree this is a must-read for moms, especially if you have a strong-willed little one.

I am constantly seeking wisdom and grace on this motherhood journey, and these books have been a source of both for me. What books about motherhood have made a big impact on you?

What I Learned When My Strong-Willed Kid was Kicked Out of Daycare

What I learned when my strong willed kid was kicked out of daycare

 

What I learned when my strong-willed kid was kicked out of daycare

As a working mom, choosing childcare is probably one of the most important, if not THE most important, decisions you make when returning to work. From nannies to mother’s day out programs, finding the situation that offers the right fit for your family can be a daunting, frustrating and exhausting search. I appreciate Metro Family Magazine‘s breakdown of childcare options for closely looking at the pros and cons for each different childcare situation.

When I returned to work last summer, we were able to put our children in an intimate, in-home childcare setting. They shared the home with two other children in the beginning (the caregiver’s children), and a third child was added a few months later. They were able to stay in their PJs if they wanted to, they had the nurture and informality of a home environment. Their caregiver read stories and made crafts with them. It was a (seemingly) perfect setup.

My strong-willed kid struggled with the new daycare situation. She experienced several changes in the span of about six months: she got a younger brother, we moved cities and mom went back to work for the first time since she was born. Not to mention, she was developmentally entering the threes – which is notoriously worse than the terrible twos. Her emotions often overwhelm her and she reacts as a strong-willed, emotionally-immature toddler normally reacts. She’s not violent or aggressive. She just has big feelings that she doesn’t always know how to process without the right hand caring for her and guiding her.

We knew she was struggling, but we didn’t think it was that bad. We would regularly get reports from our daycare provider that she had a “rough” day, she had trouble listening or didn’t play well with the other kids, but we never thought it was an expellable offense. Which is why it was like a bomb drop when we were told our childcare contract was terminated because of her strong-willed behavior.

When I had to sign the termination agreement, my heart sank. If you’ve ever had a child who’s been kicked out of anything – school, daycare or whatever – I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thoughts I did. What am I doing wrong?  What is wrong with my child? Wrong was the word that kept coming to mind. There must be something wrong with her. There must be something wrong with our parenting. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I was an emotional wreck that night. I just knew somehow we had failed our daughter. She was only 3, but yet somehow we had already broken her irreparably because she was being kicked out of daycare at 3 years old.

Over the last month since our strong-willed kid was kicked out daycare, we’ve had lots of discussions evaluating what our priorities are and whether we are making the best decisions for our family. We even discussed that I would quit work and return to staying at home. However, we found a solution that we are confident will be a good fit for everyone. Through the recommendation of a high school friend who is also a Childcare Director, we found a church Child Development Center which actually had immediate openings for both of our kiddos.

Today, our children start their new “school.” I’m nervous and excited for them. I want them to enjoy it and to thrive. I’m praying for good things to come from this new situation. So much of the last month has been filled with doubt and fear, wondering if we’re failing at this parenting thing and if we’re doing what’s best for our family. As I’ve been praying through this situation over the last few weeks, God brought me to Psalm 56 in my quiet time, and verse 9 leaped into my heart: “This I know, that God is for me.” Realizing that God is for you is the antidote to fear. Knowing that God is for me calms my anxious thoughts. Realizing that God is for my children gives me peace about today.

That is my biggest takeaway from this parenting crisis. God is for my children, and he loves them even more than I do. He created them and he gave them each their unique personality, including my daughter’s strong will. I’m thankful for the blessing of knowing them and parenting them.

Have you ever faced a parenting crisis?

 

 

 

A word about perspective

Last week, I went to get a haircut at a new salon with a new stylist. The appointment was well-timed, for we had just received some difficult news and I needed some time to relax. (An aside: there are few things as relaxing to me as having someone else wash my hair, especially since my hair is unusually thick and, as a mom of two littles, I spend a good amount of time washing two little humans’ heads along with my own.)

Anyway, as my new stylist was getting to know me, I told him about how timely this appointment was because of the nature of the week I had been having. I told him about the difficult news we had received, and that it was related to my daughter’s strong-willed behavioral challenges.

His response? “Well, one day she might rule the world.”

Oh, how I needed that. Often, when I’m in the trenches of parenting a strong-willed child, I’m met with well-meaning pieces of advice or expressions of sympathy, which all have their places and for which I am grateful.

However, his comment reminded me that her strong will is a gift and God can and will do mighty things through her. His perspective breathed life into me in a moment when I needed a reminder of God’s wisdom and presence in the midst of difficulty.

So, as we continue to navigate the often murky waters of parenting a terribly terrific toddler, I’m holding fast to this: though she be but little, she is fierce, and one day she might rule the world. And I’ll be cheering her on every step of the way.