What to Read When You’re Expecting

This is a guest post by Christy Childers. Christy is a writer obsessed with books, travel, British television, & superheroes. She writes postcards to authors every week on her tumblr: http://postcardstoauthors.tumblr.com. Follow her on Twitter @childerschristy.

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My sister just had a baby. As it turns out, having a baby is kind of stressful. She faced her pregnancy & those early days of babyhood the same way we bookish types face all life-changing events… with a pile of books by her bed. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good book makes everything better. So whether you’re looking for information, distraction, or just a reminder that the insanity won’t last for ever, these 5 books are for you, new moms. It’s all going to be ok.

The Diary of an Honest Mum by Jools Oliver

Jools Oliver is the wife of the popular British chef Jamie Oliver, & they have four kids. The Diary of an Honest mum is a down-to-earth, chatty memoir of motherhood in England.

I remember watching Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef back when he was just a cheeky guy cooking in his flat & dating this girl named Jools, & I’m still just as fascinated by their lives today.

By the way, their kids are named Buddy, Daisy, Poppy, & Petal Blossom. Beat that, baby namers.

Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella is also British, & one of my favorite comic novelists. Shopaholic & Baby is great for those moments when you need something simple & funny to read. Who doesn’t need a good laugh now & then? Any of Sophie Kinsella’s novels are a great distraction for even the most sleep-deprived.

Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa Jo-Baker

Lisa Jo-Baker was a lawyer who was busy traveling the world. Her own mom had died of cancer when she was still young, & she had decided motherhood just wasn’t for her. Then she had kids. In Surprised by Motherhood she tells her story of becoming a parent & discovering “everything I never expected about being a mom.”

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan has 5 kids, and he uses them to great comic effect. Dad is Fat is for those moments when you are forgetting to find the ridiculousness of new parenthood funny, & you just need a little reminder. It’s full of short entries that could be read in the snatches of time between baby craziness. Here’s what he has to say about babies: “They are the worst roommates. Like if you had a roommate that did one of the things a newborn does, you’d be like, ‘You’re moving out.’”

Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott

If you’ve read and loved Bird by Bird, Stitches, or any of Anne Lamott’s great non-fiction, you’ll love this story of the first year of her son’s life. If you’ve never read Anne Lamott? Welcome. You’ll love her. She is a truth teller with a great sense of humor. It’s great to watch her tackle her first year as a mom, with all her trademark insights.

So the next time you’re at the bookstore or the library picking up the latest How To Parent books (like Babyhood, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, or the awesomely titled Secrets of the Baby Whisperer), maybe pick up a few of these too. Stick them on your nightstand to keep you company in the middle of the night.

Any that I’m missing? What books have made you laugh & feel less alone as a new mom?

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