As a new mom, my favorite books were not instruction manuals or sleep guides. Though these came in handy, the ones that I needed most and resonated with most were ones about the history of parenting (bottom line: you’re doing good) and raising kids the French way. They didn’t necessarily shape my own parenting practices but they reminded me that I was normal and tired and doing a pretty good job.
The Magic of Motherhood is a compilation of essays by the team at the collaborative mothering blog, Coffee + Crumbs. I’ve clicked over to this website a few times and I like the honest, chatty style. The authors do a good job of normalizing motherhood and reminding women that this is a tough road without much instruction. And that’s part of the magic.
Most of these essays focus on the little years. A few touch on the shift to mothering tweens, but most of the contributors are in the infant to early elementary school years. They are messy and emerging from sleep deprivation and close enough to the newborn years to not romanticize their sweetness.
Some essays were heartbreaking, of loss and infertility and navigating diagnoses. Others were funny and filled with wry observations of life with crazy small humans. My favorites were the ones in which I found myself nodding along. The one in which a stroller careened down a hill toward the river, babies strapped in, mom racing behind. I’ve never experienced this exact story but that feeling of, WHAT have I just done?! has definitely defined more days than I’d like to admit. Or the essay that reminded me that my husband and I really are in this together, even when we feel like ships passing in the night.
I think, as moms (both new and seasoned) we need to remember that there are more me too moments than we realize as this collection reminds me that I’m not alone and that I’m doing a pretty good job.
With Mother’s Day coming up next weekend, I’d highly recommend The Magic of Motherhood to a new mom in your life. I already know I’m gifting my copy to a friend celebrating her first mother’s day. I know she’ll laugh along and appreciate these essays as much as I did.
What is your favorite parenting book? How do you remember that you are not alone on this journey?