Reading definitely becomes a bit more complicated after you have kids. You basically become too exhausted to actually hold a book in front of your face for an extended period of time and there’s that small issue of when exactly do you find the time?
But, reading even just a few pages a day can be a great way to take a break from all the chaos and get that much-needed mental stimulation that seems to take a backseat with little ones running around. Making a simple and manageable reading goal — like 15 minutes or 10 pages a day — makes getting back into your bookworm habit slightly less complicated. And the payoff is tremendous.
Not only does reading open our minds and perspectives to things that are not in our immediate surroundings, but reading others’ experiences can also make us feel less isolated in our own.
Memoirs written by moms (sometimes referred to as mom-oirs) do just that. Reading about other women’s emotional strife and parenting epiphanies help us understand our own experiences and how to grow from them. The experiences of these women reflect our own and in reading their parenting-related hilarity, we can laugh at our own parenting and personal mishaps, knowing we’re not alone in our mistakes and missteps.
Here’s a selection of our favorite memoirs by moms – chosen by our editors and reader recommendations, too.
Author grew up in a literal mess with a hoarder mother and as soon as she could, she traded that life with her own of order, control, and white walls. But, her structure was thrown awry when she entered the chaos that is motherhood. It led her to dive into the lives of her own mother and grandmother, who had escaped the Holocaust years before. This book is a heartbreaking and humorous story of mothers and daughters and healing.
Shonda Rhimes is a truly brilliant woman and the mastermind behind amazingly complex and beloved female TV characters like Meredith Grey, Olivia Pope, and Annalise Keating. So, you'd likely never think of Rhimes of an introvert wary of public appearances. In this book, Rhimes chronicles the way saying "Yes" to the things that scared her changed her life, her family, and herself. This one will leave you feeling empowered and inspired.
If you're looking to laugh at your motherhood experiences instead of cringing, this books is for you. The four authors present solutions to common parenting problems in a truly hilarious and relatable way. You'll love knowing you're not alone in your most ridiculous parenting moments.
Anne Lamott is known for her honesty, humor, and ability to translate her personal experiences into deeply poignant yet relatable stories. This book is no different, and Lamott chronicles her first year of motherhood as a 35-year-old single mother and writer in an immensely meaningful way. As the Chicago Tribune noted, "Anyone who has ever had a hard time facing a perfectly ordinary day will identify."
Tina Fey's memoir is another hilarious one, obviously. And though it's about her life in general, she does share her experiences as a mother, from grappling with whether or not to have kids to grappling with whether or not to have a second. This book is the perfect light read.
Maya Angelou is a masterful storyteller and this book, one in a line of her many autobiographies, chronicles her relationship with her mother. Not only is this book beautifully written, but it's a true, heartwarming account of motherhood and daughterhood and all of the forgiveness that lies in-between.
When best-selling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a childhood friend asking for advice on how to raise a feminist daughter, Adichie responded with this book -- a powerful manifesto on what it means to raise a girl to be a strong, independent woman and how to do so in our current society.
When her two children were young, author Jennifer Finney Boylan came out as transgender and transitioned from man to woman and father to mother. Her family faced many challenges and questions, and this memoir is an exceptional reflection of what it means to be a mother or father and how gender shapes parenthood.