07 February 2006

Favorite parenting reading

When my son was born, my life was bisected into seemingly unrelated halves: "before kids" and "after kids." More than six years into it, I can look back on my evolving life as a mother with some perspective, but during the early years, I often felt bewildered by my new role, and unsure where to turn for camaraderie. Reading didn't help much; I didn't see myself reflected in most of the parenting books or mags.

Since then, much has been written in print and on the Web about the realities of 'modern' parenting. A growing body of literature -- I include blogs here -- comforts and instructs parents, not by offering expert advice, but by providing a window into the real-life experiences of other parents.

Here are a few of my current favorites:

In print:

Online:

What parenting books/sites/blogs do you find yourself turning to again and again?

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During the first month of my daughter's life, I really enjoyed Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year. (I was already emotionally overwhelmed, so I laughed and cried throughout the whole book.)

I also really enjoyed Callie's Tally by Betsy Howie. (She keeps track of every baby-related dime she spends for an entire year... I really enjoyed the story told by the numbers, as well as her dithering over whether to "charge" her daughter for a particular expense. Fancy dress for baby -- no charge, that's for Mom's vanity. Weight Watchers -- charge!

Brooke Shield's Down Came the Rain was not a great read, but was a reassuring and honest look at post-partum depression.

For more spiritual reflection, I've enjoyed My Monastery is a Minivan by Denise Roy -- although it also makes me cry. (Motherhood has made me very sentimental...)

For fun vegging-out murder-mysteries, I like Ayalet Waldeman's Mommy-Track Mysteries and Jennifer Weiner's Little Earthquakes and Goodnight Nobody.

I of course like my own - FamilyResource.com

I just hired a full-time blogging mommy, so the blog should start to get much better.

http://www.familyresource.com/blog/

Without a doubt:

The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting

by Christie Mellor

Not for the earnest parent and completely devoid of preciousness. Hilarious and made me wish with each page that I could write half as well.

I second the Three Martini Platedate. I'd also recommend "The Mother Trip: Hip Mama's Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood" by Ariel Gore. I was thrilled to get her to sign my copy so I could tell her how much it meant to me and gave me hope.

blogs:
The venerable www.dooce.com
www.joyunexpected.com
www.daddytypes.com

I'll put in a third vote for the Three Martini Playdate.

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