Traversing Motherhood: 7 Books Navigating Life as a Mom

Being a mom comes with a bounty of emotions, some of which we talk about and others of which we don’t. Here are seven books about navigating the completely normal ups and downs of motherhood so that all moms get the care and love they need and deserve.

Fiction Lifestyle Memoirs & Biographies Non-Fiction Poetry & Drama Recommendations Wellness
Book covers for The Sweetest Little Blueberry by Cheyenne Bluett, After Birth by Elisa Albert, and Little Earthquakes: A Memoir by Sarah Mandel are side by side on a white square on a beige background.

Whether you are a mom or know someone who is, you know that motherhood is a vast and rich adventure that never ends. Often, we hear about the wonders of motherhood, overlooking the fact that it is completely normal and okay for it to be both lovely and challenging, emotionally or physically rewarding and straining. Destigmatizing the conversation around Maternal Mental Health is crucial in providing mothers and their children with the support and love they need. So, here are seven books across different genres that begin the conversation around Maternal Mental Health, offering comfort through literature.

Memoirs and Nonfiction

Little Earthquakes: A Memoir by Sarah Mandel

Little Earthquakes: A Memoir by Sarah Mandel book cover. Yellow leaves on a blue background.
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As clinical psychologist Sarah Mandel gave birth to her second child, doctors discovered Stage Four cancer. In seconds, she went from welcoming the new baby and caring for her patients, a balancing act, to cancer treatments. Yet, just after three months, PET scans showed a healthy body with no trace of a fatal disease. Recovering from the emotional and physical whiplash of becoming a mother of two to a cancer patient, Mandel is unable to find solace in her remission, having just been given a terminal sentence. In this memoir, rich in healing, emotion, and truth, Sarah Mandel reflects on the narrative therapy she encourages for her patients, navigating her own trauma recovery with the same treatments she aids her patients’ pain with for years.

Mama, You Are Enough: How to Create Calm, Joy, and Confidence Within the Chaos of Motherhood by Claire Nicogossian

Mama, You Are Enough: How to Create Calm, Joy, and Confidence Within the Chaos of Motherhood by Claire Nicogossian book cover. a mom holds her baby, illustrated through multi-colored watercolor.
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Based on the trends she sees in mothers seeking her therapeutic guidance, Dr. Claire Nicogossian compiles realistic and practical tools and strategies to aid women in navigating the challenging emotions of motherhood. Combating the overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, anger, embarrassment, disgust, and more, Dr. Claire opens a doorway to healing, rediscovering confidence, happiness, and inner calm. Readers are provided with relatable experiences from Dr. Claire’s own family, as well as years of clinical psychology research, all to help them navigate modern motherhood with joy.

Novels

Back In Six Weeks by Sharon Gerdes

Back In Six Weeks by Sharon Gerdes book cover. A mom holds her baby against her arms.
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Inspired by actual events, Back In Six Weeks is set in the 1980s, when even less was known about perinatal mood disorders. Kate expertly juggles her dream career as a food scientist, her perfect pilot husband, and a family. Confident that she can return to work from her scheduled maternity leave for her second child, Kate’s plans are suddenly and unexpectedly derailed by Postpartum Psychosis. As she tries to get her life back on track, she’s fearful of losing everything she has and worked for.

After Birth by Elisa Albert

After Birth by Elisa Albert book cover. Two floral wallpapers, one in muted pastel colors and the other in bright red, rip to reveal one another.
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Both humorous and poignant, After Birth follows Ari, who is isolated and alone in a run-down New York town with her one-year-old. That is until Mina, pregnant with no one to help her, suddenly appears in Ari’s life. An unbreakable connection forms between the two as they traverse the bumpy terrain of new motherhood together. Speaking to friendship, history, and the politics of the body, this remarkable, groundbreaking novel is powerful and brutally honest.

Poetry

From One Mom to a Mother: Poetry & Momisms by Jessica Urlichs

From One Mom to a Mother: Poetry & Momisms by Jessica Urlichs book cover. A white circle on a pink background reveals a black and white illustration of a mother holding a baby.
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Jessica Urlichs writes breathtaking, honest poetry about the beauty and complexity of motherhood, opening up a safe space for all mothers on the postpartum journey. This book walks alongside you as you walk the path of parenting, encouraging self-discovery and nurturing an unyielding love for your children and family.

Dear Motherhood by Emma Heaphy

Dear Motherhood by Emma Heaphy book cover. The title and author name in black is set against a plain white background.
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In more than 100 heartful poems and romantic musings, Emma Heaphy connects to mothers around the world through her own unique experiences, speaking eloquently about the key phases and emotions of motherhood. Through these cordial and vulnerable poems, mothers are comforted, encouraged, and heard.

The Sweetest Little Blueberry by Cheyenne Bluett

The Sweetest Little Blueberry by Cheyenne Bluett book cover. A blue line drawing of a mother holding a baby is etched on a lighter blue background.
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For mothers with children of any age, The Sweetest Little Blueberry touches on all aspects of being a mom. It reflects on the insurmountable amount of love one feels for the first kicks of the baby, the tiny life created in a matter of months, and the years spent shaping a beautiful mind, as well as the sicknesses accompanying pregnancy, the fear of failure, postpartum depression, and adjusting to an enormous change. Cheyenne Bluett’s remarkable book serves as a reminder to moms that they are magical, loved, and celebrated.

In books, readers can find a home and solace within the words. No matter where you are in your journey, add these books to your TBR today!


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