Becoming a mom is an exciting time and a learning experience for all!
On a hot August Thursday, I attended a work function where I feasted on a barbecue lunch and all the fixings while chatting with coworkers and friends and consuming at least a gallon of pink lemonade. I arrived home feeling unwell and at first chalked it up to just too much sugar.
But after doing some quick calculations, I took a pregnancy test.
Then I took two more.
In the thirty-minute span between being aghast at the two pink lines on all four tests and my husband’s arrival home from work, I exulted in the knowledge no one else knew except me and God: our first child was on the way.
I excitedly told my husband, and we immediately drove to Walmart to buy baby shoes and Baby Ruths with which to surprise my parents.
What I didn’t buy right away? Any parenting books! We already had a small collection of parenting books gathered over the years just awaiting the happy day when I’d find it relevant to read them. And in the months since, I’ve added to the stack.
Below you’ll find some of my favorites and best recommendations for books to read in the months before becoming a mom.
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Risen Motherhood by Emily Jensen & Laura Wifler
This is the first book I finished in the New Year and my favorite book on motherhood so far. Emily’s and Laura’s signature style spills over from their podcast to create this classic on biblical motherhood that will challenge and compel you to reframe your perspective on your days in light of the gospel of Christ.
Two things stand out to me about this book: its beauty and evergreen encouragement. You cannot turn a single page without enjoying the amazing artwork within the pages. I am an avid ebook reader, but I am so blessed to have received the hardback copy of this for Christmas. And I know the encouragement I found within these pages will have me keeping this book in the nursery, on the nightstand, for easy reference for years to come!
Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman
What does the gospel have to do with dishes and diapers?
This book, similar to Risen Motherhood in some ways, challenges me to take a step back from the mundane chores and tasks of homemaking and motherhood I anticipate with some fear and trepidation … and realize that service is simply another way I can nurture “glimpses of grace” in my home.
I highly recommend this book to all my fellow homemakers and mamas!
I heartily enjoyed listening to this audiobook and soaking in the reminders that suffering and service can contribute to a life of beauty and grace. Gloria Furman is one of my new favorite authors now. She speaks even more in this book about her husband’s health issues, how his diagnosis and their mission work has influenced their family life, and how she clings to Christ through it all.
Reading this book after Glimpses of Grace seemed to fit chronologically in the life of the author, so I recommend reading (or listening!) to them in that order, but both are also good stand-alones if one appeals more to your current season!
I’ve already mentioned I’m a huge fan of Gloria Furman. For my pregnant friends, the devotional-style Labor with Hope is on my must-read list! Gloria draws on her experiences as a volunteer doula, and I found this book stretched my understanding of what it means to give birth to the glory of God.
No one’s birth stories go quite as they planned (and I thought I didn’t even have much of a plan for mine!), but every mother in some way participates in the miracle of giving life. This short book encouraged me to look at an experience with new eyes.
The Most Important Place on Earth: What a Christian Home Looks Like and How to Build One by Robert Wolgemuth
This is the first book by Robert Wolgemuth (now-husband to Nancy Leigh DeMoss!) I’ve read, and his thoughtful and thorough approach to outlining the features of a Christian home impressed me. His storytelling style makes this book an easy read, and he strikes a good balance between conveying that committing our homes to Christ ought to be our first and foremost priority while also acknowledging a “Christian home” will look different for everyone.
I especially appreciated his practical tips, such as fostering communication with children, building trust, and honoring values.
When we lived in our first apartment and didn’t have a dining space, I remember longing for a table where my husband and I could sit across from each other and talk while we ate. But when we moved into our home and finally had the table I dreamed of, the habit of sitting in front of the TV screen to eat dinner was harder to break than I first thought!
I was a smidge intimidated by all the stats and data included The Tech-Wise Family, but that didn’t stop this numbers-shy girl from being influenced and challenged by this book! Even before we knew we were expecting our little girl, my husband and I started to implement strategies we learned from this book, starting with screen-free dinnertimes. We even moved our television (small as it is!) out of our living room and into a guest room and canceled our Netflix subscription.
But don’t let those seemingly “drastic measures” deter you from reading this compelling book. The author in no way spells out an action plan; rather he challenges readers to create their own family philosophy when it comes to technology. I enjoyed the author’s balanced approach to a tricky subject we’re still coming to terms with as a culture!
Leave a comment on my Facebook page with your own perspectives on these titles and/or the new-mother season. I’d love to hear your best advice for me!
All my best,
Rachelle Rea Cobb
Here at Club31Women, we recognize that not everyone has the same taste or point of view on books, music, or movies, but we offer these short reviews for your consideration. Our hope is that you will find something new and wonderful on this list of recommended resources!
~ Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women
Rachelle Rea Cobb is a freelance editor, an author of six books, and a voracious reader. She married a man with the same name as her first fictional hero, and they are now living their happily ever after with their baby daughter in a fixer-upper by the sea. She’s a fan of chai and lemonade (though definitely not together). You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and on her blog.