12-09-2020 06:41 AM
Hi everyone, I hope this post isn't miscategorized. I'm wondering if any moms on here would have book recommendations to share. As we all know, becoming a mother isn't only one of the most stressful experiences a woman might go through because of the physical and emotional toll it takes, but also because of the blow that it can deliver to a woman's own personal identity.
My wife and I have a 2-year old, and we're doing great relatively speaking, but during these past 2 years my wife's life has really changed in ways neither one of us could have imagined. She's gone from a degreed journalist/writer to becoming a now a stay-home mom, and all of the dynamics surrounding her life have drastically changed (socially, physically, and even intimacy is now a challenge).
Almost everything is about our baby - and while that's a good thing in ways for baby's development, I'd like to buy my wife a book (ideally an audiobook) that focuses on these changes that almost every mother goes through and how to manage/deal with it all. Basically looking for something that she can tune into for X minutes or so everyday day where she focuses on her own growth, listens to other moms' experiences dealing with how motherhood has affected their own self-identities, the dreams and even career ambitions that were recently at her fingertips, and how to not lose grip of those things, maybe even to develop strategies to better incorporate her own personal passions back into her daily life, even with a tazmanian devil running around the house.
I've read a little about "The 7 stages of motherhood" by Ann Pleshette Murphy, and while it seems like something she would enjoy, it appears to be more focused on, well, motherhood, which I think would be healthy for my wife to sometimes be able to set aside as not the only thing that makes her who she is...
TLDR: any book recommendations for a newish mother that focuses inwardly on herself, her own growth, rather than that of our little munchkin?
12-09-2020 03:10 PM
Hello @aCluelessDad , just thought I would pop in and offer some advice whilst waiting for some support from other members. Whilst I don't exactly have any recommendations of my own, I have had a look and found some books that are recommended (they may not be available as audiobooks though - sorry!). I found an article that recommends "The Brave Art of Motherhood: Fight Fear, Gain Confidence, and Find Yourself Again" by Rachel Marie Martin, and another recommendation of "The Magic of Motherhood" by Ashlee Gadd. Hopefully they are helpful.
I also think it might be helpful for your wife to talk with a professional about what is she is going through and how she is feeling. Talking with a psychologist or counsellor about some of the things that you mentioned such as her dreams and career ambitions and developing strategies to incorporate activities that she enjoys back into her life might be really helpful for your wife. I am not sure about what telephone or local counselling services are available in your area, but it might be worth looking into if your wife is interested
12-10-2020 01:32 AM
Welcome to our parenting forum. I have a 16 year old son and 14 year old daughter but I was reading a Facebook post from a younger friend talking about juggling her 2 year old and baby and just trying to get enough sleep, and I remember those days well. I am a writer/marketing manager so am probably a similar personality type to your wife. I know myself that I get immersed in my writing and research and what I'm doing and can find it hard to balance more than one thing art a time. It is hard to wear all the different hats you have as a parent and it can be frustrating and difficult if you like to focus more deeply and not have your attention scattered everywhere.
Before I touch on possible book recommendations, I'd suggest ways of connecting with your wife like the three of you going for a walk. Do you each have a time each week where you can do something for yourself by yourself? She might like to go for a walk or run by herself or for a coffee with a friend without your son in tow. I don't know if you have someone who could mind your son, even for long enough for you to go out for coffee for an hour so you can chat. However, snatching some together time would help you to reconnect.
A book I really love is Khalil Gibran: "The Prophet" and he addresses universal themes of life such as marriage, the family, love. Here's a quote:
"Love one another, but do not make a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls".
I would encourage you to ask her how she is going , and if she starts talking about your son, gently guide her back to herself.
Lastly, after having kids, I think for me in hindsight, there's a need to forge a new identity, that takes forward some of the things from before kids but also acknowledges how much has changed. There is no going back.
Another suggestion I would make, is that you give her a blank notebook and a pen for her to write. However, that might lead to her spending that time alone than with you but it would acknowledge the writer within. I have loads of blank journals and keep buying them.
I hope that helps and a bit of romance never goes astray either.