Mommyish Gift Guide: 6 Books For New Moms That Aren’t Parenting Manuals

Book are great gifts – especially for women who may be staying home a little more and up odd hours with children. If you actually find the time to read as a new mom – the last thing you want to read are parenting books, am I right? Here are a list of books for a new mom that will make her laugh – or give her a little escape. You’ll notice that most of them are essays or collections of short stories. There’s a reason for that. A new mom will know what that is.

1. How To Be A Woman,  by Caitlan Moran


Reading this book is like reading your best friend’s diary. She’s funny, self-deprecating in a good way and her parenting tales are relatable.

2. Bossypants by Tina Fey


I’m a huge Tina Fey fan, but you don’t have to be to enjoy this book. Her anecdotes are totally relatable. Again, short stories – so easy for a new mom to grab and get a quick laugh without needing to follow and remember some massive storyline.

3. I Like You: Hospitality Under The Influence by Amy Sedaris


First of all, this is not for Martha Stewart wanna-be’s – this is for people who want to laugh their asses off. What new mom doesn’t need that? Yes, you can effectively put together a quirky party after reading it – but it is so entertaining you may forget about that all together. It will also provide some levity for the new mom who is used to entertaining and may need to take a little hiatus because of all of her extra responsibility (you know, because of the whole keeping-a-human-alive-for-the-first-time thing.)

4. B by Sarah Kay


This is a poem. Here is an excerpt:

She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.

This is a beautiful poem about motherhood and life; “Originally written in 2007, ”B” is a thank you note, a love letter, a wish, a promise, a confession, and a secret.”

5. The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho


This is not short stories and it’s not comedy; it’s kind of hard to sum up what it is. I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book – I really couldn’t count. Every time I read it, I get something new out of it. It’s about life, struggle, challenges and it has this really beautiful mystical side to it. I sort of consider Mr. Coelho to be my own, personal spiritual teacher. That may sound weird, but that’s how deeply this book affects me. I always give it to friends going through pivotal times in their lives – and new motherhood definitely counts. I guess it could be considered “religious” – but I’m not and I loved it.

6. Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott


Anne Lamott chronicles the first year in her son’s life – so I guess this may sound like a parenting manual of some sort, but it’s not just that. It’s beautifully written and full of hope and there is just something so real about her story – it’s hard to put down. Any woman struggling to find her footing as a new mom will love having Anne by her side. Honestly.

(photo: Getty Images)

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