Reading time’s a bit of a luxury when you’re a mum, right? But, whether it’s a grabbed five minutes while they hurl themselves round soft play or a decadent half-hour in bed on those days you’re not so tired you immediately pass out, burying your nose in a good book’s certainly more wholesome-feeling than scrolling through Insta.
But what are your best options when it comes to reading about all the joys, fears and foibles associated with motherhood? In my experience, it’s best to dodge all the dud advice manuals and instead go for the good-humoured, refreshingly honest stuff that will make you feel empowered rather than defeated.
Here are my top picks for books for mums that will make you laugh, cry and everything in-between.
What Mothers Do: especially when it looks like nothing by Naomi Stadlen
If you’re having one of those days when you feel like you’ve got nothing done, turn to this reassuring and uplifting book that serves as a welcome reminder of your worth as a mother.
Scummy Mummies by Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson
This hilarious book by the podcasting duo is filled with laugh out loud observations. The real-life ‘Scummy Mummy confessions’ especially are sure to have you howling – because, let’s face it, we’re all scummy, really.
The Unmumsy Mum by Unmumsy Mum
The Unmumsy Mum (aka Sarah Turner) was one of the first really successful mummy bloggers, and she writes eloquently and accessibly about her own motherhood journey here. Essential reading.
Things I Wish I’d Known: Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood edited by Victoria Young
This collection of essays is easy to dip in and out of and is full of heartfelt and hilarious real-life accounts of mothering on the front line.
Parenting The Sh*t Out Of Life: For people who happen to be parents (or might be soon) by Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka
There’s no way you’re not already familiar with Mother Pukka aka Anna Whitehouse, and this brilliant book perfectly showcases the same whip-smart humour and refreshing transparency that’s she’s become known for online.
Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood by Hollie McNish
Startlingly relatable and wonderfully written, this collection of poems beautifully captures the complex ups and downs of motherhood. This is probably my favourite book on the list.
You’re so Mummy by Alex Manson-Smith
Perfect for the days when its either laugh or cry, this incredibly well-observed book holds a mirror up to all the pitfalls we fall into as modern mums.
Hurrah for Gin: A book for perfectly imperfect parents by Katie Kirby
You’ve probably seen lots of Katie’s simple, sweary but on-point cartoons online already. The book collects them all together along with narration from Katie. Best read with a gin and tonic in hand (obviously).
How to be a Hip Mama Without Losing Your Cool by Jenny Scott
Featuring a ton of your favourite ‘Instamums’, this fun and stylish book contains plenty of inspiration around how to make sure you don’t lose yourself when you become a mum.
The Mother Book curated by Molly Gunn
You’ve no doubt got a FMLY Store tee hanging in your wardrobe, so why not buy the book too? Featuring the very best blog posts from the Selfish Mother community of writers (including a couple written by me), this hefty book covers a whole range of motherhood-related topics.