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Happy Mother’s Day! Read These 3 Books on Modern Parenting

Happy Mother’s Day! Read These 3 Books on Modern Parenting

Whether you are a new mother or just want to support one you know, here are three books on navigating the difficult terrain of motherhood.


The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Success After Baby
By Lauren Smith Brody
375 pp. Anchor Books. (2017)

Brody surveyed hundreds of women to create this guide for women in the “fifth trimester,” which is what she calls the phase after maternity leave when new mothers are transitioning back into the workplace. She includes her findings and much of their advice in this accessible volume. Brody offers tips on finding and keeping a babysitter, getting through rough patches at the office and recommitting to your career. She also addresses issues of post-pregnancy beauty and body acceptance.


On Motherhood Before I Was Ready
By Meaghan O’Connell
241 pp. Little, Brown and Company. (2018)

In this philosophical and emotional exploration of motherhood, O’Connell discusses the identity shifting experience of becoming a mom. After she became accidentally pregnant in her twenties and found that there weren’t books that addressed her questions with candor, she decided to write her own. In one essay, she is specific about her time in the delivery room, in all its gore. O’Connell also addresses her complicated feelings about her unplanned parenthood, the politics of breast-feeding and the ways her relationship to her sexuality evolved.


Or, A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
63 pp. Knopf. (2017)

A few years ago, Adichie received a note from a childhood friend asking for advice on raising her daughter to be a feminist; she posted her reply to her Facebook page in 2016, and it’s replicated in this slim book. The text is predicated on the premise that Adichie argues is foundational to feminism: “I matter. I matter equally.” She urges her friend, Ijeawele, first, to “be a full person,” and then to teach her daughter to love books and dissociate her body and sexuality with shame. According to our reviewer, “Embedding us in the intimacy of a friendship, the prose makes reflections that might seem common sense in the abstract feel like discoveries.”

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