Top Personal Development Books for Moms

Development Books

As a mom, you take good care of your family, but is someone taking good care of you? I hope the answer is yes, and I hope that the person taking good care of you is you. You can’t be the best mother or partner you can be if you don’t make your well-being, happiness and self-fulfillment a top priority.

There are many wonderful books in the field, but here are some of the top personal development books for moms, in no particular order, covering topics of interest to mothers including happiness, confidence, work-life balance, time management, and staying sane.

Time Management Mama: Making Use of the Margins to Pursue your Passions
by Sarah Korhnak and Beth Anne Schwamberger

If you’re trying to pursue your dreams while raising children, you’ve probably run into challenges of finding the time and making everything fit into just 24 hours. This upbeat, practical book has a ton of actionable advice and it’s based on the philosophy that if you manage your time well in one area of your life, that will affect the other areas, too.

Sample chapters:
“How to Turn the Dreaded To Do List Into A Delight!”
“Why Habits aren’t Just for Nuns”
“Teach your Inbox to Sit, Lie Down, Roll Over”

Mojo Mom: Nurturing Your Self While Raising a Family
by Amy Tiemann

This book says it will help answer the question Who Am I Now that I’m A Mom? Tiemann, who holds a PhD in Neurosciences from Stanford, gives advice on how to take care of yourself without being (or feeling) selfish and enjoy your time as a mother.

Sample chapters:
“Am I Just Being Selfish? Letting Go of Guilt, Worry, and Anxiety”
“Daddies as Mojo Partners”
“Spreading Your Wings: Mothers as Leaders”

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin goes through month by month focusing on a different strategy to increase her happiness over the course of a year in this real-life experiment she dubbed the “Happiness Project.” You’re invited to join in the project, too.

Sample chapters:
“February: Remember Love”
“June: Make Time for Friends”
“November: Keep a Contented Heart”
From Frazzled to Focused: The Ultimate Guide for Moms Who Want to Reclaim Their Time, Their Sanity and Their Lives
by Rivka Caroline

Rivka Caroline knows what she’s talking about, being the mother of seven children. She shares her hard-won advice on streamlining and systematizing so you can save time – and your sanity – in this practical and witty book.

Sample chapters:
“Free Your Mind: Loving the More Organized You”
“Clearing Out the Clutter: Streamline Your Home Your Head”
“Systematizing Daily Tasks Routines: Let Your Systems Do Your Thinking”

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
by Dr. Laura Markham

The only parenting how-to book on this list, this guide looks at how parents can forge an emotional connection with their children that’s good for everyone. Even if you’re not a yeller, there’s plenty in here to show you the how and why of being a peaceful and supportive parent.

Sample chapters:
“The Essential Ingredient for Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids”
“Raising a Child Who Wants to Behave: Dare Not to Discipline”
“Raising a Child Who Achieves with Joy and Self-Esteem: Mastery Coaching”

I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time
by Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam, who has written other books on time management and success, divides this book into three sections, Work, Home and Self, and talks about success within each realm and how to balance the three together. She illustrates her points with many real-life examples and is sure to inspire you to look at how you manage your time more closely.

Sample chapters:
“Make Success Possible” (in the section on Work)
“Be There” (in the section on Home)
“Master the Tiles” (in the section on Self)

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance What Women Should Know
by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Confidence is something many women struggle with, and that’s what the authors address here in this science- and research-heavy book. While there’s a lot here for women in the corporate world who are competing with men, all women can learn a lot from this look at what confidence really is and how to increase it.

Sample chapters:
“It’s Not Enough to Be Good”
“’Dumb Ugly Bitches’ and Other Reasons Women Have Less Confidence”
“Failing Fast and Other Confidence-Boosting Habits”
The Mothers Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life
by Renée Peterson Trudeau

This short book goes month-by-month through the year, taking you on a journey of rediscovery by going deep into topics of creating a support system, creativity, spirituality and more. You’ll also find journaling exercises and more to get hands-on. The focus is on taking care of yourself so you can be the mom that you want to – and can – be.

Sample chapters:
“The Transformative Power of Self-Care”
“Let Your Light Shine: Owning Your Personal Power”
“Being Present and Remembering What Really Matters”

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think Your’e Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
by Brene Brown

Brene Brown has been making a name for herself in the realm of courage and belonging. This book from 2010 looks instead at how you can still feel worthy even though you’re not “perfect.” She takes you through 10 “guideposts” that go through topics like feeling compassion for yourself, forgiving yourself, and avoiding perfectionism.

Sample chapters:
“Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think”
“Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness”
“Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and ‘Always in Control’”

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg

COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandburg got a lot support and a lot of detraction for this 2013 book on women, work and leadership. Though not specifically written for moms, there’s a lot in here about motherhood and work, and how balance isn’t always possible.

Sample chapters:
“Success and Likeability”
“Seek and Speak Your Truth”
“Don’t Leave Before You Leave”

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