Here are a handful of books for the mother that won't only nourish her mind and soul, but also look great on her coffee table...
Madre. A collection of poems and drawings by Jessica Chapnik Kahn
A dear friend of mine lent me this beautiful book of poetry. I was stunned by how exquisite and sometimes painfully relatable every poem was. I thought, "Every mom needs this book so she doesn't feel alone..." So I ordered it online and had it sent to my other dear friend, a mama whose son was still an infant. For months I didn't have a copy of my own until that same mama friend surprised me by sending me a copy shortly after my second boy was born. Kahn's poetry is pure nectar from a mom who truly understands the depth of becoming a mom, and isn't afraid to show just how raw the experience is.
Like A Mother. A Feminist Journey Through the Culture and Science of Pregnancy by Angela Garbes
For a scientific, humorous and fascinating read on the physiology of a mother, this non-fiction book will grab anyone's attention on any given page.
Loving Hands. The Traditional Indian Art of Baby Massage by Frederick Leboyer
Baby massage is quite popular these days and you can find ways to do it online. But none of them match the expertise shown in Loving Hands by Frederick Leboyer. This is a unique step-by-step guide on how to give your baby a massage with a divine touch. The instructions are gently worded - almost like a visual meditation - and are accompanied by photographs of a beautiful Indian mother named Shantala and her baby boy.
Oneness and Separateness. From Infant to Individual by Louise J. Kaplan
This author brings us through the journey and stages of development an infant goes through in order to gain his/her individuality. In the beginning, the infant's entire being is ruled by the conception that he is not separate from his mother - he is his mother. How does he come to the conclusion that he's separate? This book brings light to such a topic in a way that puts the parent in a position of empathizing with their child's growth.
The Continuum Concept. Allowing Human Nature to Work Successfully by Jean Liedloff
Remind you of Maggie Gyllenhaal's uproarious character in Away We Go, where she plays a pretentious and ironically uptight New Age mother? Five year old at her breast, a bed the size of her entire room for all of her children and husband to sleep on until Kingdom come, and the sight of a stroller driving her up the wall... She's an exaggerated version of how a parent can obsess over "The Continuum Concept." I recommend this book with a grain of salt. It is a beautiful concept that makes perfect sense, but it's not for everyone, nor does it have to be. I tried wearing my first son, but he was either indifferent to the baby carrier or he absolutely detested it. By only two months of age, he actually preferred the stroller and looking outward. Yes, a part of me felt like I was "pushing my baby away," and I was nervous what other "conscious" mothers might think, but I eventually got over it and now I have a baby who prefers being worn. For an anthropological study, this book provides a lot of interesting discoveries about how tribal cultures raise their young.
What are some of your favorite mom-centered books?