5 Self Help Books For Mums Which Actually Work
Because if we’re carving out some precious time to read a self help book, it better be bloody miraculous hadn’t it?
I was out with a few of my mates on Saturday night. We wore approximately seven layers each and still sat shivering as we ate our pizza and necked the G and T’s. When Mums manage to get babysitters, they don’t let a bit of freezing northeast wind and rain deter them from a night on the razz.
The four of us are all at different stages of life. Our circumstances are quite different. But on Sunday morning as I lay in bed (hangover free remarkably) thinking about our conversations from the night before; it occurred to me that all of us are frazzled, knackered, stressed to bits. Whether we’re married or single, skint or well-off, one kid or loads of the little blighters… we’re all feeling that life is just, well, a bit much.
I started to think about all the other ‘Mum’ friends in my life and realised that yes; they’re all frazzled, knackered and stressed too.
It’s a hard pill to swallow that lots of women spend their twenties and thirties longing for children, excitedly imagining how blissful it will be. Then those same women often spend their thirties and forties in a whirlwind of overwhelming, frantic busyness. The realisation that we not only don’t want to live like this, but that our health can’t cope with it either; has led to a slew of new self help book releases aimed at that very demographic: the overwhelmed working Mum.
Now I know what you’re thinking. How would I even have time to read one of these self help books for Mums !? And how could they help me personally? I read ‘The Secret’ back in the day when it was all the rage and I have to admit it went right over my head. I don’t particularly subscribe to the whole law of attraction theory or the if you want something enough it will happen school of thought. I like self help books that offer practical ‘do this and this will happen‘ logic. With that in mind, I have listed five self help books for Mums (although you don’t actually need to be a Mum to find benefit in these books) that might be worth investing a little bit of your time in. You might find that they actually save you time, save you money, and save you a whole lot of stress, in the long run.
I read this last summer when I first launched this website, whilst simultaneously juggling childcare, posting out hundreds of The Good Thing Is Though merchandise and trying to move my fitness business online. Having listened to Annie’s podcast The Robora, I knew it would be full of great money-making, time-saving tips. It covers everything from the practical stuff like childcare options, benefits and financial support to the softer but essential things, like how to talk to your partner or family about how they can support you. The book is broken down into short, easy to digest sections so you don’t feel overloaded with information.
- Do what you love, love what you do: The empowering secrets to turn your passion into profit by Holly Tucker
Now I have to confess: I haven’t gotten round to reading this one yet! It’s next on my list I promise. I have high hopes for it as I’m a big fan of Tucker. An inspirational woman who set up Not On The High Street as a true ‘kitchen table business’ and nearly went bankrupt in the process. She featured as a guest on one of my favourite podcasts, Happy Place last year and she really is the type of person who makes you aspire to more. If you’re already self-employed or dreaming of making the leap to turn your side-hustle into your full time career, this book aims to give you the fire in your belly to make it a success, whilst keeping your sanity too.
- The Little Book of Calm by Paul Wilson
A good friend of mine sent me this book as a gift when I was feeling particularly stressed and that the work-life balance was way out of whack. It’s less of a self help book for Mums, more of a waft of sunshine for everyone. It’s a tiny little handbag sized book and I can’t recommend it highly enough for it’s instant hit of calm. Perfect for busy people, it offers quick and effective tips to relieve stress and anxiety. Pick it up in the morning if you’re feeling down or unsure and this book will give you perspective, clarity and confidence for the day ahead.
- The joy of being selfish: Why you need boundaries and how to set them by Michelle Elman
This book title spoke volumes to me and I couldn’t resist downloading it as an audiobook which I’m currently loving. Women in their thirties and forties are more prone to stress because they’re often juggling so many roles; parent, primary carer, carer to elderly parents, homemaker/cook/cleaner/packed lunch maker in chief, sometimes breadwinner. This self help book demonstrates how all those roles bleed into one, how boundaries become blurred, and how we need to stop saying yes to absolutely everything. Especially things which are going to bring nothing but stress into our lives! It will resonate with all the people pleasers out there… at times it feels like Elman has a hidden camera in your house. I’m already putting her advice into practice and reaping the benefits.
- If in doubt, wash your hair: A manual for life by Anya Hindmarsh
I was given quite similar advice to this by my Mam when I was heartbroken by the split with my first serious boyfriend. A little bit old school yes, but there’s some truth in the idea that a hair wash (followed by a walk down to the seafront for me) can do wonders for your mood. I’ve just downloaded this one and I can’t wait to dive in. The reviews tell me that it’s packed with tips to lead a happier life, to help manage the juggle of motherhood and career, and importantly how you can be successful and nice at the same time. I also spotted a review in The Telegraph which said it had lashings of humility but zero psychobabble. That’s a big tick in my (straight-talking self help) book!