I just finished the Coffee and Crumbs podcast about Motherhood and Loneliness and I think most moms can relate to the loneliness and isolation of having children. It’s certainly taken me some time not to feel lonely, and I’m sure another season of loneliness could present itself in my future. I definitely see that as my children get older, there’s much more freedom to reach out to friends and create new ones. Last year, I was definitely in a season of loneliness because my husband was traveling so much that I felt I was barely keeping my head above water between work, children and everything in between.
At the beginning of this year, I realized something had to give and the something I needed was some more self care. I took some time to set some specific goals of what I wanted to re-cultivate in my life and reading was on the top of the list. Reading had always been a huge joy in my life until I had children and just couldn’t make the time for it so I decided to start a Book Club. While I wanted to make sure I read more, I also wanted some quality women to get to know and spend time with.
The reason I explain all this is because if you are feeling the same way, this might be the catalyst you need to take a step in self care and cultivating your curiosities. What do you love, what did you use to spend time on before a husband, a job, kids, etc? Are there some women you’ve met at the gym you go to, the grocery store, on your insta feed, your church that you’ve noticed but were too afraid to reach out to? You might be surprised to find out that every single woman you know is longing for some more friends too, but won’t make the first move. That was my discovery – all the women I reached out to wanted more time reading and more connections with women. In the end, we read one book a month. We drink wine and white claw and discuss the book about 5% of the time and chat about life and our kids and all the craziness that is motherhood about 95% of the time.
The funny thing is how this small goal has just ballooned and instead of one book a month, I’ve now read or listened to about 10 books this year and working on 11 and 12. Here’s some of the top non fiction books I’ve listen to that have also inspired me to take on some even bigger goals this year:
Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel G Amen, M.D. I am still listening to this one but hands down, everyone needs to read this book. Dr Amen is a Psychiatrist who looks at brain activity to help diagnose and correct physiological issues from depression to ADD. It is incredibly insightful and I think a pretty crucial book to read to understand anyone you might know who has these issues or who could be going through a life event that could cause these issues. He talks about the “normal” person and some of the phycological issues we all face and how to work on correcting your brain with different exercises. It is very scientific but the author does a good job putting in lots of patients stories to make it interesting.
My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carroll Campbell This is a beautiful memoir that any woman of any age can relate to. Colleen writes about her amazing life story and the struggles almost all women face and the challenges God places in our lives. Read this book and then pass it on to any woman you know who wants to grow spiritually!
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis If you need a kick in the pants, read this book. Rachel talks about everything and anything women struggle with and then gives some insightful and plain old tough love to combat the lies we tell ourselves. I thoroughly enjoyed this and it’s an easy read or listen. If you’re wanting to feel empowered, this is for you.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth This was an intriguing read about a scientific approach to understanding why some people have incredible perseverance or grit and other don’t. It’s pretty in-depth and a bit tedious, but very insightful.
Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley If you want a simple read with some simple, tangible take aways on how you can simplify life as a mom and give yourself some grace, this is a good read.
Tribes by Seth Godin If you are a leader or want to be a leader this is your book. An interesting take on why we all need to lead and why the world needs more leaders along with some ideas on how you can be a leader anywhere, anytime and for any reason.
For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn I really loved this book and there’s a companion book For Men Only that Shaunti suggests your spouse read (good luck with that one). Shaunti was writing a fiction book and didn’t know what thoughts to put in her male character’s head so what started as asking friends and her spouse became huge studies on males on how they prefer to be “loved” by their partners. There were some pretty eye opening ideas and insights.
So what are you currently reading that should be on my list?