After posting about my struggle with time (for art and creativity) I heard so many of you have similar issues. So, I thought I’d share some of what I consider the best parenting books out there on slowing down and connecting better.
Not that books will solve everyone’s problems. But there’s a lot of perspective and wisdom to be found in books sometimes, and in these books in particular.
These books are not about doing more in order to raise kids who will get into Harvard or be the next president. And conversely, they don’t say we should all eschew society and live in a cabin in the woods.
These are books about parenting in the 21st century. They give us the tools to shape our parenting style, home, and time together intentionally. They are thought provoking and require some work, but it’s worth it, right?
I’ll list the books, expand on each below, and I hope you’ll add your faves in the comments, too.
P.S. In case you missed it, here’s my post on 7 Ways to Fit Art in When You Don’t Have the Time.
This list of books I’m sharing has nothing to do with art. If you want to make more time in your family’s life for art and creativity, they can help. But they can also make more time in your family for life and for the things and experiences that matter most to you.
The Best Parenting Books for Connecting, Simplifying & Making Time
- Hands Free Mama and Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford
- Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (not a parenting book, but relevant to finding time and space in our life for what matters)
If you’re like me, you probably have a stack of books to read and don’t necessarily need more book recommendations.
But if you feel like your home and family life is out of balance, it might be worth picking up one of these books, letting the ideas percolate, and implementing the ones that make sense for you and your family.
Space to Read
You can fit your reading into any time that you have—at breakfast, while nursing the baby, in the car line, before bed.
I’ve been reading bite-sized chunks of Hands Free Life in the car line and feel like it sets the whole tone for how I interact with the kids after school.
Many of these are even available as audio books, so you can listen to them in the car or while you are washing dishes and folding laundry.
If your house is cluttered and the clutter is preventing you from living the life you want to live because it’s taking up time, space, and energy and causing frustration, then I highly recommend Marie Kondo’s book ::
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
If you, as a parent, are too busy and over committed, and feel like it’s affecting the quality of your life and your family’s life, I can’t recommend Rachel Macy Stafford’s books enough for helping you re-prioritize and focus on what matters when it matters. And really connecting.
- Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters
- Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Disctraction, Living Better, and Loving More
If you want to be more intentional about how you shape your child’s day, schedule, and space, Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne is awesome. Subtitled Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. Its message is aimed at creating a foundation for younger families.
Free Resources for Intentional Family Living
- Abundant Mama (Shawn Fink’s website on creating balance in your life)
- 100 Ways to Be Kind to Your Child (a blog post and a poster by Alissa Marquess of Creative with Kids )
- Becoming Minimalist (Joshua Becker’s website on simplifying; he is also the author of Simplify and Clutterfree with Kids)
- Raising Playful Tots (website and podcast by Melitsa on simple play and simple parenting)
Anything to add? If you have a favorite book or resource that is relevant please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about more books about creating time and space in our lives for what matters.
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