Whole Parenting Family

Mom Who Reads Self-Help Books


I’m an English major with a creative writing emphasis. And a lawyer. {and new hair!!}

But all I want to read is behavioral psychology and child-rearing books. And self-help. Didn’t I write about this last year?

I guess you can say it’s diversified? It used to be all Sharon Olds poems, and then all SCOTUS decisions {RIP, Scalia!}. Now it’s all Dr. Sears.

Colleen asked what I’m reading now and I took this selfie. Yes, an English major said “selfie.” {{hides face in shame}} And yes, sometimes your almost four year old girl needs to be calmed down by carrying her in the carrier the tot won’t even go in anymore!


// Better than Before //

I LOVE GRETCHEN RUBIN. Gretchen, if you somehow read this late one night when you’re scrolling trackbacks to your blog, know you have a real fan over here. Love all your books. This one is all about identifying how we make decisions, and then how those form into habits. And how to make new habits.

// The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up //

Marie Kondo. Admittedly, there are some very odd parts to this. I don’t agree with the extreme anthropomorphism of personal belongings. It does not resonate with me. But I do agree that one must be merciless and detailed when examining whether or not our closets, attics, and wardrobes really need to bulge at the hinges. It’s a quick read and helpful if you’re on the cusps of decluttering.

// The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grownups //

My mom ordered this and I’m up next in the reading queue.

// Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World //

I follow Kristin on social media and ordered this. Can’t wait to read it even though we aren’t in the normal school system (which I’m sure exacerbates a lot of this “i want because so and so has it”) as we will be next year! My kids are really privileged in their comfortable beautiful home and tons of adults who love them very actively! They’re blessed beyond measure. I want to drive home gratitude. Looking forward to reading it!

// Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting //

This is written by my dear friend Laura Kelly Fanucci. I have already read it once but really need to read it again as I’m trying to recenter a bit as a mother.

// The Bible //

Nancy & Laura & I wrote this Lenten Christian Mama’s scripture study. And I’m reading the Bible! And loving it. I have been curling up early to scan the short verses we picked for the week days.

waiting in the word

What are you reading? Hit me with it!


amazon links to books!


  1. Sterling on February 17, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Just finished Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine. I enjoy reading about how she balances faith, homeschooling and running an online business.

    I’m just about to start Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Divine Mercy for Moms by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet!

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for the recs!

  2. Annie on February 17, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE self-help books. Embarrassingly so. 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      hahaha me too!

  3. ashley.elise on February 17, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I’m currently (slowly) reading “The Temperament God Gave Your Kids” by Art & Laraine Bennett. Hoping to find some help in understanding why my three year old and I push each others’ buttons in a way that doesn’t happen (yet?) with my 5 & 2 year olds!

    Last year I read “Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children” by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman. Great summaries of new/recent research in various areas including self-esteem, memory, sleep, etc. It wins so far for best child psychology/parenting self-help type book I’ve read.

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      OOH! That latter one looks amazing!

    • AnneMarie on February 17, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Ashley, I haven’t read the book tailored towards kids’ temperaments, but I have read “The Temperament God Gave You” multiple times-for me, it was so helpful in learning how to relate to other people! I think learning about the temperaments did a lot to help me become a more peaceful, mediator-type person, because I could see that, “Oh, maybe that person is super argumentative not to be a jerk, but because he’s choleric and that’s how he gets energized” and stuff like that. I’m sure the book you’re reading will do you and your family loads of good!!!

  4. Amy A. on February 17, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Have you read any Brene Brown? I read I Thought It Was Just Me several years ago and it was just the right time for those words in my life. I have The Gifts of Imperfection and will read it . . . someday 🙂 I’d like to read Daring Greatly too.
    As for what I’m actually reading, currently it’s Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. It’s a fictionalized account of the life of Captain Ahab from Moby Dick (and I haven’t read Moby Dick but that doesn’t seem to matter) and I was really enjoying it until about 50 pages ago, but it has taken a less than enchanting turn. For the sake of the beginning I plan to continue, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m also really loving Out of the House of Bread by Preston Yancey. I’ve read his blog for several years and though I’m not currently doing much bread baking by hand (my breadmaker does most of it these days) it’s a beautiful reflection on spiritual disciplines through the lens of homemade bread. This book is why my Lenten observance this year is a nightly Examen a la St. Ignatius.
    Wow, this is a long comment. Can you tell I love to talk books? 🙂 Hope you are all well and maybe I’ll see you soon!

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      No! But now I want to read Brene Brown! Preston Yancey sounds really interesting. Gonna look him up! XXOO

  5. BH3 on February 17, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Love your blog! Please think about adding a like/recommend/love button! 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      You’re so kind 🙂

  6. AnneMarie on February 17, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    English-Writing majors are awesome!!! 🙂 Wow, I must read “The Collapse of Parenting”-that sounds like my kind of book. I love reading books of all different sorts. Luxury for me is strolling through the library, pulling various books off the shelves and then reading all of them! Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, cookbooks, etc. At this moment, I am re-reading “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (which I haven’t read for oh, about 5-6 years) and desperately want to go visit Paris 😛 Also, I just started reading “A Call to a Deeper Love” (the love letters of Sts. Louis & Zelie Martin), which I think will be amazing! And before these, some of my other recent book-finds were “The Martian” (I loved both the book and movie) and “The Only Pirate at the Party” by Lindsey Stirling (she’s a violinist who does electronic and dubstep music, and this book is her memoir. It’s a fantastic-and hilarious-read).

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      OOOh great list!!

  7. Sara on February 18, 2016 at 6:13 am

    Parenting with Grace and For Better Forever (Both by the Popcacks)
    I’m such a bad pleasure reader so both have started and stopped a few times. Would love to read a few from your list too!

  8. Sarah on February 18, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Girl, my brain has such a hard time getting through nonfiction these days. But I did love (LOOOOOOVE) The Power of Habit. One of the coolest books I’ve ever read.

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 20, 2016 at 11:56 am

      LOOOOOOOVE that book!

  9. TB on February 22, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I just finished “The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups” by Erika Christakis, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I think you would really like it.

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm