I loved nursing, for the most part. I was lucky to be able to nurse my son for nine months. The thing I didn’t love about nursing was the quiet, lonely, middle of the night nursing sessions. I had bad postpartum depression and anxiety, so I had to find a way to distract myself. I know you’re “not supposed” to be staring at your phone at night, and I know someone people are judge-y about being on your phone while nursing (give me a break), but in that postpartum phase, you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do. I downloaded some eBooks from my local library (overdrive and hoopla are amazing) and put my phone on all of the darkness/nighttime settings available. The books below are the perfect mix of funny and poignant, the best combo for those lonely times.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Gosh. Mindy Kaling saved my life. When my son was born, my mom came out to visit for a few weeks, and then I went to stay at my parent’s house for six weeks while my husband was in pilot training. When I got back home after those six weeks, I had a very difficult time adjusting. The house felt too quiet, my husband’s training kept him at work for 12 hours a day, and my son had trouble gaining weight. “Why Not Me?” is so funny, and encouraging, and while I did cry when Kaling talked about her mom’s death, her writing only ever made me feel less alone.
Rage Against the Minivan by Kristen Howerton
This book made me laugh out loud, cry a little (she struggled with infertility and tackles some other hard topics), and feel like I made a new friend in the process. Kristen Howerton has four children, two adopted and two biological, very close in age. When she wrote the book, her kids were in middle and high school. If you’re struggling with the little ages and need some hope for the future, the way she describes her relationship with her kids now that they’re older will definitely give you something to look forward.
Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
This is maybe the funniest book I’ve ever read. If you’re not familiar with Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess, you are missing out. Here writing is so honest, so funny, and so relatable. She articulates so many feelings I feel as a human and parent. Her writing is especially helpful if you struggle with mental health; Lawson is very upfront about her own mental health struggles and how she copes. But seriously, you will laugh out lead reading this book. To give you a peek into her world: her father was a taxidermist and she has the strangest childhood stories of animals, dead and alive, that her father brought home for her to play with.
Dear Girls by Ali Wong
Everyone knows Ali Wong is a fantastic comedian. Her book delivers the same biting comedy as her stand-up, but with a sweet maternal twinge. Also like her stand-up, it is straight up foul at times (in the best way; just don’t say I didn’t warn you). It’s a great read for new moms, especially if you’ve got a daughter, because there is real, practical advice about parenting and living your best life (it even says so on the cover).
You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson
You can’t go wrong with a Phoebe Robinson book- she is hilarious, and you will learn stuff. And if you’re a white parent, then you need some anti-racism training yesterday. There are several books to check out about anti-racism (that’s a whole other post), but “You Can’t Touch My Hair” has some nuggets of wisdom and it has hilarious stories. She is a comedian in a class of her own, and I couldn’t wait to finish this book so I could I start her next one, and then pass them both on to my mom and sisters ASAP.