The Myth of the Perfect Mother: Rethinking the Spirituality of Women
By Carla Barnhill (Baker)

Written by my friend and co-blogger, this book shoots beyond deconstructing myths. Barnhill's words embrace us moms (and the men who love us) who don't fit expectations and feel trapped in stereotypes—and lets us know we all are in good company.

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Are Women Human? Penetrating, Sensible, and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society
By Dorothy L. Sayers (Eerdmans)

The two essays in this witty book give proper perspective to the needs and roles of women (and, therefore, mothers and fathers) throughout history, encouraging women to seek "interesting occupation" no matter their primary role.

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Money, Possessions, and Eternity
By Randy Alcorn (Tyndale)

It's easy for Western parents to get consumed by needing to give our kids every thing to be good parents. Alcorn shakes this unbiblical thinking right up and shifts the focus to its proper place.

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
By Marc Weissbluth (Ballantine)

Sleepless babies make crazy parents—if you've been there, you know. These sensible sleep tips for children offered by a kind, wise, and trustworthy pediatrician give parents a way to get their sane selves back.

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Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
By Anne Lamott (Anchor)

Parenting is lovely and funny and gross and messy and scary. Lamott makes it okay to not only feel each of these things—but to write about them, too.

Caryn Rivadeneira is author of Mama's Got a Fake I.D.: How to Discover the Real You Behind all That Mom.

Related Elsewhere:

This article was posted with Christianity Today's January cover package, which includes "The Myth of the Perfect parent" and "Spiritual Lives All Their Own."

CT's previous articles on family and parenting include:

White Flag in the Mommy Wars | The theology that many parents are missing. (September 28, 2009)
The Fatherless Child | It is a unique cultural moment for the church to act like a family. (October 9, 2007)
Wild Child: How Bad Is Child Care for Kids? | Is daycare preparing toddlers to become bullies? (June 11, 2001)
Parents and Prodigals | As my daughter leaves for college, packing up her belongings, she is still a stranger to me. (June 23, 1978)

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