Sometimes the best gift for a mom is an easy bedtime with a sentimental story or just actually having time to order a family portrait or jot down some notes about this stage of parenting before it changes again. Gifting one of these sweet books for mother's day, a baby shower, or her birthday could help create a meaningful memory.
If I Had a Little Dream by Nina Laden, Illustrated by Melissa Castrillon. This book is stunningly beautiful with intricate illustrations that resemble die-cut prints. The words are poetic and the story touches on the tiny treasures that make up our world, which children value and adults often overlook. Speaking of die-cuts, I must remember to ask for one of these amazing family portrait prints for mother's day next year! So cool, right?
Mom's One Line A Day: A Five-Year Memory Book by Chronicle Books. As someone who is still working on their oldest child's baby book (four years later), I find this memory book to be very refreshing. I don't keep up with it every single day, but it's easy enough to jot down thoughts each week and it warms my heart to look back and see some of the funny things my daughter was saying when she was only two years old. It's simple, very pretty and comes in either pink or blue. Perfect for moms who want to take the pressure off.
Someday by Alison McGhee, Illustrated by Peter H. Reynold. Fair warning: read it beforehand or bring tissues to bedtime. This book is a tear-jerker. What I love most about this book is it brings everything full circle and helps us gain perspective when we can often get lost in the tiresome day-to-day. The author even shares the perspective of a parent thinking about his or her own childhood. McGhee writes, "Someday you will look at this house and wonder how something that feels so big can look so small."
Love Is by Diane Adams, Illustrated by Claire Keane. We all thought we would be strolling through the park with an iced-coffee and a cute stroller, yet parenting looks a little messier now. While this book isn't about a traditional mother-child relationship, it touches on the realness of parenthood and reminds us to laugh through it. The little girl in the story takes care of her duck and realizes that "Love is tidying up, Love is messy baths."
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin. With modern illustrations of hip families who decorate with zebra wallpaper and dress their kids in cool vintage wear, this book is perfect for a new parent. It captures the thoughts of mothers who are truly in awe with their child's uniqueness. "When you were too small to tell me hello, I knew you were someone I wanted to know."
If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond. Of all the books I've come across about parenthood, this one speaks to my heart in a specific way. Letting your children go is difficult for every parent, and this book reminds us that we aren't alone in the feeling, yet it's just part of the job. Richmond writes, "If I could keep you little, I'd push your ducky float. But then I'd miss you feeling the wind behind a summer's boat." "If I could keep you little we'd nap in our fort midday. But then I'd miss you sharing adventures from camp away."
How to Raise a Mom and How to Babysit A Grandma by Jean Reagan, Illustrated by Lee Wildish. This book is very funny and will make any preschooler or grade-school child laugh out loud. It's written from the perspective of two siblings setting out to make sure their mother gets proper exercise, a well-balanced diet and some rest time in her day. And for the grandmothers in your life, check out How To Babysit a Grandma.
How To Celebrate Everything by Jenny Rosenstrach. I added this to the list even though it isn't a picture book because it's simply heartwarming and can remind today's busy mom how to enjoy the little things of parenthood that make it all worth it. This book is highly sentimental and acts just as much as a parenting guide as it does cook-book. When I gift it to like-minded moms who read a little more than we cook, I always suggest reading the last page first.