12 Incredible Books About Motherhood

Give Mom the gift of the written word, courtesy of Candice Bergman, Erma Bombeck, and others.

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  • Photo Credit: Bethany Beck/ Unsplash

She forgot to pick you up once (or twice). Fed you Doritos for breakfast. Cursed a lot. And was always the first one to remind you that you didn’t come with a manual.

Until now. Put the old adage to bed (with breakfast) this Mother’s Day and give Mom the greatest gift of all: the written word.

From a laugh-out-loud memoir to a self-deprecating celeb autobiography, the following personal accounts of parenting are just as relatable to those celebrating the holiday as to those who are being celebrated. She’ll laugh, she’ll remember when, and she may even cry—in a good way.



By Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck spent nearly three decades chronicling the frustrations and victories of parenting in both her newspaper column and numerous books. 

Resonating throughout Bombeck’s observations are the superhuman qualities it takes to not only care for a family but for oneself. In this timeless collection, she presents everyday motherhood, as it should be—insane but glorious.

Because Crack Is Illegal

Because Crack Is Illegal

By Raema Mauriello

This book of daily devotionals contains a month's worth of inspiration for women at any stage of motherhood. Taking an honest and humor-filled approach, Mauriello's work embraces the common struggles inherent in being a mother, offering support and reaffirmation. This religious-based text not only supports mothers but issues the challenge for them to continue to grow and learn through their experiences.

the dog stays in the picture, a book about motherhood

The Dog Stays in the Picture

By Susan Morse

A parent’s work is never done, as Morse discovers in her memoir of an empty nest gone awry. Recovering from the loss of the family dog and faced with her children heading to college, Morse and her husband adopt a retired racing greyhound. 

Although lovable, Lilly is a handful, and Morse finds herself reliving all the moments she thought were long past. For those with children and fur babies, Morse tells a tender story of new life and soul mates.

This Lovely Life

This Lovely Life

By Vicki Forman

Vicki Foreman had to face a terrible tragedy when her twins, Evan and Ellie, were born 3 months too early. Wishing for the most merciless solution for her babies, Vicki pleaded with doctors to let her children slip away from the suffering, but due to California's resuscitation laws, the medical team continued to give the infants care. Within days the young Ellie passed away, while Evan survived to face multiple harrowing disabilities for the course of his life.

This book touches on the guilt and anger centered around this brave woman's initial ignored decision, and the triumphs, joys, struggles, and fierce unconditional love for the children she brought into the world. Full of heart-break and slow-coming victory, this touching memoir will give you a whole new perspective on motherhood.

a fine romance candice bergen books about motherhood

A Fine Romance

By Candice Bergen

She made waves more than 20 years ago with her controversial role as a single mother on Murphy Brown. In her recently released memoir, Bergen, though a celeb going on 50 years now, addresses everything from her hit television show to love, loss, and being a parent to very relatable effect. As she navigates her feelings raising her daughter, she also grapples with the challenges of a life in an often-unwanted spotlight.

bad mother ayelet waldman books about motherhood

Bad Mother

By Ayelet Waldman

Reflecting on the changing status and paranoia of parenthood, Waldman reflects on the impossibility of being a good—much less perfect—caregiver in the modern age. With a mix of advice and humorous anecdotes, Waldman encourages both young and old parents to stop fixating on right or wrong and enjoy the experience of raising a family.

are you my mother alison bechdel books about motherhood

Are You My Mother?

By Alison Bechdel

Fans of Bechdel’s brilliant graphic memoir, Fun Home, which detailed her coming-of-age story complete with her closeted gay father, are treated to the next chapter in Bechdel’s life: the retelling of her relationship with her mother. 

Bechdel struggles to understand the difficult and distant relationship the two endured, and uncovers a woman similar to herself—an artist—whose talents were unfortunately stifled by an unhappy marriage and her unwavering commitment to her children.

but i wanted a pony!, a book about motherhood

But I Wanted a Pony!

By Anne Taintor

Anne Traitor is here with her collection of comedic essays on the ups, downs, and alcoholic indulgent moments of motherhood. With hilarious commentary on those early baby days to watching them grow into rude little teenagers, Traitor covers it all. 

She captures the honest thoughts of moms everywhere and isn’t afraid to say what most would care to admit. Mothers all over the world will laugh at Traitor’s signature humor.

domestic affairs, a book about motherhood

Domestic Affairs

By Joyce Maynard

From the late 80s to the late 90s, Joyce Maynard’s column Domestic Affairs ran in newspapers all over the country. With her widely beloved witty essays chronicling the ups and downs of motherhood, Maynard quickly became one of America’s best-loved memoirists. 

This is a collection of her greatest writings, gathered over nine years of her successful career. Mothers will relate to Maynard’s challenges and the rewards she’s found through parenting.

Mother's Love Is . . .

Mother's Love Is . . .

By Mina Parker

This book of motherhood quotes showcases the tremendous power and strength of a mother’s love. You’ll find inspiring quotes from amazing women like Oprah Winfrey, Erma Bombeck, and Erica Jong. 

Every quote celebrates the joy and light that all mothers bring into our lives.

Mommy Memoirs

Mommy Memoirs

By Ann Van De Water

Mother of three rambunctious boys, Ann Van De Water takes readers on a detailed journey of her experience in motherhood. This book is filled with authentic and relatable stories that moms, grandmothers, and even expectant moms will love reading. 

Van De Water is unapologetic in her reflections on motherhood and doesn’t pretend to be the “perfect” mom. Mothers of all kinds will find they are not alone on their respective journeys.

the pure gold baby, a book about motherhood

The Pure Gold Baby

By Margaret Drabble

The acclaimed author Margaret Drabble often wrote about oridinary women, and that of course included mothers. It’s the 1960s in London and Jessica Speight is at the beginning of what’s looking like a successful career as an anthropologist. But everything comes to a screeching halt when a brief love affair leaves her a single mother. 

Her newborn baby Anna is beautiful, but as time passes, it becomes evident that she is different from most children. With altering points of view from Speight’s fellow friends and mothers, this is an inspiring tale of the joys and pains of motherhood.

Featured Image: Bethany Beck/ Unsplash