30.10.19

My Top Parenting Resources


I'm on my 10th year as a mom, and I've been in the learning process all ten of these years. Any honest parent will tell you they've never truly "arrived" as a parent. Every season of motherhood is different and brings new challenges and requires new knowledge and wisdom, so just as soon as you think you understand your kids well or have it figured out, don't worry, everything will change! This keeps us parents humble and always learning, and if we hope to be wise, it means being open to growing and learning.

I love this picture by my friend Camille!

I know I've often heard the advice that you don't need advice. Totally an oxymoron, haha! But also I don't agree. We all come into parenting with assumptions, habits, and baggage from our own childhood - some good and some bad. If we never seek advice from others, we're still heavily influenced by others because our upbringing influences us positively and negatively. Seeking advice is so important! Yes, there's something to be said for mother's intuition and your gut instincts, but I firmly believe that there's so much to be gained by asking for help and advice. For my part, I have devoured Parenting books, podcasts, sermons, and tools these ten years and I plan to continue doing so as long as I have children (and grandchildren). I've often been asked to share some favourite books or podcasts on Parenting so I thought I'd arrange everything into one post which I'll update as I discover new resources. If you want to find them on Amazon or to listen to them, click on the links I put in the text and you'll be directed there.

The following have heavily influenced my parenting over the years and I strongly recommend them to you!

This series of talks has influenced my parenting more than all of the following books combined. I first discovered this resource when we were travelling in France with two babies under age two. I was desperate for some wisdom as our sweet babies were growing into defiant toddlers before our eyes and the added element of being abroad seemed to multiply the stress of it all. One night I did a deep dive into googling all the church websites that I knew of who might have Parenting sermons or talks and I found this series by Jen Wilkin and her husband. This was before Jen Wilkin was a best selling author and national speaker and I didn't know her from anyone, but just a few minutes into the first talk Brad and I knew this would be a foundational resource for us. I have listened to every talk so many times I've lost count and they have taught me so much from disciplining and training a toddler to discussing sex with my kids as they grew older. Like every resource I'll be listing here I am not saying it's infallible. On a personal level, we didn't do everything they did or agree with every bit of advice (example: we didn't spank our kids and we didn't do Santa Claus), but even so I strongly recommend it as one of the very best Parenting resources! The six talks are Shared Faith, Shared Affection & Time, Shared Language, Shared Expectations - Responsibility, Shared Expectations - Obedience, and The Big Picture. Clear your schedule and listen to these talks! 


If I could choose one book to give to a mom or dad, this would be it. I love Paul Tripp (not to be confused with his brother Ted who also writes on parenting but isn't my favourite) and his constant focus on the gospel. Parenting can easily become moralism and a power struggle without this focus! In Parenting, Paul Tripp uses humble, honest examples from his own life and casts a hope-filled vision for the task before us. He brings us back again and again to the grace God lavishly bestows on us and sets the reader on the right path for parenting.


The Risen Motherhood Podcast

I so badly wish this podcast existed when I was a new mom! It is only a couple of years old but I've been listening to it since the beginning and have loved every episode. Laura and Emily are sisters-in-law and friends and between them have eight kids, including children with special needs. You might remember Laura as a guest writer in my A Day In HER Life series! These women are wise beyond their years and teach on every aspect of parenting from postpartum body image to potty training to marriage struggles all with an eye for the redeeming grace and love of Christ. I have found these 20 minute episodes so helpful and refreshing, and their new book is like a best of compilation of my favourite episodes in written form. Such a great thing to pop on if you're driving or doing chores and the book makes a lovely gift to a first-time mom! My favourite podcast episodes have been the interview with Ruth Chou Simmons, Coffee, Wine & Social Media: Mom, What's Your Crutch?, and the interview with Sally Clarkson.


Sally Clarkson - The Ministry of Motherhood and The Mission of Motherhood

I really love Sally Clarkson! I was given these two books as a young mom and found them so encouraging and helpful both in seeing the important role I had as a mother and the potential and hope for my kid's future. I find Sally Clarkson so wise - she was a missionary in Communist Europe before having four kids in her 30s and 40s. She wrote her first book at 40 as she wanted to really live and learn before writing which I really respect. She's a woman who deeply values tradition, place, and ritual. She reads widely and it shows in her writings. She also has a podcast that I listen to occasionally but these two are my favourite Parenting books of hers.



Gloria Furman is a mom of five and church-planter's wife in Dubai, UAE. She studied at the same seminary as Brad and really knows her theology along with being a passionate primary caregiver to her children. She's such a hero to me, honestly! Missional Motherhood is for all women, even those not yet moms and those who mentor younger women and Treasuring Christ is particularly helpful when you're in the "little years" and needing a nudge to focus on what matters.


Gary Ezzo - Becoming Babywise

This resource is a bit controversial because it's essentially a sleep training manual, which I know some people are not a fan of, but for us we saw this method and this book as such a gift! Having three kids within three years, I would never have survived without sleep and Becoming Babywise gives both babies and their parents the gift of sleep. I've written a lot about what I learned from this book so I'll just share those links here or you can just enter "babywise" in the search engine at the bottom left side of my blog. Babywise had all three of our kids sleeping twelve hours a night without waking by four months old. TWELVE HOURS. In addition to sleeping from 7-7, Babywise helps babies nap very consistently for two hours each nap. The predictability and stability that this brings gave us the energy to keep having babies and to thrive as parents so I can't say enough about it. Of course, it's not for everyone and is really hard (you need to leave your baby to cry it out for nap times, though never at night), but it's well worth it!


The Jesus Storybook Bible

This is the best children's Bible out there! Unlike many kid's Bibles that focus on the moralism, The Jesus Storybook Bible points kids to Jesus in every story from Genesis to Revelation. We started reading this Bible together when I was pregnant with Lily and several times the stories brought tears to both me and Brad's eyes. Ten years on and we're still reading it with out kids and they're still reading it themselves. Our English copy is patched together with tape and the French copy is starting to fall apart too! Our church gives a French copy to every new family at the birth of their first child and I recommend it to every Christian family!



The New City Catechism

This is such a great book and app to help your kid's memorize truths from scripture! We use the app form and put it on the "kids" setting, which has the same questions as the "adult" setting but has more concise answers. Our kids really enjoy doing the questions and answers and I love what they've learned through them. The app is really ideal for on the go teaching moments like when you're stuck in traffic or in a long line at the grocery store.


The Boy Mom Podcast

This is a new discovery for me and I'm absolutely loving the wisdom and helpfulness in each episode! Monica Swanson is a mom of four boys from ages 9-21 who lives in Hawaii and wrote the book Boy Mom. I started following Monica's blog years ago and always appreciated her musings on motherhood, especially since she's a step ahead of me with older kids. It's called The Boy Mom Podcast but it's definitely for all parents! 99% of the content is applicable to my daughters too.  I especially loved the episodes Raising Sons with Boundaries and Freedoms and Raising Boys in a Digital World with Ruth Chou Simons. Monica talks in a laid back way with a lifetime of experience and a deep love for God. She's a mom who I admire so much, and listening to her podcast honestly feels like listening to a friend over coffee!


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