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Trials of Toddlerhood: The booklist I wish I had

Updated: May 4, 2022


Tantrums, sippy cups, messes, oh my!


The toddler phase tends to be known for its trying aspects. I’m not saying that mothering through the toddler years doesn’t have challenging moments- trust me, it absolutely does- but it’s also so much more. I write this as a fellow momma in the trials of toddlerhood. I currently have a 3 year old, an almost two year old, and a 6 month old. If those back to back births don’t give insight into just how deep I am in the trenches, let me share this quick imagery with you and see if it resonates. One morning in the not so distant past, I had a 5 month old projectile spitting up, and a tender tummied freshly two year old gagging and then throwing up at the sight of said spit up. The toddler years are hard, I get it, and I’m in it with you, momma!


When parenting in these tough moments of toddlerhood, it can be easy to get buried in the laundry and overwhelmed by tantrums. These, and so many other feelings, are absolutely valid, deserve talking about, and are worth exploring. This post isn’t a plea to shut those feelings down, but rather a suggestion in reorienting our perspective on the trials of toddlerhood through the lens of scripture.


Colossians 3:23 says, “work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord, rather than for people.” Let that one set in for a moment. What if the endless cleaning, countless diaper changes, and patience required through tantrums were for a bigger purpose- quite possibly the BEST purpose? What if the trials of toddlerhood were meant to bring us, as mothers, closer to God?


Let’s unpack this scripture a bit more. Colossians 3:23 says “.....whatever you do….,” “....for the Lord.” This means that the work of the Lord isn't just that of pastoral and missionary callings, but rather, you can glorify God in literally WHATEVER you’re doing! What an opportunity! Motherhood, at every stage, can be an opportunity to honor God. This means even the mundane, even the challenging, even the downright discouraging moments, can bring us closer to God. Praise Jesus for that!


This is the booklist I wish I had before I entered the toddler mothering phase. The titles here are jam packed with encouragement and inspiration, and focus on the biblical meaning and mission of motherhood. They are also the perfect length for busy mommas of toddlers- each is under 300 pages! My prayer is that each page of these biblically grounded books helps you to focus your motherhood journey on its inherent opportunity to grow closer to God through the toddler years and beyond.


 

“Why Children Matter,” by Douglas Wilson


I love this title for realigning your focus in the tough moments of parenthood. Wilson encourages us to think of how our heavenly father parents us, and implores us to focus our actions on emulating His example. I also really love that this is a quick read- under 200 pages, making it a realistic and achievable endeavor when you’re mothering through the busy time of toddlerhood. Another neat feature about “Why Children Matter,” is the appendix where Wilson and his wife, Nancy, answer questions about applying these ideas directly to readers’ circumstances.


Length: 150 pages


You can purchase here!



 

“Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family,” by Paul Tripp


This perspective changing book, as the title suggests, is biblically based and rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As parents, we are inundated with books promising quick fixes for the trials of parenthood. Tripp’s work deviates from this tradition of checkboxes, formulas, and focus on day to day operations. He instead encourages us to reorient our perspective to the thirty thousand foot view of God’s design for parenthood and how this season aligns with our overall walk with the Lord.


Length: 224 pages


You can purchase here!


 

“Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations,” by Gloria Furman


“In Treasuring Christ…,” Furman helps busy, tired mommas feel validated, which is so refreshing. She finds a beautiful and inspired way of providing this validation and honesty without making it into a gripe fest. She quickly helps readers bring our hopes for motherhood back to Jesus. In a down to earth relatable tone, Furman shows us how to preserve in the tough moments of motherhood by focusing on and treasuring Christ, no matter how full our hands get.


Length: 160 pages


You can purchase here!

 

“The End of Me: Finding Resurrection Life in the Daily Sacrifices,” by Liz Wann


Though this read is short, the content is anything but brief! In a breezy 96 pages, Wann lays down some important lessons in reorienting our perspective. She inspires us to find new meaning in the daily tasks of motherhood, and grow closer to our God through the challenges.


Length: 96 pages


You can purchase here!





 

“Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches,” by Rachel Jankovic

This super short title is filled to the brim with helpful thoughts from the “trenches.” Jankovic shares wisdom in a friendly, real way that toddler mommas can’t help but find relatable. Having raised seven children through the toddler season, there are few people so authoritative on the topic of toddlerhood as Jankovic! This relatable work will leave you feeling seen, refreshed, and reoriented on your walk through motherhood as a believer.


Length: 104 pages


You can purchase here!


 

“The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart,” by Sally Clarkson


In a world where selfish desires are not only the norm, but are encouraged, it can be easy to feel left out when you’re doing the selfless work of mothering youngsters. Clarkson does a great job of inspiring us to change our worldly perspective and focus on the opportunity we have as mothers. She reminds us how important and noble the motherhood calling is, not just in our children’s worldly journey, but also in their eternal journey with Christ.

Length: 256 pages


You can purchase here!

 

This is the booklist I wish I had before I entered the toddler mothering phase. The titles here are jam packed with encouragement and inspiration, and focus on the biblical meaning and mission of motherhood. They are also the perfect length for busy mommas of toddlers- each is under 300 pages! My prayer is that each page of these biblically grounded books helps you to focus your motherhood journey on its inherent opportunity to grow closer to God through the toddler years and beyond.


Happy reading and blessings!

Katie

 

Please share If you found this helpful! Please also leave a comment. I would love to hear what booklists you want to see in the future!


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