As I came from a broken family (as did my husband) I didn’t really have the proper foundation on how to build a successful marriage or family life. This caused me to turn to books for any answers I was looking for. So, I’m sure you can imagine, over the past 25 years I’ve read a LOT of books.
Since marriage can be tough, it’s important, as wives, to learn all that we can from trusted sources on how to succeed with the new life that we’ve chosen. I’m going to list my favorite top ten books that have helped me the most these past years as a wife and mother. I will be including finance books, organization books, child-rearing books, and even my favorite religious books.
I want to warn you that some of these books have been seen as a little bit controversial. Meaning, with some of them you will either love the book or hate the book. That’s ok! We all come from different backgrounds. I’m just going to share with you what has helped me with my particular situation. You can take it or leave it. 😉
My favorite books that have helped me the most during this journey are:
- Fascinating Womanhood: This is one of the most important books to have and follow. When I was first married I didn’t know how a healthy marriage was supposed to look like or how I was supposed to ‘behave’ as a wife. My parents were divorced when I was eight as were my husband’s parents when he was a teen. I also didn’t have many friends that were married (successfully) as I was only 19 when he and I married. I had a priest that I went to asking for advice. He referred me to a local Sister and to this book. He did express his concern that there are very few resources for new (and old) brides out there as our society is so anti-marriage and anti-family. This book was written in the 50’s or 60’s so may seem a little outdated. However, the nature of man and woman will never change.
- Douay-Rheims Bible: Your marriage will be so much more stable and at peace if you share (and live) the same Faith. As a traditional minded Roman Catholic this version of the Bible is the one I read.
- Financial Peace Revisited: Although I didn’t agree with everything he stated in his books (mainly his focus on mutual funds, 401 K’s, etc. for retirement), his concept of being debt-free has been immensely helpful for our family. For those that are wondering, we prefer putting our money into rental homes. After all, there will always be a demand for places to live!
- Confessions of an Organized Homemaker: I read and re-read this book all the time! It has helped me learn how to organize everything; my attic, daily schedule, cleaning supplies, children’s clothes, etc. I love this book! I’ve purchased every one of her books even. Another book I really like of hers is Confessions of an Organized Family. It was tough to decide which one to list here. I chose the first book because it was the first book that helped me out, but I like them both. 🙂
- The Tightwad Gazette Series: This series goes to the extreme of saving money. She finds a way to use everything and to improvise when she needs to. I didn’t do everything she suggested but she really helped me think outside the box when it comes to making do.
- For Women Only: I learned a lot from this book. And, to be completely honest, almost too much. There was some stuff I think I’d almost rather not known! However, I still believe that this book was a huge help for me to be able to understand how my husband thinks. I highly recommend it!
- For Men Only: Ok. So I can’t tell you anything about this book, mainly due to the fact that my husband wouldn’t let me read it!! Could you believe that?!? He said it was “for men only”. Therefore, it was off-limits to me! Have you ever seen a grown woman throw a fit? Well, that was me. However, he did tell me, after he read it, that I was a textbook woman. Hmmm, now I really want to read it…
- To Train Up A Child: This book is one of the controversial books I spoke of. When we first married I went looking for advice to handle my rambunctious daughter. She was young but having two choleric parents was definitely going to make her ability to learn the word “no” a little bit more difficult. This book was recommended to me from three different sources, one being a mother with well-behaved children! Since I had zero training on how to raise children I was more than open to what this book taught.
- The Imitation of Christ: This is my favorite meditation book. It takes just 15 minutes (or less) to read a ‘lesson’ per day. This is important when you have a house full of small children. 😉
- Happy Planner: So technically this isn’t a book I’ve read. This is the planner system I’ve been using. I like it because I can fully customize it to my needs. I have changed the cover, the rings (rose gold!!), added a meal planning section, a goals section, a fitness section, even a chores section!! It can be a little spendy when you first start customizing your planner (a hole punch, new cover, paper inserts, etc.) but if you do a little at a time it isn’t so bad. I plan on making my own planner custom to raising a large family, but until then I’ll go this route. 😀 Here’s a video I made that can help explain how I use my planner.
And, there you go! Off the top of my head, these are the resources that have helped me the most in my vocation as a wife and mother. I hope you will find some help with them as well.
I’m always open to learning more ways to streamline my day to day life and help me be a better wife and mother. What books and resources have you found the most helpful? I’d love to know. Comment below and give me some more book ideas! God bless. <3
Great List! I really enjoyed Danny Silk’s, Loving Our Kids on Purpose.
Jane Ann says
Hi, I have read all of these books except for “Women Only & Men Only” & “Fascinating Womanhood”. They are all excellent!!! We have followed Michael and Debbie Pearl for 20 years. They have excellent wisdom on marriage and raising children. Thank you for posting this on your blog. I am going to read “Fascinating Womanhood” next. It’s so nice to find like minded Mom’s with large families. We have 11 and 1 grandchild.
Dime A Dozen Mom
I’m glad you liked them! Let me know what you think about “Fascinating Womanhood”. 🙂
I really enjoyed seeing what you had on your ‘must-read’ list. I would add ‘The Wife Desired’ by Fr Leo Kinsella. It taught me so much about how to behave as a wife, what my attitude should be, how to bring the best out of my husband and children and myself too! That and At Man for Her’ for the men both my husband and I found inspiring.
Thank you for this recommendation! I actually own the booklet but haven’t read it yet. I’ll put it as one of my next in line. Maybe it will be added in an updated post. 😉