11 Life Changing Personal Development Books for Moms

Are you looking for development books for moms to radically change your mom life? Find the best personal development books for self care, for stay at home moms, and feel-good fiction titles.

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Everything about your existence changes when you become a mom. Most moms I know feel up to their necks in dirty diapers, piling laundry, sippy cups, and unwashed hair.

Self care…what’s that!?

At the root of it, the problem is simple. Where do we start with so much on our plates.

Whether you feel like you’re drowning or simply want to get your post baby body back, pressing play on yourself when you’re a new mom is next to impossible.

These personal development books provide actionable tips and motivating advice for moms to prioritize themselves and feel more in control.

Discover secrets to truly being happy as a stay at home mom in Flex Mom, or start reclaiming your own life with Druxman’s workbook, The Empowered Mama. Digest anecdotes about living your best life from industry leading experts and learn how to stop caring about what others (and the internet) think.

We’ve even thrown in a few fiction books with relatable characters that may deal with struggles that align with yours. I’m sure you’ll want to hug Ashley Keller, the self-proclaimed hot mess new mom who learned, the hard way, that she’s not failing at all.

11 Self Help and Personal Development Books for Moms

Popular and Bestselling Personal Development Books

While they’re not necessarily written only for moms, these self help books are great for moms who need actionable, straightforward advice to streamline life with children.

popular personal development books  - the happiness project

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin chronicles her very own yearly project – based on science and philosophy – to bring more happiness to her life, home, and family.

As a mother herself, Rubin streamlines her home life, spends money more wisely, and begins to focus on the things that really matter.

Divided in to twelve chapters, with twelve monthly tasks aimed at streamlining life and cultivating happiness, The Happiness Project can be read as a novel or month by month. If you’re pressed for time, like most moms, this read is extremely accessible!

Years after initially reading this, I still use some of Rubin’s principles in my daily life, such as completing all tasks immediately that take two minutes or less.

If you’re a mom hyper focused on the to do list at home or want to have more fun as a parent and homemaker, this one’s for you.

Get a copy of The Happiness Project.

popular personal development books - girl wash your face

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’m not entirely sold on bestseller, Rachel Hollis. I find her a tad self-serving and preachy.

That said, her message wasn’t entirely lost on me. Hence her inclusion on this list. Hollis gives you permission to take time to feel good about yourself. Personally, I take this to mean that I don’t need to look like a hot mess, just because I’m a mom.

I choose to leave her holier than thou attitude at the door, but her message truly is a good one. It’s just the deliverance…

If you’re not overly sensitive, I think Hollis could be the proverbial swift kick in the ass many of us need to reclaim our own lives and bodies. You may even find her inspiring. But if you’re struggling in the early postpartum days, save her for later.

Get a copy of Girl, Wash Your Face.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Manson’s popular self help book is ideal for moms worried about what the world thinks of them. That’s probably most of us!

His approach is refreshing in its honesty. With only so much to give a f*ck about, let’s better decide where to dedicate energy.

He encourages readers to care about what they do with their lives in order to live more intentionally. There’s no participation trophies here. You have to put in the real work.

Improving our lives, Manson says, isn’t about deciding to just be positive, but about learning to better live with the crap and developing stronger resolve.

Good, because us moms live with a lot of crap…and I’m sure we could learn to just let some of that sh*t go.

Get a copy of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

personal development books for moms - you are a badass

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

World traveler and success coach Jen Sincero encourages her readers to “stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.”

Her witty humor and occasional potty mouth will speak to regular moms who are simply trying to do a good job.

Instead of feeling like we’re failing every step of the way, Sincero encourages readers to stop self sabotaging and take the steps to love yourself again.

I don’t know a group of women who need that anecdote more than stressed out mamas. Jen Sincero offers a refreshing reminder that we can all find what’s not working, change it, and reclaim our badass-ery.

Get a copy of You Are a Badass.

personal development books for moms - the power of habit

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

I first read The Power of Habit before I had kids…when I was trying to break the nervous habit of picking my cuticles. The science behind this one though, has helped me do more than kick that habit, including be a better mom.

Written with a business perspective, Duhigg’s insight is important for moms, also. Anyone can find success by shaping your life through developing – or breaking – habits. By literally changing the patterns of your brain, you can rewire yourself to live the life you want to live.

They key to raising happy children, losing weight, and being productive is understanding the nature of habits.

Get a copy of The Power of Habit.

Self Help Books for Stay and Home and Working Moms

personal development books for moms - The Empowered Mama

The Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman

Empowered Mama is all about getting yourself back.

Finally, a title exists in which an author acknowledges how next to impossible it is to balance yourself and your family.

In a practical workbook, Druxman shows us that you can have both. Through encouraging exercises and simple tools, moms can regain themselves and find that home/work/self balance.

Perfect for both working and stay at home moms, this workbook will help moms enjoy themselves and motherhood once again.

Get a copy of The Empowered Mama.

personal development books for moms - Breathe Mama Breathe

Breathe Mama Breathe by Shonda Moralis

I love titles that encourage mindfulness and meditation while also understanding that I don’t have more than five minutes to breathe. Enter Breathe, Mama, Breathe: 5-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms.

If you feel like you spend 26 hours a day working just to crash at the end of the day – but also feel desperate to somehow magically find the time for yourself because you’re going crazy – then this is ideal.

Moralis’s suggestions are the most practical, such as eat a mindful breakfast without your phone.

Whether working or staying home, raising teens or stuck in the newborn phase, you can become a more mindful parent with these simple and accessible suggestions.

Get a copy of Breathe, Mama, Breathe.

self help books for stay at home moms - Flex Mom

Flex Mom: The Secrets of Happy Stay at Home Moms by Sara Blanchard

Do you feel like you’re losing your mind as a SAHM? Harder than you thought? Feel like you’re working even more after quitting the 9-5? Still not too keep on going back to work, though?

Flex Mom presents a third option – somewhere in between the working mom and stay at home mom. This self help title for stay at home moms aims to help those feeling trapped in their new role to identify goals and create space for passion.

Blanchard reminds readers that you can feel fulfilled raising your children and also carve out space to care for and fuel yourself.

Get a copy of Flex Mom: The Secrets of Happy Stay-at-Home Moms.

Funny Personal Development Fiction Books for Moms

Self help and personal development books don’t need to come in the form of nonfiction or memoirs for moms. These fiction books provide a funny, lighthearted perspective of the nuances of being a parent. Fictional characters also remind us that we don’t need to be perfect and can carry helpful messages.

personal development fiction books for moms - Confessions of a Domestic Failure

Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan

Ashley Keller is a career woman turned stay at home mom. Trying to be the best at everything, she enrolls in the Motherhood Better Bootcamp, hosted by popular Pinterest-worthy mommy-blogger, Emily Walker.

Let’s talk about how social media makes us feel as parents…

With each assigned task, will Ashley sink or swim? Will she become the mother she always felt she could be…or will she be the poster child for hot-mess moms forever.

Laditan’s novel provides a funny, real look at motherhood with a reminder that we don’t need to be perfect to be perfect moms.

Get a copy of Confessions of a Domestic Failure.

self help fiction books for moms - I'm Fine and Neither Are You

I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagán

Penelope is a wife, mom, and breadwinner for her family. She’s hanging on by a thread, while her best friend seemingly has it all: an immaculate home, mild mannered child, and dashing husband.

When Penelope learns that things aren’t entirely as they seem in her friend’s world, she vows to stop ignoring her own glaring domestic issues. She and her husband commit to itemizing everything they’d like to change about one another – with total and complete honesty.

Will Penelope and her husband sink or swim in this story of love, truth, and boundaries.

A must read for anyone looking to tackle the rift that children (and life) put between you and your partner.

Get a copy of I’m Fine and Neither Are You.

funny book club books class mom

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

Jen Dixon, who already has two college age daughters, isn’t entirely sold on becoming her kindergartner’s class mom.

But when her friend and PTA president sees her as the wisest – read: oldest – one for the job, she agrees.

Her alternative methods – such as tracking responses from parents for help – don’t win approval from the other moms, though. With a cast of characters, including a Real-Housewive’s wannabe, a sexy Kindergarten teacher, and an over sensitive mom, the job becomes more than Jen signed on for!

Highlighting the struggles of raising kids, growing older, and trying too damn hard to be perfect, Class Mom offers a dose of reality so many of us need.

Get a copy of Class Mom.

What Are Your Favorite Personal Development Books for Moms?

Are you a mom? Do you find self help and/or personal development books helpful for raising children and maintaining your sense of self? What books would you add to this list?

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  1. January 14, 2020 / 3:21 pm

    GWYF–‘her holier than thou attitude.’ AHAHA! Yes, that is a good way to sum it up. I recently wrote about GSA, and decided to write both the negatives (arrogant, spoiled, and condescending) and the positives as well; there is some productive advice, like you mention, if you don’t throw the book at the wall first. I won’t be reading Hollis again, but I don’t regret reading her either. I’m glad she made your list. If nothing else, let the healthy debate continue.

    I read The Happiness Project long ago and remember loving it too! Great mommy book list!

    • Tori
      January 14, 2020 / 11:48 pm

      Hollis is faaaar from my fave, but I think the message is there. If we can’t debate books, we’d all read and think the same and that’s no fun! After you mentioned Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered I want to check it out.

      The Happiness Project is one of those books that has truly stuck with me in all aspects of life. So glad you like the list! I’m heading back to your new post now to read without interruption

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