Extremely Specific Reading Lists: Exasperated Mother Picture Books

Look, I get it. This motherhood gig is hard, maybe especially if you are home with your children 93% of the time like I am. Sometimes you just want to eat your granola bar without having to read another book aloud between bites, right?

These mothers get that, too. So when you’re looking for a little solidarity during the eighth picture book in a row or the bedtime rush, think about turning to these literary mamas:

  • Olivia. I bought this as a board book for Pippin even though it overlapped with his interests not at all, because it was telling me something I needed to hear when her mother tells Olivia, “”You know, you really wear me out. But I love you anyway.” Who doesn’t feel this way at the end of a long day with an active, delightful, exasperating toddler?
  • Five Minutes’ PeaceMrs. Large just wants a bath, OK? And a minute to herself! It’s not too much to ask, except her three elephant children have their own plans. I think my mother in law bought me this one. She knows how it is.

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  • Waiting for BabyWho doesn’t scowl when the toddler is being loud and impatient and you’re a million weeks pregnant? (This literary mama appears to be rescued by her mother’s arrival and the baking of cookies. Same here.)


What other books would you add to the list of exasperated literary mothers?

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Author: Katherine Grimm Bowers

Babies. Books. Fledgling housewifery. Once and future librarian. Catholic. Always thinking about chocolate ice cream.

4 thoughts on “Extremely Specific Reading Lists: Exasperated Mother Picture Books”

  1. This is such an amazing idea for a booklist. Llama Llama Red Pajama has a line that says, “Please stop all this llama drama and be patient for your Mama.” I may have repeated it a few (hundred) times to my kids over the years.

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  2. I’m not a mother yet but I have been a nanny for many years (which is nothing like motherhood and yet bears a resemblance, I think) but Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman is such an amazing book. The illustrations alone are so honest and beautifully show the rewarding weariness that being a mother often seems to be from what I’ve seen.

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