Mother and Baby

The best parenting books mums should read in 2020

Section: Parenting
parenting books 2020

2020 is shaping up to be a brilliant year for books and if you're looking for something a) relatable b) something that can help you transform your life (or both, like some included in our round-up) you're in luck... 

In this article: 

  • Letters on Motherhood by Giovanna Fletcher
  • I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Braithwaite
  • The Zen Mama by Sarah Ivens
  • Mindfulness for Mums: Simple ways to help you and your family feel calm, connected and content by Izzy Judd. 
  • What Have I Done? An honest memoir about surviving post-natal mental illness by Laura Dockrill
  • The Home Stretch: Why It's Time to Come Clean About Who Does the Dishes by Sally Howard
  • Reluctant Adult by Katie Kirby AKA Hurrah for Gin
  • Why Mummy Swears by Gill Sims
  • The Activity Journal by Mrs Hinch
  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn
  • Confessions of a Single Mum by Amy Nickell
  • The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) by Philippa Perry
  • Mind Over Mother: Every mum's guide to worry and anxiety in the first years by Anna Mathur
  • MumLife: What Nobody Ever Tells You About Being A Mum by Louise Pentland

We've rounded up 14 of the best parenting books that deserve a spot on your bookshelf this year. Don't have time to sit and read a book? Try an audiobook instead - check out Amazon Audible for a free 30-day trial. 

From Giovanna's long-awaited Letters on Motherhood to laugh out loud fiction that will leave your bewildered toddler asking 'what's so funny, mummy?' we've got it all.

The best parenting books 2020:

Letters on Motherhood is a collection of heartfelt and deeply personal letters written by Giovanna to her three young sons Buzz, Buddy and Max, husband, Tom, and the family and friends who have inspired and supported her to become the mother that she is today.

Expect personal stories of her own family life, including coping with mum guilt, finding work/family life, positive body image and rediscovering a sense of identity. 

Fed up with the lack of diversity in the mummy blogger community, Candice began posting her powerful observations of motherhood in society and how black mothers are wholly unrepresented. 

This highly-anticipated book is a guide to life as a black mother and how to face different hurdles that aren't often discussed including white privilege, racial micro-aggression and unconscious bias. A must-read. 


The Zen Mama is a glorious guide to helping you work out what sort of mum you are, and want to be, and how you can create the perfect family situation that suits you and your children - no matter what anyone else thinks. It's empowering and helps mums to put away the internal guilt and external judgement, because all that matters is how happy you and your little ones are, and how your family grows and develops in a way that fits all your needs and personalities. 

The book aims to help you nurture your children into brave, confident, happy creatures who aren't afraid to try new things or admit what makes them tick. It's a lot more practical than you might think, with helpful interactive pages, plus Sarah is honest about the realities of family life - it's full of laughter and heart-warming messages from real mamas throughout. 

Perfect for mums in search of their own piece of calm, mum influencer Izzy Judd has compiled a collection of simple exercises and activities to help soothe anxious minds. 

Included are exercises both for you to do alone and with your children of all ages, giving them their own tools to help remain happy and peaceful too.

Laura Dockrill had an idyllic pregnancy and couldn't wait to meet her new baby. But as she went into labour things began to go wrong and Laura started to struggle. A traumatic birth, anxiety about the baby, sleep deprivation, a slow recovery - all these things piled up until Laura (like any new mum) felt overwhelmed.

A harrowing book which will make you feel less alone if you are going through post-birth trauma. 


Find yourself doing most of the cleaning, cooking and child-rearing?

The Home Stretch is a fascinating investigation into how we got here and what the future could look like for feminism's final frontier: the domestic labour gap.


Perpetually overwhelmed? You're going to love this new book from Katie Kirby, creator of parenting blog Hurrah for Gin.

From the worry spiral that keeps you up at 3AM, to maintaining a professional aura when you can't stand other people - this is for everyone struggling to stay afloat.

 From author of the smash hit Why Mummy Drinks. this hilarious book will have you (and your partner) in stitches! 

Gill Sims is behind the hugely-successful parenting blog and Facebook site ‘Peter and Jane’ and her content is very relatable. Add to your shopping basket, ASAP. 

If you're a fan of the cleaning-mad Mrs Hinch, you will love her latest book which encourages you to take time out of your hectic schedule and breathe. 

The Activity Journal is jam-packed with activity ideas, mindfulness cues and plenty of dedicated space for your own 'hinching' lists. 

A hilariously candid account of one woman's quest to bring her post-baby marriage back from the brink, with life-changing, real-world advice. Part fiction, part memoir, we bet you'll devour this in a matter of days. We did! 

This brilliant and joyful book is about Amy's journey after falling pregnant age 24 and how she navigates through motherhood as a single mum. 

Amy’s recollections of raising her son Freddy without a father debunk the misconceptions that often surround single mums, while also providing an honest, hilarious and wonderfully frank portrait of parenting highs and lows - something all families will relate to.

Philippa Perry has been a psychotherapist for the past twenty years and sure enough, knows a thing or two about child behaviour. In her bestselling help book, she explains how to parent without the guilt and how we should be more forgiving to ourselves.
Truly, a must-have for any parent's bookshelf. 

Anxiety is making motherhood a less pleasant, more fraught and pressured experience, and you do not have to accept joy-sapping worry and energy-draining overthinking as part of the motherhood job description. In Mind Over Mother, Anna Mathur, psychotherapist and mum of three, explains how to:

  • Understand anxiety, why it affects you and what to do about it
  • Make your mind a kinder, calmer, happier place to be
  • Transform your motherhood experience by addressing your thinking

Mind Over Mother is full of light bulb moments of realisationn and will have you learning, laughing and loving yourself through the journey of motherhood. 

Discussing the realities most working mums face, plus the impact of maternal mental health, former M&B columnist Louise is on a mission to make other mums feel less alone, and very much heard. She beautifully reveals her own imperfect but perfect route to motherhood, as well as the loss of her mum so early in her life, how it shaped her and the mother she became.

For each book sold Bonnier Books UK shall donate 1% of net receipts and Louise Pentland shall donate 100% of her royalties to the NSPCC.

  • Author: Aimee Jakes Aimee Jakes
  • Job Title: Shopping and Community Editor

Aimee is the Shopping and Community Editor at Bauer Media where she works on fitness, fashion and beauty content across a number of titles such as heat, Closer and Grazia.

Her hobbies include truffle mac and cheese, Class Pass and relentlessly checking (and scolding!) the weather app.

Other contributors

Sophie Knight - Contributing Editor

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