Are you a parent who is plagued by lack of sleep? Toddlers who refuse to go to bed? Constant tantrums? Do you have the theme song of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood stuck in your head? Then perhaps it’s time to unwind with a graphic novel about parenting. The following is a list of books about the experience of parenting: becoming a parent, struggling as a parent or just a couple of laughs about that crazy process of raising a kid.
Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley
Knisley’s graphic memoir delves into the tension and life-changing process of conceiving and birthing a child. Enduring infertility treatments and depression, she demonstrates the difficult emotions that surface during the process and obstacles to becoming a parent. As in her other graphic novels, Displacement, Relish and Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride, she takes an unflinching look at her life, stretching out truth on colorful panels for close chat with the reader.
Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown
It’s tough being a dad. Just ask Darth Vader. Being a dark lord, dealing with the dark side of the Force and trying to raise Princess Leia is not easy. Through a series of hilarious standalone comics, Brown probes those small funny moments of being a parent, while also examining the process of trying to maintain your own identity.
The Facts of Life by Paul Knight
Ideas about parenthood are different when you’re a kid. In this story, friends Polly and April navigate their British society’s 1970s ideas towards parenthood and a woman’s role in society. As Polly’s career blossoms, she struggles with her opinions towards motherhood. After deciding she does want a baby, Polly suffers through miscarriages and considering infertility treatments. This book catalogs the long and often emotionally fraught journey of becoming a parent.
A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting by Guy Delisle
If lately all those parenting decisions have gotten you down, relax with this book for a good laugh. Delisle has a number of other great graphic novels on his travels to other countries like Burma, North Korea and Jerusalem. But in Neglectful Parenting, Delisle shines a spotlight on many of the imperfect moments in parenting -- like, for example, forgetting to exchange that baby tooth under the pillow for money. You will laugh out loud. This book is for those that need to be reassured that no parent is perfect.
Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts: A Healing Guide to the Secret Fears of New Mothers by Karen Kleiman and Molly McIntyre
Early motherhood can be a minefield of insecurities and anxiety. Thanks to this book and the hashtag, #speakthesecret, we now know this phenomenon isn’t that unusual. Karen Kleiman is the founder of the Postpartum Stress Center and an expert on this topic. She asserts that 91 percent of new mothers have feelings of anxiety and inadequacy regarding motherhood. For new mothers with a distinct lack of sleep, this book is organized in comics and colorfully designed quick suggestions to survive early motherhood. This book is an excellent pick for new mothers struggling with fears and strong emotions they don't understand.
Good Eggs by Phoebe Potts
This graphic memoir takes a look at how the constant stress of trying to get pregnant affects the rest of your life as well. Chronicling Pott’s thoughts about parenthood and her trials with hormone injections, intrauterine insemination and in vitro insemination, it takes the reader along on her long heartbreaking journey through infertility. For readers that have never been inside a fertility clinic, Phoebe gives a detailed introduction to the culture of infertility. While this novel also goes into other aspects of Pott’s life, its honesty about the infertility process and the frustrations of going through it are excellent.
Saga written by Brian K. Vaughan and Illustrated by Fiona Staples
In this book, Romeo and Juliet meet parenthood. Saga is a sweeping space opera about two extraterrestrial parents, Alana and Marko, from separate races in conflict with each other. These parents are actively fleeing from the authorities on both sides. This series is interestingly based off of ideas that Vaughan had as a child and as a parent. In fact, the publication of the first volume was right around the birth of his first child. When diaper changes start to feel otherworldly, reach for this critically acclaimed series and see parenthood among the stars.
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About the Author: Jess G.