Did you just marry someone in the military? Congrats! Feeling a little culture shock? You're definitely not alone! There are loads of reading lists out there for military spouses, many of which rattle off the same books over and over. Those picks are ok, but we have a few problems with them.
First, they focus on the negative parts of military life, such as deployments and death. Second, they're getting old and outdated, which admittedly happens pretty fast. When I first got married in 2011, the books were about being a military spouse in the 90's, and that was a little helpful, but not a lot, because so much had changed and many acronyms had become meaningless. Likewise, now, there are a bunch of books about being married to a service member in the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military does not work the same way now as it did 15 years ago. Third, some of these lists are all about understanding your service member spouse's world, but they don't help YOU! We're all for learning about each branch's heroes, histories, and challenges, but a list of books for military spouses should help the spouses. Some of the books on our list will be specific to the military, but several address key pain points about life in general that tend to be exacerbated by the military lifestyle.
One challenge we encountered when we went to make this list is that we would not recommend the same books to new spouses as we would seasoned spouses. This list is for the new (and probably quite young) military spouse. If you're new to the military community, you might be suffering a little culture shock, homesickness, or loneliness. Even if you're adapting well, you might be struggling to explain it to your family or friends. Read on for our list (in no particular order) of great books to help you embrace your new life.
The links below are affiliate links, so we'll get a small bonus if you use them to order any of these books from Amazon, but we also have a free printable version of this list that you can take to the library!
In pursuit of making great book club kits and generally improving ourselves, we read a LOT of books! We believe that you can get at least a little bit better at just about anything, as long as you keep learning about it and practicing proven techniques. We extend this philosophy to our journeys as parents, too. What if all parents took their parenting as seriously as their career or favorite hobby? To progress at work, people read books, take classes, and seek mentorships. We aren't too proud or self-assured to try these techniques to become better parents, as well.
While we're certainly not perfect, we're definitely seeing results from these efforts. One of our biggest lessons has been that we're constantly planting the seeds for future progress; real changes are rarely immediate, but they're lasting and buildable. That and, parenting is hard! Even when you're doing it right, your kid will still get mad at you. Saying "no" in the cereal aisle when your kid is two might result in a tantrum that makes you wish you'd just ordered everything online. But sticking to your "no" and enduring the tw0-year-old's rage will result in a much more subtle, but accepting, form of dissatisfaction to your "no" in the same scenario a year or two later.
All of this is to say, you've got this! And when you feel like you don't, we have books that can help. Read on for our list of our ten favorite parenting books (in no particular order). These are all of our go-to's when friends ask how we handle things. Use the links in the article to order your own copy from Amazon (we'll get a small referral payout if you do, at no additional cost to you). Bonus: we have a printable pamphlet of all ten titles that you can take with you to the bookstore or library!
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth answers one of life's seemingly unanswerable questions, “why do some people succeed while others fail?” What is the elusive secret ingredient? Duckworth reveals that grit, not natural talent, is the largest predictor of success. Grit is passion and sustained persistence in pursuit of a long term goal for the sheer joy of achievement. We like to believe that you either have “it” or you don’t. We cling to natural talent because it lets us off the hook. I haven’t succeeded? Well I must not have “it.” The truth is that we don’t have “it,” yet. It being grit and yet being the key word! Because as Duckworth shows us you can grow grit from both the outside in and the inside out. And, for those of us willing to put in the work, THAT is a comforting thought.
We, like most everyone else, are stuck at home. When you live with other people, being forced to be in close quarters with each other for an extended period can become frustrating, or a fresh chance to improve your relationships. To make the most of this time, we're trying for the latter. So this week, we're looking at our relationships through the lens of the five love languages.
In case you haven't read Gary Chapman's book, "The 5 Love Languages," here's a quick rundown. Chapman believes that while everyone expresses love (and craves it to be expressed to them) in their own way, these can all be organized into five groups. Chapman calls these groups the five love languages. The word "language" is really key here, because if someone tried to tell you that they love you in a language you didn't understand (like Arabic or German), you wouldn't receive the message. But, it would be possible for you to learn that other language, and then you would be able to understand the other person's message of love. That's important, because it means that while some of the love languages don't come naturally to us, there's hope that we can learn to give and receive love in them anyway.
So what are the languages themselves? There's Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Gifts. To learn more about each language, your best bet is to read Chapman's books. But to find out which is your primary (or even secondary) love language, take the quiz on Chapman's website!
Ariel and I know that between our two families, every love language is represented. So we have to work on all of them to make sure that we're all feeling appreciated while in quarantine. With small children, Chapman advises to practice all five languages anyway, since they and their preferences are still developing. And while adults have more fixed love needs, in unusual times (quarantine) or during transitional phases (around a big move, or when a baby is born), your needs might temporarily shift. All that is to say, this is the perfect time to take stock of what we and our family members need in order to feel as loved and whole as possible.
You can join us and work on the five love languages in your own home, too! From now until April 8th, 2020, we're giving away our mini kit for "The 5 Love Languages." If you don't already own the book, check out the ebook or audiobook from your local library, or get it from Amazon. You and your partner can read the book and use our discussion questions to connect with each other and the material. If you want to use our kit to do a virtual book club with friends or teammates, check out our article about how to easily run a virtual book club.
This post contains affiliate links. If you buy anything using the links in this article, Busy Nest News will get a small portion of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
Expecting Better, by Emily Oster
It’s been a while since Ariel and I came across a parenting book that we just had to read. When we heard the premise of Expecting Better, by Emily Oster, we knew it bore checking out.
Emily Oster is an economist (as is her husband). In a nutshell, what economists are pros at is analyzing information, evaluating the quality, and synthesizing it into reports to help people in key positions make decisions. In Expecting Better, Oster aims to use her economist skills to breakdown the data around the most common, thorny issues encountered in pregnancy, to help you decide what's best for your family.
Some of the topics tackled include the risks around foods (caffeine, alcohol, lunch meat, sushi), medicines (birth control, pain killers, antidepressants), and exercise. Oster also details risks of and protocols around genetic testing, common pregnancy conditions (such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes), bedrest, and the options available during birth.
In which Brianna and Ariel discuss Neil Pasricha's upcoming book, You Are Awesome. Who is this man, what is his book about, and when is it available? We received advance copies of this book so that we could give it our honest review. This post contains affiliate links.
You Are Awesome, by Neil Pasricha
Summary & Review:
Hello, dear readers! It has been a while since our last book review because we have been busy making book club kits. However, we’ve missed sharing our thoughts on helpful books with you and with each other. There’s a long, long list of all the books we want to review or that friends have asked for our take on. We were excited to take on this book because we were fortunate enough to get early access to it. So what is this book? It’s called You Are Awesome, by Neil Pasricha.
Neil Pasricha is the best-selling author of six previous books, as well as the creator of (at least) six failed websites. He’s also the son of two very wise and patient parents, whom I’d love to meet. In his book, which is an interesting blend of autobiography and life advice, Pasricha explains how he went from working the careers he was “supposed” to want, to finding his own path to success, happiness, and resilience.
Join Brianna and Ariel for another parenting book discussion. This month, we read Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps. When you buy the book through our affiliate links, a small portion comes back to Busy Nest News at no cost to you. Thanks for your continued support!
Do you ever feel as if everyone around you has it all figured out, while you’re still struggling with basic tasks? Do you wait for the less-than-friendly reminders from the utility companies before paying your bills? Or maybe you’re fiscally responsible, but you have no idea how often you should get an oil change, or you secretly don’t know what temperature to wash your clothes on, or how to cook a decent meal, or be respected at work, or, or, or. There are hundreds of skills whose mastery makes us feel like we’re competent adults; and if we’re bad at a few, we feel like terrified little kids masquerading as grown-ups.
Kelly Williams Brown’s Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps (previously 468 steps) offers to teach twenty-somethings life lessons big and small. Everything from how to pick a good apartment (make sure the outlets are real and not stickers) to why it’s a mistake to date a friend’s ex. She systematically goes through eleven areas of life with both beginner and advanced tips to take you to the next level. Along the way she shares stories which may or may not be true, but do an excellent job of illustrating her lessons.
Brianna and Ariel love to read all year, but there's something special about summer reading. This article kicks off a series about books that are perfect for summer. Using our affiliate links to purchase these books will help keep Busy Nest News going. Thanks for your continued support!
Welcome to Summer Reading! We know that summer can be a very busy season for families, but every bibliophile does their best to squeeze in a little reading time while the weather is warm. Perhaps you’re at the beach, traveling, lounging on a blanket or hammock, or it’s just nap time and so you grabbed the baby monitor and snuck out onto the porch with a big hat and a cold drink.
Join Brianna and Ariel as they review and discuss the parenting book, Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic. When you use the affiliate links in this article, you're helping to keep Busy Nest News running. Thanks for your continued support.
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic, by Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
For July’s parenting book, we read Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Ed. D.. Through her study of spirited children Dr. Kurcinka has developed a program to help parents manage the challenges that come with raising a spirited child. In this book, she offers concrete tips for identifying and handling situations that are likely to be met with resistance by spirited children, whether it’s an unexpected change in schedule, less than sympathetic teachers, or working through overwhelming emotions.
In which Ariel and Brianna discuss Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons by Eric Davis and Dina Santorelli. As parents can we learn something from the way the military shapes our men and women? Read on to find out. This post contains affiliate links. By using them you help keep Busy Nest News up and running. Thank you for your continued support.
Raising Men By Eric Davis & Dina Santorelli
Should we be tempering our sons in the crucible of extreme parenting before they set out on their own path? Eric Davis thinks so. Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons by Eric Davis and Dina Santorelli takes the Navy SEALs philosophy and training techniques and applies them to raising “real men.”
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
Let's keep in touch!