I am a nerd, I'll admit. I love to read.
Before James and I were married, I read several marriage books in preparation. Gary Thomas' Sacred Marriage was by far my favorite. It's thesis is that marriage isn't meant to make you happy, but to make you holy. Thinking of marriage as an instrument God uses to sanctify you brings a new perspective to life, particularly when James totally angers or annoys me.
So, obviously when we found out we were pregnant, I began reading (and re-reading) books.
First, I'm reading Ezzo and Bucknam's Baby Wise. You would think that as a teacher I would feel comfortable and confident about becoming a Mom - no way Jose! I jokingly say that I don't know what to do with a kid before they become school-age. Baby Wise has been awesome in helping me gain knowledge about how to set up feeding and sleeping schedules. It is has two authors, one a pediatrician and one a minister so it provides not only advice and techniques from a physical/medical sense, but also from a spiritual sense. I highly recommend it.
A few weeks after we announced our pregnancy, our Sunday School teacher commented that he feels this baby will open a door of ministry for James and I. I know he is right, but it may not be the "church" job that we're looking for. You see, as parents James and I will be totally responsible for this little life. Not just for providing for his/her physical needs but also for bringing them up in a way that they would learn to love Jesus. That's a HUGE responsibility and one we don't take lightly. Come May/June 2012 - we will be involved in 24/7 ministry for the rest of our lives with this little child.
So being the nerd that I am, I turned to books.
First, I re-read Tedd Tripp's Shepherding a Child's Heart. I first read this book back in 2008 when I began teaching again after my haitus from teaching while in seminary. It has definitely made a difference in how I interact with my students and I pray it helps me shepherd my child appropriately. Tripp covers everything from spanking, time-out, and sharing the gospel with your child. He's super practical and orders most of his book in developmental stages. I'm sure this will become a resource as our child grows.
Second, I am reading Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson's Give them Grace. This book is a lot along the same lines as Tripp's book. If you're an adherent to "self esteem" you probably won't enjoy this book as they promote "Christ esteem" over "self esteem." The basic thesis is that when you encourage, praise, or discipline your child you should always point them towards the gospel.
Will I be a perfect Mom? Heck no. Will I make mistakes? Most definitely. But I am doing my best to be as prepared as possible. Do you have any books you'd recommend?