Surprised by this Book! Refreshing, Hilarious, Touching and Hopeful
August 20, 2014
HomeSchool Mom of 4
The Hot Dry Desert
When I first saw this book, I didn't want to read it b/c I assumed it would be another one of those fluffy motherhood books--you know, the kind written by this perfect mom who makes you feel like motherhood is supposed to be a bed of roses and all that jazz. However, I read The Antelope in the Living Room (which had me literally rolling on the floor laughing) and at the end of that book was a suggestion that if the reader like the Antelope book, she's also like the Surprised by Motherhood book. So I had to give it a try. I'm glad I did! Lisa-Jo Baker is refreshingly honest, pokes fun at herself in a charming way, and often has me giggling softly to myself. Not only that, but after I laugh, she can say something so poignant that I can completely relate and it brings tears to my eyes. For example, when she's talking about having her first child, she's overwhelmed, doing everything, there's throw-up and crying all night, he doesn't eat on schedule like he's "supposed to", and she says she would hold him and "keep waiting to fall in love with him." I felt like that with my first babies. I struggled with PPD and did not at all feel "in love with them" like I thought I was supposed to. But who talks about that? Who shares those thoughts and real struggles new moms have? Lisa-Jo is refreshingly honest and real, and she offers hope. I cannot recommend this book high enough--throw out all the ridiculous how-to books and grab this one! Or gift it to a friend for a baby shower gift. It's guaranteed to touch any new mothers heart, and any experienced mother's, too, I'd venture to say.
Normally, I wouldn't pick up a mothering book to read. I think I've read plenty of those through the years. This book, however, was a wonderfully written book on motherhood. I have four children and found her book so encouraging as she shared her mothering story and truths about motherhood. I will buy this as a gift for some new mothers I know. This isn't a "how to be a good mother" book. It is a book about the heart and soul of mothering and what God wants do in your life through the adventure/pain/joy of motherhood. A mom pregnant with her first baby probably isn't ready to fully appreciate this book. But as soon as she births and begins her journey with that baby, this book will be so encouraging.
Surprised By Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being A Mom was not what I had thought it was going to be like. It is somewhat the author's memoir. In the first chapter one there are so many points that are oh so true about motherhood. The chapter, also, reminds me that everyone, including experts, do not always have all of the answers with being a mother. After this chapter, the next few chapters were about the author's personal life and not much about her life as a mother. Personally, I wanted to read more stories about her raising her own children, not how she was raised and where she lived. When she does start discussing the joyful (or not so joyful) of being a mother later in the book, I was cracking up. I had some of those "Aha! I know exactly what she means right there" moments.
Though, I was slightly disappointed that the book was not solely about the author being a mother, I did enjoy most of the book. Especially, the touching letter she wrote to her own mother.
In her new book, Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom, Lisa-Jo Baker writes about her own journey to motherhood. Having lost her own mother, Lisa-Jo's path brought her home again and brought her healing she wasn't expecting. Lisa-Jo writes, "Always God remakes. Always He knits together what is separated, fractured, to create wholeness." (p. 162).
I've taken this book everywhere with me recently. Although I had pre-ordered mine, it ran out of stock quickly and it was about 2 weeks after the release date before I finally got it! Once received though, I devoured it. And I believe you will too.
Lisa-Jo's words will make you laugh and cry. They touch the soul of a mother in a way that only another mother can. Her story made me remember days long forgotten. She will encourage you to hang tough on the days you think won't end. She will put a name on all the feelings you have about motherhood. This book is not for just for new moms or for moms of young children...or for moms at all for that matter. Even those of us who don't have children have a mother and we have feelings and experiences in that relationships.
So if you have a mom, are a mom in the throes of things, hoping to be a mom someday or enjoying your empty nest, this book is for you!
Lisa-Jo Baker is a writer, encourager of women, and cheerleader for moms. When I heard that she was writing a memoir of her life and the way motherhood changed her, I knew it would be a delight and encouragement to read. As expected, the book did not disappoint. Lisa-Jo weaves words and writes with a beauty and honesty that will immediately draw you in.
In Surprisedby Motherhood, Lisa-Jo tells her story of growing up in South Africa and losing her mom at the age of 18. She knew that she never wanted to be a mom herself, but God had different plans! He worked in her heart and healed her. He gave her children who have taught her, challenged her, and helped to change her. Lisa-Jo learned that motherhood is hard, but glorious.
This isn't a "how-to" book with secrets and formulas for helping babies sleep, potty training little ones, instructing toddlers, or raising teenagers. This is the story of the making of a mother. It is Lisa-Jo's story, and her heart is in these pages. This story is for all of the exhausted and tired moms who think they can't do it. It is for the moms who are searching for happiness and humor in the mundane. This book is for all women who enjoy a good story of motherhood and mess and joy.
I personally enjoyed reading Lisa-Jo's story very much. Even if you are a regular reader on her blog, there is so much in this book that will be new. It is worth the read!
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. provided me with a complimentary review copy of Surprised by Motherhood. All opinions are my own.