In the spring I had the opportunity to hear Lisa-Jo Baker speak at a women’s conference. I was immediately drawn to her way of viewing the world and her beautiful words. Something in the way she spoke made me at ease and want to be her friend.
So when she was done speaking and I had the chance to buy her book before it hit the stores (I’m a sucker for a sneak peek), I didn’t hesitate. I even thought about buying two copies because I just felt this book would be one I’d love and want to share with others.
The good news is I wasn’t wrong about Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker. It was encouraging and messy, just like I want my books to be. Baker grew up and got married with the assumption that she would never have kids. She had no desire. But after a few years, God changed her heart and she had a son. Totally ill-equipped and unprepared, she brought a beautiful baby boy into this world. And like all first time mothers, she floundered her way through just barely. And as she learned how to mother, she started reflecting on her childhood, her own mother that died too young, and her homeland of South Africa.
Reading this book makes you feel good. It makes the mess you’ve made of your day or your week (or your life…) seem okay. It makes not knowing any of the answers to the parenting questions acceptable.
At times, I felt Baker was a little too wordy. She has such a beautiful way with language, but occasionally I just wanted her to get to the point and stop describing all the things with all the words. But those thoughts weren’t enough to distract me from the book. As I read, I just kept thinking about all the women I wanted to share this with. All the moms who think they’re not enough. All the grandmothers that think they did so many things wrong. All the girls that think they don’t want to be mothers. And all the moms that don’t think they’re cut out for this mother gig.
My mom likes to joke that she still can’t believe I had kids. And sometimes I answer her that I can’t either…and that I’m still not sure I want any. I think that has crossed every mother’s mind at some point, if we’re being honest with ourselves. Reading Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker makes those feelings a little less shameful and makes the reader feel a little less alone. If you’re a mom, you should read this book. Or if you’re heading to a baby shower, this book would make a wonderful gift. Even better than that giant box of diapers…and that’s saying something.
DISCLOSURE: AFFILIATE LINKS USED.