What happens when two become three? When sleep is a myth? When friends used to see you – but now see your baby? Is your identity lost in motherhood? Does your brain still work? ‘In those early years I could barely follow an episode of Peppa Pig, let alone pick up a Bible.’ says Anne Calver, in her new book ‘Baby Change’.
It was wonderful to chat to Anne Calver last year at the New Wine’s Women’s day in London, and discover we were both in the process of finalising books about being mums. Here we are a few months later, mine is out, and her book ‘Baby Change’ will be published next month, with SPCK. I was delighted to be able to review it on the blog and though it is designed so that it can be written in short bite sized chunks for the busy parent, I literally read it in one sitting on a lengthy train journey!
Anne talks about wishing she’d had more tools to navigate those early years of parenthood and that’s why she wrote the book; and the result is a wonderfully God-centred encouragement for new parents or parents to be. This book is so full of biblical truth, Anne notes in the beginning that:
Jesus is looking for parents who will talk to him about the challenges, who will share their hearts with him and listen to his voice… Jesus and his word have been, and still are, the answer to parenting.
And this echoes through the book both in Anne’s own writing and in the stories of other parents featured throughout.
Anne’s own experiences are shared with honesty and humour, she talks of of her own experience of finding it hard to conceive and then later having difficult pregnancies and how she clung to God during that time. There’s also plenty of practical advice on parenting with Jesus at the centre rather than just being shaped by the culture around us.
The truth is our view of parenting is not God’s view anyway: ours is super distorted
Whilst the book is focussed mainly on parenting, covering some key areas that are common to many of us such as the challenge of the transition to motherhood, the threat to our sense of identity and the guilt that so many parents feel; she also touches on managing work and going back to work as a new parent and the reality of all that involves. She notes:
I have written this to help us know that the issues we face we do not face alone, and to encourage each one of us that Jesus loves us and is with us by his Spirit as we seek to parent well.
Above all I think Anne reminds us that we need to encourage one another by sharing our own experiences and pointing each other back to Jesus. If you’re a new parent, thinking about becoming a parent and need a few pointers or a bit of encouragement – this book is for you!
‘Baby Change’ is published next month with SPCK, priced £9.99 (currently on sale at £7.99 pre-order)