Classic disclaimer – this book is published by SPCK, the group for whom I currently work.
I’ll take a leaf out of this book by making this review as short as I can. There are many books about parenting, but there aren’t that many (at least from a Christian perspective) about the changes to life that having a baby brings. I was glad to read this one, ahead of the birth of our first child (in March, God willing), not least as it resonated with or gave shape to some of the questions and complex feelings I have about this life-changing event. Simply put, this is a good book, for three reasons, all beginning with S.
Safe – this book is not a book that rushes over the realities of life. It is aimed at those of us in the journey of childbirth – but it is aware of those who are struggling, and those for whom a book like this will be a painful read. This is a book that takes the breadth of human experience carefully.
Storied – this book is full of stories. It is not just that, but each chapter includes stories from various women and men about their experience of ‘Baby Change’. Most powerful, perhaps, are the stories from women who have not had children, from an adoptive mother, and from the Fathers whose perspectives are not always as well documented. Importantly, this book is deliberately rooted in the Big Story of the Bible, with scripture scattered throughout, and focal points at the end of each chapter.
Self-Aware – this book is self aware. Anne is aware of her own privilege – both in terms of being able to, and having, children, but also the economic/lifestyle privilege she enjoys in terms of being able to look after her children herself. Rather nicely, her own mother writes the foreword – not something I expected, but something I enjoyed. One of the key takeaways for me as a new dad (Depending on when you read this!) will be the challenge to be both more aware of myself, and more aware of those around me, mindful of the different challenges facing different people.
I’d warmly recommend Baby Change to new parents, and those pondering parenthood. It is honest, occasionally amusing, and safe/storied and self aware! It is published by SPCK and available for preorder/purchase (depending on when you read this review) now!