Reviewed by Cheryl Russell
"...isn't just another 'how-to' book, but a book written by a mom whose been in the trenches and has kept enough brain cells intact to relay to the rest of us the experience and wisdom she's gained throughout her journey."
Life pre-kids is clutter-free, laundry that is manageable, and sleep that may not be enough, but at least it’s somewhat under your control. Life after the little bundle, or bundles, of joy come home from the hospital is like stepping into a foreign country that you know nothing about. The language is in code which can be impossible to decipher at times. The food is strange. The growth rates phenomenal, so much so that the cute clothing rarely gets worn before it’s too small. Exhaustion is a constant companion and coherent thought no longer exists. And for all of these big changes and, at times, overwhelming responsibilities, there isn’t a whole lot of preparation or training. New parents, especially new moms, can find themselves overwhelmed by the seismic shift in lifestyle. I know this one did.
Trish Berg knows just how moms feel, as the title of her latest book, Rattled, attests. Trish is the mom to four active children and knows of what she speaks. Rattled isn’t just another ‘how to’ book, but a book written by a mom whose been in the trenches and has kept enough brain cells intact to relay to the rest of us the experience and wisdom she’s gained throughout her journey.
Rattled, Surviving Your Baby’s First Year Without Losing Your Cool, doesn’t start with what to do when bringing home baby for the first time. This book starts with the pregnancy, where the lifestyle change really begins. Broken down into parts, Trish focuses on various aspects of this challenging new way of life. Sleep deprivation, lack of time for your spouse, making room for the in-laws (both sides), finding fun in the midst of the stress and not losing yourself in the midst of it all are issues addressed in this easy to read and, at times, humorous book.
Each part is further broken down into chapters, which are split up into smaller sections. Each chapter starts with “Water from the Word”, a simple Bible verse to open the chapter. The writing has subtitles to make the chapters more manageable. “Food for Thought” is a small section of information set apart from the rest of the chapter. “Faith on Fire” is a small prayer. “Shelter from the Storm” are short testimonials from moms who’ve been there and survived to tell about it. “First Aid Kit” is a section with simple and practical suggestions for the new mom. “S.O.S—Spiritual Opportunity to Savor” is a short devotional for time-pressed moms. After the devotional, Trish includes a personal experience from her own life, good or bad. The chapters end with a few study questions.
What really comes through in Rattled is Trish’s honesty. She doesn’t just relay the things she’s done right, but also the mistakes she’s made in her mom journey. She isn’t afraid to share what she’s done wrong, if it’ll help another mom along the way. And that’s what drives this book; the desire to help moms raise their kids in a Godly way. She doesn’t forget dad, either. Part of the book is also devoted to dads—a new baby is as difficult an adjustment for them as well, but in different ways.
This is more than a how-to book, but a book written with a passion for moms and the difficult, but rewarding, job of motherhood. It’s a book I will pass on for moms-to-be and one I would’ve loved to have when my own mothering journey began two decades ago.
Cheryl Russell lives in the Midwest with her husband and three children. Her short stories, as well as a few articles, have been published in print and online. She's loved to read for as long as she can remember and puts all that time to good use writing book reviews for Infuze, Novel Reviews, and Title Trakk. She's also a member of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, FIRST network, Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour and American Christian Fiction Writers. She's currently working on her first novel. If she could, she'd spend her time hanging out in the thermal areas of Yellowstone in general, Norris Geyser Basin in particular. Another favorite spot is Kennicott, an old copper mining town in Wrangel-St. Elias National Park, Alaska, which is at the end of a 60 mile dirt road, 8 hours west of Anchorage. She and her family are frequent hikers in the national parks, and have pounded the dirt trails in Virginia, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. You can visit her at her blog, Unseen Worlds or at her website.