Confessions of a Scary Mommy {Review and Giveaway}

by Dawn

Right from the opening passages, I knew that I liked Jill Smokler. I’d never read her blog Scary Mommy before, though I had heard talk of her as a local “big” blogger in my area. I was looking forward to her newly released book Confessions of a Scary Mommy if for no other reason than to find out what the hype was all about. Then just a few pages in to the first chapter, I came across this passage that induced my first literal LOL.

“A few years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom to three kids, ranging in age from a newborn to a four-year-old. I was living in a new house, in a new town, among unfamiliar neighbors. It was lonely and overwhelming and I was bordering on miserable. A fellow mom from down the street stopped by our house to introduce herself and ask how my days were going. Half joking, I responded, “The baby is a bit of an @$$hole, but he’ll grow out of it. We’ll survive.” The look on her face was enough to let me know not only that I had offended her, but that we would not be spending our afternoons commiserating together.”

Oh man, I’d commiserate with her any day.

Confessions of a Scary Mommy is a slim 160+ pages but packs quite a humorous punch with each and every page turn. The humor comes from Smokler’s brash honesty, as she doesn’t try to paint an unrealistically rosy picture of her motherhood experiences. A variety of parenting-related topics are addressed here including: moms getting sick (not allowed), the gross things moms do (catch vomit in bare hands and take pleasure out of getting crusty boogies out of a baby’s nose– yup and yup for me!), and vacationing with children (definitely NOT a vacation), among several more.

Each chapter starts off with a selection of related “Confessions” that have been submitted on her blog, which are a mix of funny, touching, sad, and absurd, giving multiple perspectives on the topic at hand. Some of my favorites appear at the beginning of the chapter about labor and delivery, including: “My newborn looks like an alien. Am I supposed to find her cute?” and “To the new mom who left the hospital looking like a million bucks: I hate you.” And, I kid you not, this: “Even my vagina has stretch marks.” Oh my.

Smokler tells a good story, and the personal ones that she includes here are surely going to be understood by many mom readers. Personally, I appreciate her honesty, because I tend to roll my eyes at any proclamation that even hints at the thought that motherhood is nothing but sweetness and light. Yeah, right. If you’re the type of mom who enjoys chatting with pals about the good– AND the not-so-good– aspects of this role, then bring your sense of humor and pick up a copy of Confessions of a Scary Mommy.

Ready to laugh? We have one copy to give away to a reader (US mailing addresses only). Leave a comment here with your own “Scary Mommy” confession, as simple or brashly honest as you’d like! We’ll announce the winner here on 4/23.

The winner of Chuckling Ducklings and Baby Animal Friends is #2 Liz.

Want more mom humor? The giveaway for I’ve Had it Up to Here with Teenagers is still open as well.

Dawn has definitely earned herself a place at the “scary” mommy table, and she takes pleasure in reading others’ accounts of the parenthood experience. Her own tales are told on her blog, my thoughts exactly.

Email Author    |    Website About Dawn

When she's not reviewing books, 5 Minutes for Books contributor Dawn (and her online alter ego, morninglight mama) can be found blogging at my thoughts exactly and contributing to The DC Moms.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barbara Manatee April 9, 2012 at 6:12 am

I am a special ed teacher and had dealt with many kid behaviors and emergencies long before I had kids of my own. I told my MIL one day that by the time I had kids, I’d be fully prepared and nothing would get me too upset unless one of the kids’ arms was hanging off and spurting blood. She did not find that amusing!


2 Jen E April 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

Does referring to my daughter as our 2 year old fascist dictator qualify as scary? Guilty. :O) I’d love to read this book :)


3 Deedee April 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I often refer to argument with my 3yo daughter as “negotiating with terrorists” – and now my 20mo son is adding to the mix!


4 paige April 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Wasn’t mine but the best one yet, my niece pronounced in a crowded airport bathroom upon seeing a woman with a feathered collar on her coat and fuzzy highheeled boots, “Mommy, that lady looks like a big chicken.” There were women all over the bathroom trying not to laugh and one lady nearly put her eye out as she put on mascara. The woman in question came up to my sister in law bent down to my niece and said, ” i like a lady who speaks her mind, you keep on doing it princess”


5 Stephanie April 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I could be best friends with her for sure!


6 Blogging Toddler April 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm

“catch vomit in bare hands” : Thanks for this quick synopsis, I will definitely go and get a copy!


7 Dawn April 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm

My latest confession is that (blushing), I walked into my daughter’s new Psychologists office (testing) with my daughter in tow as she slugged down a and happily carried a “Monster” Beverage that she begged for : read- caffeine loaded, nutritionally void and calorie laden. Sheepishly feeling like the worst mother of the year…yup. I am suddenly inspired to have a scary mommy confession session….


8 Julia Reffner April 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm

My 6-year-old daughter has a tendency to blurt to the doctor that if she’s good there she gets a soda.


9 Jennifer Thomas April 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I have 4 kids hanging on me so I can’t concentrate enough to think of my latest scary mommy moment…but I have them…oh I have them!


10 Liz April 9, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Once upon a time, I thought I was a nice human being, but then I became a step-mother. Evidently, Cinderella’s had nothing on me, but I became a lot more sympathetic towards her. Thank goodness they grow up (and, one hopes (maliciously), have children of their own),


11 Kristi April 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm

As I my mother in law told me – her grandmother used to say if I’m going to die let it be before 5 pm. Cause as most mother’s know the 5 until dinner hour is the worst of the day – hungry kids and cooking aren’t a great mix.


12 Ellie April 10, 2012 at 11:18 am

Wait until they have their own and theirs grow up to be unappreciative as well. I have heard that one many times over.


13 June April 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

It’s amazing what we as mothers will go through for our children, funny.


14 Tia April 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I bought a sign that I have hanging in the hallway on the way to my teenager and tween’s rooms that says, “I love you more today than I did yesterday cuz’ yesterday you really pissed me off!”
I would love to read this book, and maybe even have lunch with the author, I think we’d have a great time. :)


15 Natalia April 11, 2012 at 12:27 am

I need good laugh.


16 Krystal April 11, 2012 at 2:05 am

Scary Mommy Moments…I have lots! Like when I let my baby cry in the swing for 20 minutes while I put the other two kids to bed. Or when I feed my kids cereal for dinner, because they are sick of the leftover pizza they’ve had for three nights in a row….Do those count? This sounds like a hilarious book; I would love to read it!


17 Kim April 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

There are days when I really have to stop myself from screaming JUST! SHUT! UP! That is just so so so awful… but omg MY EARS!!!


18 Stacey A April 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm

So much to confess, so little time. I definitely need to commiserate.


19 Sara R April 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Yay! Its not just me!!


20 Sandi April 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm

My confession: I’ve worn a pad to bed so many nights so my DH would leave me alone!!!


21 Liz April 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I am a huge Scary Mommy fan and have left an anonymous confession or two on the confessional there before. I’ll leave them off of here since I use my name and commentluv!


22 The Mommy Psychologist April 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more about Scary Mommy. I’m a child psychologist so it goes without saying that I have TONS of parenting books (and believe me, there are a lot out there). However, this is the one book that no mother should go without. It’s the only one that really tells the truth about motherhood. Check out my review if you’d like:


23 jaz April 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm

There are days when I get so frustrated with my 1 yr old screaming & crying for me I go to another room for a minute & sream my head off into a pillow!, or once I ignored him while he was crying & screaming his head off(at the time he had an ear infection in both ears & I didn’t know) I felt so bad i went & picked him up & rocked him back to sleep after seeing his lil face with so much pain!, I just kept kissing him I was so ashamed & disapointed in myself for that! ,I felt like such an evil person!


24 Linda Kish April 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I used to have to lock myself in my room for a time out so I wouldn’t go crazy. Raising a kid with ADHD, OCD, ODD as a single mom was never easy.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


25 Ann April 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Before our first daughter was born, my husband and I agreed: “It’s us against the baby.” Two kids in, and our approach seems to be working. I highly recommend the insoluble united front to all parents.


26 samantha w April 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

sounds really funny…would like to read


27 shelly April 13, 2012 at 9:52 am

I’ve had a few scary mommy moments. Nothing really huge, but often times I forget to brush my toddler’s teeth.


28 Staci A April 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm

It sounds like a hilarious book! My confession? I occasionally lock myself in the bathroom or hide in the kitchen with a snack, just so no one will talk to me. I need a minutes to myself now and then!


29 Chuck April 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm

This book sounds so funny, cant wait to read it.


30 Lori April 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I could relate to this type of book.


31 Dawn April 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm

If I only have to pick one scary mommy moment, I think it would have to be the day the school would not release my daughter to come home with me. They told me because the nurse did not send her home, they could not allow her to leave with me. I think my head spun around like the girl in the Exorcist movie, My voice changed to a very firm, but scary tone as I leaned in real close and told the woman at the desk, “When your name appears on her birth certificate and only then can you tell me when I can and cannot pick up my daughter. Now either you call her down here or I will go to her classroom and pull her out myself.”


32 Don April 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm

My wife & I would get a kick out of reading this book.


33 Anita Yancey April 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

This sounds like a fun book to read. I can definitely relate to it. Please enter me. Thanks!


34 Mozi Esmes Mom April 16, 2012 at 2:17 am

Letting my baby kiddo roll off the bed – we had a hard wood floor and high bed, and I was traumatized for a while afterwards. She recovered just fine after a screaming fit.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com


35 Jenn LeBow April 16, 2012 at 11:54 am

I love scary mommies. They’re usually so much more refreshing than the perfect mommies. Of course, I’m so perfect it’s scary… bwa ha ha ha ha! Just kidding.


36 Angela E. April 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm

What a funny book to read, love it,


37 Garrett April 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm

These sound like some funny mommie stories for sure, book sounds great.


38 Van April 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I bet my Mother would enjoy reading this good book.


39 Jeff April 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Too funny,bet this one’s a riot.


40 Barb April 18, 2012 at 7:42 am

I have too many to recount here today. Suffice it to say, I am indeed a scary mommy.


41 April Alvey April 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

My son has Adhd and is always hyper so when he was little he was always banging his head on stuff for fun. We was at the doctors office and he was banging his head on the wall and the nurse looked at me as said ” He is going to hurt him self doing that ya know” I replyed back ” Well I guess he will have learned his lesson them wont he ” She looked at me like i was the worst mother on the earth but there was nothing i could do he wouldnt stop and the dr knew he was doing it and he told me to let him do it and he would stop on his own and he did. so yea i am a scary mommy lol.


42 apple blossom April 20, 2012 at 8:11 pm
43 Nancye Davis April 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm

My scary mom moments include projectile vomiting in the car, puking in my husband’s shirt pocket in the check-out lane at Wal*Mart, and poopy pants in the check-out lane at Kroger (with no diaper bag or change of clothes)…….and that’s just one of my kids!!!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


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