Confessions of a Scary Mommy {Review and Giveaway}

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.


  1. says

    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. says

    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”

  3. says

    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….

  4. Liz says

    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),

  5. Kristi says

    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.

  6. Tia says

    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. :)

  7. says

    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!

  8. Kim says

    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!!!

  9. Liz says

    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!

  10. says

    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:

  11. jaz says

    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!

  12. says

    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

  13. Ann says

    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.

  14. says

    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!

  15. Dawn says

    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.”

  16. says

    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

  17. says

    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.

  18. April Alvey says

    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.

  19. Nancye Davis says

    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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