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.