I usually spend my blog space talking about my issues with household appliances, my moody teens, and my hapless husband. Occasionally I will also indulge in some shameless self-promotion for my book or a TV appearance or speaking engagement. However, since I have not blown up any toaster ovens of late and I have no appearances scheduled and my book does not come out for another year, I thought I would take a moment to extol the virtues of a new book coming out by my friend Jill Smokler, known to many in the blogosphere as Scary Mommy.
Jill’s book, “Confessions of a Scary Mommy” is really pretty hilarious and I know this because I read it and found myself wishing I had written it. If I consider actually bumping someone off because they are funnier than I am then I know their writing is REALLY, REALLY good. I also found myself incredibly relieved that Jill’s book came out a year before mine so I do not have to go head-to-head with her over Mother’s Day when all the kids go to the bookstore and look at the table with the “Recommended for Mom” books on it and they pick hers over mine.
Thank you for that, Jill.
The thing that I really like about Jill’s book, like her blog, is that she doesn’t sugarcoat all those miserable, poopy, sleepless, messy moments of raising kids, but instead, calls ‘em out, and in doing so, gives all the rest of us permission to admit that sometimes being a mom is just a big pain in the patootie. This is not to say that motherhood is without it’s rewards. Jill will be the first to admit it is the best job she’s ever had. But she will also be the first to admit that it is not always a bed of roses. By laying bare the challenges of child-rearing with a big serving of humor on the side, she portrays the experience of parenting in a way that is eminently relatable and comforting to those of us who are often afraid to admit how tough it is.
“My firstborn child was – how do I say this eloquently? – a very pleasant surprise! No, that’s not true. She was a complete and utter shock. A hysteria-inducing, this-cannot-be-happening-to-me, why-did-I-not-triple-up-on-the-birth-control shock that rocked my selfish, skinny life to the very core. Just so we’re clear.”
Although my kids were actually planned (we launched our efforts in a sleepy, seaport town at a charming little B&B called “The Seamen’s Inn. Yes, that was on purpose), I can still relate to Jill’s shock at actually seeing the double line on the pregnancy test. This was followed by the nine months of less than idealic pregnancy Jill describes in her book, and the early days of post-pregnancy when you feel like you will never change out of your bathrobe, take a shower, or leave the house without a child strapped to your body again.
The fact that so many of us do this a second, third or more time, is a testament to the endurance of the human race or the likelihood that labor and childbirth kills the brain cells responsible for rational thinking.
The book also includes hilarious and achingly true confessions from lots of other mommies, and a Scary Mommy Manifesto. Repeat after me: “I shall not judge the mother in the grocery store who, upon entering, hits the candy aisle and doles out M&M’s to her screaming toddler.” We’ve all done it, you know we have.
As I read the book and snorted with recognition, I silently thanked Jill for reminding me that although it is a tough job, having kids is a gift, and the hemorrhoids you get from having them, is the gift that keeps on giving.
*”Confessions of a Scary Mommy hits the shelves on April 3 but you can pre-order it now. For more details, click here.