Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler


Sometimes I just let my children fall asleep in front of the TV. In a culture that idealizes motherhood, it’s scary to confess that, in your house, being a mother is beautiful and dirty and joyful and frustrating all at once. Admitting that it’s not easy doesn’t make you a bad mom; at least, it shouldn’t.

If I can’t survive my daughter as a toddler, how the hell am I going to get through the teenage years?

When Jill Smokler was first home with her small children, she thought her blog would be something to keep friends and family updated. To her surprise, she hit a chord in the hearts of mothers everywhere.

I end up doing my son’s homework. It’s wrong, but so much easier.

Total strangers were contributing their views on that strange reality called motherhood. As other women shared their stories, Jill realized she wasn’t alone in her feelings of exhaustion and imperfection.

My eighteen month old still can’t say “Mommy” but used the word “shit” in perfect context.

But she sensed her readers were still holding back, so decided to start an anonymous confessional, a place where real moms could leave their most honest thoughts without fearing condemnation.

I pretend to be happy but I cry every night in the shower.

 The reactions were amazing: some sad, some pee-in-your-pants funny, some brutally honest. But they were real, not a commercial glamorization.

I clock out of motherhood at 8 P.M. and hide in the basement with my laptop and a beer.

If you’re already a fan, lock the bathroom door on your whining kids, run a bubble bath, and settle in. If you’ve not encountered Scary Mommy before, break out a glass of champagne as well, because you’ll be toasting your initiation into a select club.

I know why some animals eat their young.

In chapters that cover husbands (The Biggest Baby of Them All) to homework (Didn’t I Already Graduate?), Confessions of a Scary Mommycombines all-new essays from Jill with the best of the anonymous confessions.

Sometimes I wish my son was still little—then I hear kids screaming at the store.

As Jill says, “We like to paint motherhood as picture perfect. A newborn peacefully resting on his mother’s chest. A toddler taking tentative first steps into his mother’s loving arms. A mother fluffing her daughter’s prom dress. These moments are indeed miraculous and joyful; they can also be few and far between.” Of course you adore your kids. Of course you would lay down your life for them. But be honest now: Have you ever wondered what possessed you to sign up for the job of motherhood?


I shall remember that no mother is perfect and my children will thrive because, and sometimes even in spite, of me.

I shall not preach to a fellow mother who has not asked my opinion. It’s none of my damn business.

I shall maintain a sense of humor about all things motherhood.

Sound interesting?  Get your copy at Amazon Confessions of a Scary Mommy.

About Jill:
Jill Smokler is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of A Scary Mommy (April 2012) and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies) (April 2013) as well as the owner all things Scary Mommy.

Jill’s honest take on parenting has appeared in numerous publications and on television programs, including The Today ShowThe New York Times, Good Morning America,Nightline and CNN. The website averages over 3 million page views a month and the Scary Mommy Twitter feed keeps over 310,000 followers entertained daily, including Tori Spelling, Nicole Ricci, Cynthia McFadden, Holly Robinson Peete and President Obama. TheScary Mommy Facebook page boasts over 89,000 active fans.

In February of 2011, The Scary Mommy Confessional was born. The Confessional offers a private and totally anonymous forum where moms and dads can spill their juicy secrets, their fears and more. Since its launch, the Scary Mommy Confessional has already garnered more than 330,000 confessions from women and men looking to tell somebody that secret that is eating them up inside. The Scary Mommy Community  is a vibrant and thriving meeting place for over 10,000 moms to discuss everything from their fussy babies, to biggest pre-baby regrets to nightmare mother-in-laws. 

Scary Mommy Nation, a 501(c)3 charity helps members of the Scary Mommy Community who are financially struggling. It was born from an impromptu Thanksgiving fundraiser and has gone on to offer grants of several thousand dollars to moms in dire need, birthday presents to kids who otherwise would have gone without and summer assistance programs.

Jill lives in Baltimore with her college sweetheart and three kids (Lily, 9, Ben, 7 and Evan, 5.)

Confessions of a Scary Mommy is one of the most entertaining books that I have read so far this year.  I am a part time mommy to my boyfriend's kids.  I have none of my own, and there are a lot of instances where I'm just winging it.  I love my boyfriend's kids with all my heart, but sometimes they drive me crazy.  I wondered if full time regular moms felt that way.  I wondered if my mom ever  felt this way.  I have also found myself saying things my mother said to me that I always swore I was never going to say when I had kids.

It seems like everyone has advice on how to be a mommy.  There are tons of parenting books on how to be the perfect mom and raise perfect kids.  These books are unrealistic because there is no such thing as the perfect mother or the perfect child.  I love that Jill Smokler wrote a book, and fostered a mommy blog community where it is OK to be imperfect.

Jill's book is full of her experience as a mother as well as anonymous confessions from other mom's on her blog Scary Mommy Community .  Jill covers everything from pregnancy and after.  Her experiences are funny, honest and relatable on many levels, whether you're a biological mom, adoptive mom or stepmom, there is something you can relate to.  I read this book in one sitting and then read it again.

This book is one I will most likely read again and again - any time I'm starting to feel a little over-stressed, need a good laugh, or just need to not feel like I'm going through these experiences alone.  I recommend it to mothers everywhere and those considering being a mother.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Sorry it's been quite around here lately.  We had problems with both computers at the same time.  What a hassle.  Things will be getting back to usual, and I have some things to catch up on including March RAK wrap up.
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