I’m not sure when or how exactly I discovered Scary Mommy’s blog, but it was one of those a-ha moments. It just clicked. FINALLY, there was someone out there who wasn’t pretending motherhood was all rainbows and unicorns. Yet, at the same time, her fierce love for her children came shining through every post.
I didn’t want to read someone who just bitched about being a mom. But a healthy dose of sarcasm and an acknowledgement of some of motherhood’s more absurd moments was very much appreciated.
And the Confessional? Oh, how I love thee. In case you’ve never used it, it’s an anonymous board that lets you post ANYTHING that’s on your mind. It’s become a necessary tool for helping me keep my sanity. When I’ve had a bad day, I browse some of the confessionals and get a good laugh. When I hit a bump in the road of our marriage and it’s not something I feel like discussing with any of my real-life friends, it’s a wonderful way to just get it off my chest. I always feel 1000 percent better afterwards. It’s sort of like a cleanse for the brain.
When I saw Scary Mommy, aka Jill Smokler, was writing a book, I knew I had to get it. And I’m so glad I did.
“Confessions of a Scary Mommy” is a tiny bit of fun wrapped up in a shiny, pretty book. You can tell a mom wrote it — the chapters are the exact length of a decent bathroom break. I may have had “stomach issues” over the weekend so that I could read more than one chapter at a time.
Shhh! Don’t tell my husband.
And it was the perfect companion for my marathon hair-coloring session.
I guarantee — you will find yourself laughing out loud and saying a silent “preach on, girl” as you’re reading this.
You may recognize yourself in the pages. I know I did, on several occasions:
— In a chapter called “Grilled Cheese, Squared,” Jill’s echoes so many of my same frustrations with raising a toddler. Like Jill, I thought I was doing EVERYTHING right in the beginning. My darling 1-year-old inhaled everything I put in front of her — vegetables, avocados, every fruit under the sun, even curry and Pho. Now? If there isn’t peanut butter or a fried breading on it, she wants nothing to do with it. Jill writes, “Somehow I have become that short-order cook I always vowed not to be. The one who has let her children win.” Yup. Sounds about right.
— The chapter “I Hate Other People’s Kids (Not Yours, Of Course)” is perfection. Dammit if every word isn’t true. In it, Jill describes the sinister influences of other people’s kids — teaching your kids about evil things like Uggs and “High School Musical” and passing on their grimy, infectious germs and food aversions. In our house, E. stopped drinking milk boxes at preschool and is newly demanding Miss Matched socks and braids because of what she’s learning from the other girls. Of course I want my child to have friends; I just wish she wasn’t already so swayed by their opinions. I’m already dreading elementary school. Like having serious nightmares about it.
— Her “Freedom of Speech” chapter reminded me of my own ode to swearing and the fact that we’ve never been able to break the habit ourselves. Since I wrote that post, I’ve gotten even more lenient about swearing in front of E. Now, she at least knows what the bad words are, and, for the most part, knows that I can use them but she can’t. And DadJovi claims he has no problems with her dropping a shit here or there. The funniest thing is that she thinks other words are much worse than our swearing. Recently, we were watching “Game Changer” on HBO when E. wandered into the room. I forget the entire sentence but it contained at least three variations on fuck and the word stupid. Guess which word E. thought was bad? “Ooooooh! They said stupid. That’s a bad word!” And she’s right. “Stupid” has much more power to hurt someone, particularly another child, than fuck.
— Finally, every mother of a daughter should read the “Girl Repeated” chapter. Jill lays out the whole ball of emotions I feel all the time — pure joy, pride, sheer terror, a prematurely aching heart for E’s first heartbreak, and so much pressure to guide this precious creature to womanhood with her own pride, self-image and confidence intact. It’s a tall order and I hope I’m up to the challenge.
As if reading the book wasn’t enough fun, I even got to meet Jill herself this weekend! She came to Orlando for a book reading and signing.
And here’s what a small world it is. I asked her how she got Lauren Weisberger’s (author of “The Devil Wears Prada”) blurb for the book’s front cover. She looked at me strange for a moment until I explained that I graduated high school with Lauren. It turns out Jill went to college with another classmate of ours and met Lauren through her. It’s a small world after all (which I then tortured Jill, who has been spending time at Disney with her kids this week, by putting the tune back in her head).
But we were fast friends. OK, fine. Stalker and stalkee, but she didn’t seem too creeped out by me.
Keep an eye on Scary Mommy’s schedule and if she’s coming to town, you MUST to it. She was so incredibly nice and open about the entire process, explaining how she got her book deal and even sharing some of her ad network/sponsors secrets with us bloggers in the audience (including Michelle of Crazy Running Legs and Kerry of Vinobaby’s Voice). Seriously. Any question we asked she answered … and more. It was almost more like a blogging boot camp at times than a reading. I mean, how cool is that?
I also asked her advice on blogging about an older child. I’m starting to feel as if I’m going to have to really cut back on blogging about E. sooner rather than later. Can’t I keep my kid a toddler forever? What will I do without the blog fodder?!? Since her daughter is a few years older than mine, she had some good tips.
Do yourself a favor. Pick up a copy of “Confessions of a Scary Mommy” for yourself or a mom who needs some laughs … or a reason to lock herself in the bathroom.
What are some of your Scary Mommy confessions? What’s one thing you do as a parent that you swore you’d never do? And did anyone else go to high school with someone hit the big time? OF COURSE we’re happy for their success, right? Of course.