Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: Confessions of a Scary Mommy

I had been wanting to read this book ever since I somehow stumbled onto the author's twitter.  But wouldn't you know that the library didn't have it and I couldn't afford to buy it.

Happy birthday to me!

Adam got me a gift card for my Nook for my birthday last week.  And after much frustration and multiple calls made to them wondering how an emailed gift card would take so long to show up in an email, even though the amount had already been deducted from our banking account, I finally got it yesterday afternoon.  Anyway.

Adam came up to bed at about 11:40 last night and was surprised that I was still awake.  "I want to go to bed.  I just can't stop reading."  And so about ten minutes later, I was finished with the book.  It is, after all, under 200 pages.  "Why did you buy a book that's so short?"

I have to admit, shelling out $11.99 for this book was hard to do, especially since it's very rare that I actually purchase a book.  But I had been wanting to read it for so long, I had to dive right in.  The author, Jill Smokler, has already written another book!  But alas, my gift card will not cover the cost for that book as well, so I will wait until Barnes and Noble snail mails my "I'm sorry we suck" $5 gift card.  Then I will have enough!

The whole idea for this book came from the author's blog.  Her family had just moved to a new city and she was home with three kids.  She decided to give writing a try.  After writing online for a while, she set up an anonymous confessional for her readers to leave comments about their own mommy woes, without worry of being flamed by the super-moms.

The book consists of many of the reader confessionals, all packaged into neat chapters about Smokler's own experiences ranging from pregnancy to how her life with her kids currently is.  Could I relate to every single confessional?  No.  But it was such a relief to read about other moms worrying about not being good enough.

A personal story that really stuck with me was the author's own struggle with breast feeding.  She even mentioned taking the same herb supplements that I did back when Daven was a newborn.  She talks about the overwhelming guilt that she had about not being able to keep her baby full and how switching to formula was such a rough choice.  I just read through, thinking I know just exactly how that feels.

So as you can probably tell, this book gets very personal.  But I really applaud Smokler's candor and telling it like it is, as apposed to sugar-coating everything.  Being a mommy is hard and in between those perfect pictures that we post online is a lot of frustration and self doubt.  And that's ok.  you aren't alone.

Being a scary mommy doesn't mean that you mistreat your kids.  It means that you haven't showered in days and don't think twice about sniffing a rear end to check for poo.  And that swiping some of your kid's holiday candy is alright.  I think that any and every mommy out there can resonate with the message of this book.  I can't wait to read her newest book.  Jill - thank you for this.  You rock, momma!

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