If you’re at all familiar with the Scary Mommy blog, then you know that creator Jill Smokler is somewhat irreverent about the subject of motherhood. When she started her blog, ostensibly as an online baby book meant to follow her journey with her children as they grew up, she had no idea that her open, honest, humorous, and often sarcastic views on motherhood would strike such a chord with readers everywhere. But it turned out she wasn’t the only mom out there who wondered if she was making mistakes. And through the anonymous “confessional” on her blog, she found out that there were a lot of moms in the world feeling sad, scared, unsure, frustrated, overwhelmed, and in some cases completely fed up with the trials of parenting their children. The result was a motley crew of moms who ended up forming a tight-knit community for mutual support and relief. And in Smokler’s audio book, ‘Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood – The Good, The Bad, and the Scary’ she wants to let listeners know that motherhood is a difficult business and that no parent is perfect.
What Smokler really discovered through her blogging experience is that a lot of moms feel alone. They are convinced that they’re the only one who ignores their kids long enough to take a shower, checks out at night by watching TV while the kids run around like maniacs, feeds children what they’ll eat (mac and cheese?) instead of what’s good for them, or does homework because it’s easier that sitting there watching kids do it at their own pace. And so many moms harbor guilt about things like wanting time for themselves, feeling like they’re inadequate, or even wondering if they might not have been better off skipping the whole motherhood thing.
But according to Smokler, it’s perfectly natural to be an imperfect mother; one who makes mistakes and lets her needs supersede those of her children at times. In fact, it’s not only natural, it’s necessary. A woman is more than just a mother; she has wants and needs of her own. It is when women devote themselves tirelessly to the task of mothering, putting their own needs on the back burner, that they truly become the scary moms they dread. Smokler wants to let the exhausted moms out there know that they are not alone, that the fears and guilt they feel are unnecessary, and that they don’t have to be perfect in order to raise good kids. In fact, when women are taking care of themselves they are likely to have a lot more love, energy, and understanding to offer their kids.
Don’t get the wrong idea: this audio book is not a downer or a self-help guide by any means. Rather it is a celebration of the diverse array of experiences and emotions that mothers go through, no matter how scary or irreverent they may seem. It is sometimes sad, but more often humorous, and any mother who listens will find multiple occasions to nod her head and laugh simply because she’s had a similar experience. Whether you’re struggling with decisions about birthing practices or you’re trying to figure out why your toddler can spout expletives but has yet to say “mommy” or “daddy”, or another mom at the playground chided you for checking your Facebook page instead of having your eyes glued to your child 24/7, you’ll find relatable situations in this book that will make you feel a little bit better about the many trials inherent in the mothering process. If nothing else, you’ll learn that you don’t have to be perfect in order to be a great mom.