Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler
Jill Smokler doesn’t like kids and was disappointed when she found out she was pregnant with her first child. Things changed a lot. Jill knew of all the “shoulds” for pregnant women and mothers, but that didn’t stop her from telling someone, “He’s kind of an a**hole, but he’ll grow out of it,” in reference to her toddler son.
Jill started a blog about her adventures in motherhood, because she was bored to tears and frustration. She had to have something to do when she wasn’t working as a graphic designer. On her blog she made observations that no one tells you about motherhood and she eventually opened up an anonymous confessional for parents everywhere. Their confessions are at the beginning of each chapter in the book.
Jill eventually has three children and she doesn’t want anymore, except for when she sees a newborn baby, but she only wants another one for a minute or so. Jill’s book is all about how everything doesn’t have to be perfect when raising kids and that, essentially, no one knows what in the heck they’re doing when raising children.
What I liked
Jill tells it like it is and it’s pretty funny. Motherhood isn’t always this special thing. I don’t have children of my own, but after helping raise my two youngest brothers, I understand what Jill is saying, about all of it.
I liked the confessions from other people. When more than one person has the same kind of thought or experience and then tells you about it, you know you’re not alone.
What I didn’t like
While this is funny, some of this stuff seems awful. Most of what Jill says, or does, is completely understandable. I get it. Some of it, though, seems a bit, I don’t know, more than should happen or not happen? I’m not really sure how to describe it. It’s more or less something that kind of pricks a nerve with me, but overall, I think Jill is doing a fine job of raising her family.
One thing I don’t like is the chapter on husband’s saying that they’re the biggest babies of them all. First of all–sexist, but that’s not the part I care about. Second of all–it’s true and that’s what is so irritating about it. Good, freaking, Lord–why does this one chapter ring so true? Be an adult, not a baby.
I used to be married and this whole “husband is a big baby thing” is one of the main reasons I never had kids with him. I would have been doing all the work and I’m not cool with that, nor am I cool with looking after a grown man as if he is a child. I feel you, Jill, I feel you, and I never even had kids to take care of along with the “man-child.” I know not all men are like this, but why in the heck are there so many of them?! It’s so frustrating that it makes you just want to sit down and cry about it. Newsflash–men, if you’re going to conform to sexist stereotypes, like being a big, over-grown baby that your wife has to take care of, you might as well as conform to a couple of the other sexist stereotypes, like being ripped with muscles and looking sexy in lumberjack plaid, and generally looking like the Brawny guy, at least your wife might get something out of that.
Assuming that all men are big babies is sexist, but also is conforming to that assumption. You can’t go around claiming that someone is lumping you into a negative sexist stereotype, while actually conforming to that negative sexist stereotype and expecting people to just be fine with it. It’s like self-fulfilling sexism or something. If you don’t want people to lump you into a legitimate negative sexist stereotype, like being a big man-child, then don’t be a big man-child. Granted, there are those people who are going to lump you into negative sexist stereotypes anyway because they make sexism a life goal. You could be a female rocket scientist with five doctorates in math and they would still say that women aren’t good at math and science, to your face.
Funny book, I enjoyed all of Jill’s mommy-isms.
Do you think it’s human to do those things that society says mothers shouldn’t do?
Where is the line for a bad, or good, mother drawn?