"Parenting doesn't have to be perfect." That is the motto of the honest mom blog ScaryMommy.com that Jill Smokler launched to write candidly about her own unglamorous parenting experiences. What began as her own personal confessional blossomed into an entertaining sounding-board of hundreds of anonymous mothers. Confessions of a Scary Mommy presents a quintessence of the best blog rants, vents, and funny anecdotes. Move over, Angelina Jolie, we have a story to tell you.
Read an Excerpt
I am not a writer.
Sure, I wrote this book, but I am not an actual writer. At least, I don’t think of myself that way.
I’m a graphic designer by trade, and I took some time off from work when my kids were babies. I knew I’d eventually have to go back to a salary to help pay the bills, but I was going to milk living in yoga pants and not showering until dinnertime for as long as I possibly could. There was nothing about wearing heels and lipstick to an office that I missed, but the slothfulness did come with a cost. While I certainly didn’t miss the work, I missed having something—anything—to myself. Endless games of peekaboo and board books were not as fulfilling as I thought they would be; I felt like I was drowning in boredom and lame nursery rhymes. So, on a whim, I started a blog.
It seemed like as good a solution as any: I’d be able to keep a baby book of sorts for the kids—kind of a modern-day love letter—and it would give me something to focus on between laundry, diaper changes, and grocery shopping. Plus, it meant I wouldn’t have to send those annoying picture-filled e-mails to friends and family. What did I have to lose? Nothing, it turned out, but I had no idea just how very much I would gain.
I wrote about my struggles to get the “perfect” photo of my children and my frustrations with the terrible twos. I shared cute little pictures and art projects and stories, but I never dreamed that anyone not closely connected to me would ever read them. But a few weeks in, something amazing happened: I got a comment from someone other than my mother or my best friend. Someone, from thousands of miles away, who had somehow found and related to me. I clicked on her name and found that she had a blog of her own, where she, too, shared her views on motherhood and parenting. They were different from mine but fascinating to read about. From there, I clicked around and found that there were hundreds, thousands of moms writing about their lives and views. It was a whole wide world I’d accidentally fallen into. And I was hooked.
As my site grew, so did the sense of community. Where I once felt alone in my feelings of exhaustion and imperfection, I suddenly had other moms from all around the world understanding and relating to me. Likewise, the honest thoughts about motherhood that had existed only in my head started creeping up on the blog. I began to consider my posts as facilitators for the larger discussion that took place in the comments. People added their own experiences and stories, and I laughed and cried and learned from them. We all have stories to tell, and I loved that people were using my space to open up with their own.
A few years after starting my site, I added an anonymous confessional, sensing that there was so much more my readers might say if they could do so without leaving a username or picture. The reaction was amazing. Some confessions were sad, some were pee-in-your-pants funny, and some were brutally honest, but they were real. You’ll see confessions at the start of each chapter and that’s where they’re from. Real moms leaving real thoughts, without fearing judgment or negative reactions. I’m sure you’ll be able to find reflections of yourself in at least a few of them. We’re really not all that different from one another.
It’s my hope that this book will act in much the same way my blog does. While you may not be able to comment on posts the way you would online, the book may inspire you to connect with people—to talk about some of the funny stuff and the hard stuff—in ways you might not have before. Open up with your friends about how hard it is to raise a girl. Admit to your neighbor how much you despise the pool. Use this book as a lifeline when you find yourself drowning in mommyhood.
To my Scary Mommy community members: Thank you. Thank you for showing me a side of me I never knew existed and for making a dream I never knew I had come true.