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Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood: The Good, The Bad, and the Scary

Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood: The Good, The Bad, and the Scary

4.4 97
by Jill Smokler

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Based on the hugely popular website, ScaryMommy.com, Confessions of a Scary Mommy digs deep into the underbelly of parenting and tackles the issues many mothers are too afraid to expose.

Sometimes I just let my children fall asleep in front of the TV.

In a culture that idealizes motherhood, it’s scary to confess that, in your


Based on the hugely popular website, ScaryMommy.com, Confessions of a Scary Mommy digs deep into the underbelly of parenting and tackles the issues many mothers are too afraid to expose.

Sometimes I just let my children fall asleep in front of the TV.

In a culture that idealizes motherhood, it’s scary to confess that, in your house, being a mother is beautiful and dirty and joyful and frustrating all at once. Admitting that it’s not easy doesn’t make you a bad mom; at least, it shouldn’t.

If I can’t survive my daughter as a toddler, how the hell am I going to get through the teenage years?

When Jill Smokler was first home with her small children, she thought her blog would be something to keep friends and family updated. To her surprise, she hit a chord in the hearts of mothers everywhere.

I end up doing my son’s homework. It’s wrong, but so much easier.

Total strangers were contributing their views on that strange reality called motherhood. As other women shared their stories, Jill realized she wasn’t alone in her feelings of exhaustion and imperfection.

My eighteen month old still can’t say “Mommy” but used the word “shit” in perfect context.

But she sensed her readers were still holding back, so decided to start an anonymous confessional, a place where real moms could leave their most honest thoughts without fearing condemnation.

I pretend to be happy but I cry every night in the shower.

The reactions were amazing: some sad, some pee-in-your-pants funny, some brutally honest. But they were real, not a commercial glamorization.

I clock out of motherhood at 8 P.M. and hide in the basement with my laptop and a beer.

If you’re already a fan, lock the bathroom door on your whining kids, run a bubble bath, and settle in. If you’ve not encountered Scary Mommy before, break out a glass of champagne as well, because you’ll be toasting your initiation into a select club.

I know why some animals eat their young.

In chapters that cover husbands (The Biggest Baby of Them All) to homework (Didn’t I Already Graduate?), Confessions of a Scary Mommy combines all-new essays from Jill with the best of the anonymous confessions.

Sometimes I wish my son was still little—then I hear kids screaming at the store.

As Jill says, “We like to paint motherhood as picture perfect. A newborn peacefully resting on his mother’s chest. A toddler taking tentative first steps into his mother’s loving arms. A mother fluffing her daughter’s prom dress. These moments are indeed miraculous and joyful; they can also be few and far between.” Of course you adore your kids. Of course you would lay down your life for them. But be honest now: Have you ever wondered what possessed you to sign up for the job of motherhood?


I shall remember that no mother is perfect and my children will thrive because, and sometimes even in spite, of me.

I shall not preach to a fellow mother who has not asked my opinion. It’s none of my damn business.

I shall maintain a sense of humor about all things motherhood.

Editorial Reviews

"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.

Alisa Schnaars

From the Publisher
“Get ready to ditch those Prada shoes (and anything else nice you own) and face reality—you haven't had a brutal boss until you've had a baby. Confessions of a Scary Mommy is hilariously, outrageously truthful about the hardest job I know. Put this book at the top of your diaper bag!”
—Lauren Weisberger, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada

“Jill offers up the perfect antidote to overly earnest parenting guides. It's like comfort food for anxious moms, served with a side of snark.”
—Cynthia Copeland, author of The Diaper Diaries and Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me

“Jill has blown the lid off of what should and should not be said when discussing the experience of motherhood, using her sense of humor and the occasional “F-bomb” — and in doing so, Scary Mommy, has actually made motherhood a little bit less frightening… [Confessions of a Scary Mommy] dares to say the things most mothers have thought, but few have had the courage to admit.”
— ABCnews.com

"Smokler’s “scary mommy” version of motherhood makes no apologies, which is precisely why it succeeds ... If motherhood is starting to feel like a story without a plot, my advice is to pretend you’re sick and lock yourself in the bathroom with this book. Highly recommended."
Library Journal

“Hilarious, brutal honesty about parenting.”
New York Times bestselling author Michael Ian Black

“Funny . . . speaks the truths about motherhood when other mothers aren’t willing to admit it.”

“Any mother who doesn't stifle a million knowing laughs while reading Confessions of a Scary Mommy needs to make sure her funny bone wasn't accidentally sucked into the diaper genie.”
—Julie Klam, New York Times bestselling author of You Had Me at Woof

“It’s the same kind of honest, heartfelt wisdom that has lured thousands of readers to Smokler’s Scary Mommy blog and given untold numbers of parents the comforting knowledge that they’re not alone.”
Baltimore Magazine

“Confessions of a Scary Mommy is THE book you should be giving all moms-to-be and new mothers so they can get that notion of being “perfect” out of their mommy brains as soon as possible. Jill’s book is a collection of the best confessions from her site, as well as some personal stories about becoming a mom and some of her own challenges and thoughts to put it all in perspective. Reading those confessions is pretty addicting and they make you feel pretty darn good.”
— Cafe Mom

“Funny, charming, engaging and highly prone to making me laugh my head off.”

“Thousands upon thousands of mothers grasp onto her every word.”
The Baltimore Sun on Jill Smokler’s groundbreaking blog

"If you need an irreverent, hysterical and oftentimes too-close-for-comfort look at motherhood, you need Scary Mommy."
The Huffington Post

“If you haven’t been reading Jill Smokler’s Scary Mommy blog, you’re missing out on all sorts of confessional hilarity…[CONFESSIONS OF A SCARY MOMMY] is a quick and relatable read that will have you in stitches by the end (or right at the beginning)."
New York Family Magazine

"For anyone who has ever felt like they’re a failure at being a “perfect parent,” or are scared they wouldn’t be good enough parents to have children, after reading this book you’ll know you aren’t alone."
Ruckus Mag

Product Details

Gallery Books
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5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.90(d)

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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.

Meet the Author

Jill Smokler is a New York Times bestselling author and domestic satirist whose candor about marriage and parenting has made her an unlikely hero among a new generation of women. She holds a degree in graphic design and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and has three children. Married to her college sweetheart, she and her family live in downtown Baltimore.

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Confessions of a Scary Mommy 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 97 reviews.
FrancescaB More than 1 year ago
I'm a busy mom like most and rarely make time to sit down and actually read a book anymore. However, something about Confessions of a Scary Mommy grabbed ahold of me and I couldn't put it down. In the course of a day, I read the entire book from cover to cover...it really is that good. Jill Smokler's approach to motherhood is honest, refreshing, and will have you racing to the next page. What I really love about this book is it's ability to say "yes, parenting is hard, but it is so very worth it."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is such an amazing read for all mothers everywhere! I plan on including a copy in all my future baby shower gifts so that when the crappy times hit, the new mother can read this and know that she is NOT alone! I really could have used it these last few years since becoming a SAHM but alas it was not there. Now it is, and everytime i feel like a horrible mom i will re-read it to remind myself that i am doing just fine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Diet coke coming out your nose, laugh out loud funny, this book is the ultimate Mommy bible! This should be the book they include in that diaper bag full of stuff you get from the OB-GYN or hospital when you are pregnant!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, this book is funny. Really, really funny. But, above everything else, I found it to be hugely reassuring and comforting. There are other moms like me?? Reading this was like sitting down to coffee with my best friend. (If my best friend made me laugh my ass off and feel better about myself.) Confessions of a Scary Mommy just plain made me happy. What more can you ask for from a book?
braemeg More than 1 year ago
Not just for mothers! As a working husband and father of 2 young boys -this was a great read and a good insight into what moms are thinking and going thru daily! also extremely funny!
TiffanyRom More than 1 year ago
This book is my new must-give gift for all new moms. It will be tied to the top of every shower gift I give! Funny, honest, real.. and did I say funny? This book is hilarious and quite refreshing. It's about time someone told it like it is!
SundayStilwell More than 1 year ago
In her book, Confessions of a Scary Mommy, Jill Smokler says all of the things mothers are already feeling but don't have the guts to admit publicly. Also, don't read this while sipping on your favorite drink because when you laugh at the many revelations you'll end up snorting it across the room. Consider yourself warned!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is AMAZING! It made me laugh, it made me cry, but most of all, it made me feel like I wasn't alone. This is a MUST read for any mom. This book is extremely honest and heartfelt; it tells it like it is and doesn't glamourize motherhood like everyone does. This book gives you the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a mom and should be revered as a mom "bible". We are all doing the best we can and this book points this fact out; we moms are awesome!
LJB40 More than 1 year ago
I made my husband stop reading his Nook and listen to parts of this because I was laughing so loud in bed I just had to share! THIS IS A MUST for all moms! It shows that we all have hard times in all aspects of this journey. Husbands, body image, loving your child, making friends. It is a GREAT Mother's Day present - mom's of all ages because you remember those days regardless of how old your kids are - you now have grandkids! I am taking a group of my friends to her book signing as a girly day! IT IS A MUST for all moms if she is in your area!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's a wickedly funny and insightful reminder to all of us mommies to lighten up and ditch the idealized image of motherhood we can never meet. With tongue and cheek humor and refreshing candor, Jill Smokler encourages us to trust our instincts and stop being so hard on ourselves. It's welcome and refreshing advice for new and veteran moms alike!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE this book. Reading it helps get me through life's scary moments as a mom. It encourages us to step back, take a breath, and make it through motherhood. Best of all, it reminds me that it's OK to not be Supermom. I'm not alone. And that thought is enough to make me want to cry the happy mommy tears. I want to buy a copy for every mom in my baby group. The Scary Mommy Manifesto alone makes this a MUST read for motherhood.
NicoleLH More than 1 year ago
Confessions of a Scary Mommy says what we all wish we had the guts to say out loud. It’s a book that makes you laugh, nod your head in agreement and more importantly – it makes you feel less alone when you have those days that are less than stellar as a parent. This book is a refreshingly honest and funny take on this life we’re all living - the highs as well as the lows. It removes the need to be perfect and allows for you to find comfort in being the best version of yourself knowing that your kids will love you and know that they are loved - even if you don't plan the perfect birthday party or make them the perfect meal each and every evening. As she says, they will thrive because of and sometimes even in spite of you - and that's ok.
jenb7588 More than 1 year ago
Excellent book that is funny and real. I read it in one sitting and enjoyed every minute of it. Wish I had read it when I was a first time mom.
js74 More than 1 year ago
An honest portrayal of motherhood. Quick and easy to read and you won't put it down and you will always want to go back! I couldn't stop laughing. Just went out to barnes and noble and bought books to share with my friends and family. Even if you are single you will appreciate this book. A must read! Kudos to the author!!
wendynycWB More than 1 year ago
This is a real and really funny reminder that we moms are not alone on this journey. Jill's stories are hysterical and easy to relate to--there's no judgment here. Just many laughs and some poignant moments as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laugh out loud funny from the first page to the last!
JenniferGerlock More than 1 year ago
I wish this book had been around when I first had children! It is honest. It is funny! But above all it is REAL. I laughed so hard at some of the chapters that my husband even wanted to read it. It is a great reminder that the ideal mother we all create in our heads does not exist. There is nothing wrong with doing the best you can and laughing about the rest!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is simply funny. It's the kind of book that makes you laugh out loud. She just puts into print the stories and thoughts that other moms have shared with their closest friends but wouldn't necessarily admit to in a room full of judging strangers. This is ABSOLUTELY a great book to include in any baby shower gift. Kudos for her honest look at motherhood!!!! I would love to sit down and share a glass of wine with Jill Smokler!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here are two must buys for any baby shower: The book "Confessions of a Scary Mommy" and a big box of diapers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious take on motherhood! Love her writing style and humor. My kind of mother!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the mommy confessions!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love, love, love this book. Laughed the whole way through. Mostly because about 90% of it applied to me. Although, I am quite embarassed to admit that! Definitely worth the read for any "real" mommy out there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finally finished the book after hiding in my room so i could read in peace amd quiet. Such a phenomenal book! I finally feel like a normal mom, with everyday wants and needs. I have recommended this book several times....even while i was one page 3 for the longest time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read, very human
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I greatly enjoyed the confessions that this author and the anonymous contributors used in this book. While I could relate to a few of them, most of them made me feel like I wasn't doing that bad of a job at parenting. After reading this book I shared it with my mother; she said that the confession about flipping her teenage daughter off once the front door had closed was particularly understandable for her. All in all, a good read and worth the money if you can step back and laugh at your own imperfections, just don't expect any life-changing parenting advice.