White Trash Mom Handbook: Embrace Your Inner Trailerpark, Forget Perfection, Resist Assimilation into the PTA, Stay Sane, and Keep Your Sense of Humor

Overview

A mommy manifesto for the mom who proudly strives to be less-than-perfect

Michelle Lamar is a wry observer of the politics of elementary schools, the perfect moms who run them, and the kids who are trying to grow up without being embarrassed to death by their parents.  This book imparts invaluable advice on how to survive the brutal world of parenting, bake sales, and the PTA.

The White Trash Mom Handbook is a welcome and humorous approach...

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The White Trash Mom Handbook: Embrace Your Inner Trailerpark, Forget Perfection, Resist Assimilation into the PTA, Stay Sane, and Keep Your Sense of Humor

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Overview

A mommy manifesto for the mom who proudly strives to be less-than-perfect

Michelle Lamar is a wry observer of the politics of elementary schools, the perfect moms who run them, and the kids who are trying to grow up without being embarrassed to death by their parents.  This book imparts invaluable advice on how to survive the brutal world of parenting, bake sales, and the PTA.

The White Trash Mom Handbook is a welcome and humorous approach to handling the pressures of modern-day motherhood.  Readers can get a good laugh while learning the knowledge and skills needed to become a White Trash Mom:

Fake Bakin’ - transform store-bought treats into bake sale bestsellers!

Making Friends - how to spot a fellow White Trash Mom from 50 paces

Helping Out - give back to the school without sacrificing your time or sanity.

The White Trash Mom Handbook will teach moms to let go of being the best and embrace their inner rebel so they can enjoy their kids more, avoid PTA purgatory, and get a real life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"I love it! The immediate comparison is to my favorite pregnancy book, The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy. I think every mom sending her child to kindergarten needs to read this book before Labor Day." -Amie Adams, DC Metro Moms, Mamma Loves, and Kirtsy xxx "I aspire to the life lessons here, especially how to fake it for the bake sale." -Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor of All Things D, Author

“Take it from a Yellow Trash Dad that The White Trash Mom Handbook is a book that you should read. Actually, you don’t have to read it. Just buy it. Michelle will be just as happy either way--as would I be.” Guy Kawasaki, Co-founder of Alltop as in Moms.alltop.com, Author of The Art of the Start, founder of Garage Ventures xxx “Filled with lots of funny anecdotes and practical advice on not letting the pretentious aspects of Modern Parenting get you down.” -Gabrielle Blair, New York Designer, writer of “Design Mom” and founder of online community KIRTSY.

"Michelle Lamar's refreshingly realistic take on motherhood never fails to amuse -- and inform. If only we were neighbors, we'd buy her a beer." -Jessica Morgan, creator of HeatherCocksGoFugYourself.com and author of The Fug Awards

"Michelle totally strips the veneer off the ideal mom and tells you to knock it off already if you are spending time and energy trying to be perfect, or even good enough.” -Melinda Roberts, The Mommy Blog, Chief Blogger for MomBlog Network, Author

"Some clarification is due here: Michelle is being ironic when she uses the term White Trash as in ‘My house doesn't look like the pages of Martha Stewart's Living -- I guess we're White Trash.’ Or ‘We were in a hurry, so the kids had a drive-thru lunch today -- I guess I'm White Trash.’ If you are looking for decorating tips for your doublewide trailer, this book is not for you. But if you'd like some real advice on juggling motherhood and work, navigating the hierarchy of your kids' schools or how to deal with the PTA, you will enjoy Michelle's book.” -Donna Schwartz Mills, Blogger for Socal Mom and Momocrats

"This handbook is a LIFESAVER. Now I can Fake It For the Bake Sale and Blend IN at the PTA meetings. Michelle Lamar's irreverent handbook is a must read for all mothers. It's a reminder that no mom is perfect and offers tips and tricks even the trashiest Mom can use to help navigate the mess of love that is parenthood. " -Erin Kotecki, Vest-Queen of Spain Blog, Huffington Post

“Buy it for your sister-in-law who gives you the stink-eye every time you give your kid an unthawed eggo. Buy it for the woman in your mommy-and-me group who makes you feel like crap for not making your 3 year old go to Violin/French/Juggling lessons and send another copy to the bitchy chick down the street. The White Trash Mom Handbook is not about money or status or education. It's about giving yourself the freedom to be yourself, and that is a good thing indeed.” -Jenny Lawson, Houston Chronicle and The Bloggess

“Every mother out there who doesn’t have a full-time nanny, chef, chauffeur, agent, personal trainer and masseuse should read this book! The White Trash Mom Handbook is mommy self-help at its finest and funniest.” -Lash Fary, Celebrity Gift Guru and Author

"Whether you need help faking a tray of “homemade” brownies for the bake sale, or coming up with outrageous lies to tell your children for their own good, the White Trash Mom Handbook is a veritable encyclopedia of common sense wisdom. In a world that seems to continually reward style over substance, The White Trash Mom Handbook is a modern-day 95 Theses nailed to the pre-school door.” -Christopher B. O’Hara, author of Great American Beer, Senior Vice President, Reviewed.com

"Blogebrity, the "velvet rope" of the blog world has deemed White Trash Mom worthy of our “B” list. The book is funny, even if you're not a parent." -Kyle Bunch Blogebrity.com

"Out of all the parenting books available to moms these days, White Trash Mom stands out. More than just a fierce, strong and hilarious punch back at the competitive moms - called out as Muffia - Michelle's book serves as a guide for moms with children of all ages to band together and revel in our imperfections. Plus, it goes well with a nice Merlot." -Stephanie Wilder Taylor, author of Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime is the New Happyhour

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312371227
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/5/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition, First Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 10.38 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHELLE LAMAR aka “The White Trash Mom” has 20 years experience in the advertising and public relations business. Her website, www.whitetrashmom.com averages more than 3,500 unique visitors per week and counting and her blog has over 25,000 readers per month. In addition, Michelle blogs on Disney’s Family.com and contributes to a very popular blog called “Celebitchy” that gets over 2.5 million readers a month.

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Read an Excerpt

Preface Why Perfection Is Overrated

Modern mothers are expected to look like Heather Locklear and pull down a six-figure salary while home schooling the kids. This standard of perfection is the status quo in today’s culture.

I began writing a blog in August 2005 as a way of dealing with some of the ridiculous and insane expectations that are part of modern motherhood. I called my blog White Trash Mom. I gave it a trashy name and wrote about my life with a snarky and humorous tone. As soon as I started the blog, the floodgates opened. I heard from women all over the United States and the world, and many women identified with me and told me their experiences of living up to perfect expectations. I can’t tell you how many times I hear I thought I was the only one who felt that way or I thought I was the only one who thought that was wrong.

I was not alone. You are not alone. Mothers have to stick together in the face of outrageous ideas of how we should look, behave, and live. The current state of motherhood isn’t going to change overnight. Your kids will be grown by the time real change occurs. But because things aren’t going to change any time soon, my book is an attempt to offer some ideas and shortcuts to make the wait time more pleasurable.

Fight the Insanity with the Right Weapons

Mothers are expected to do the impossible on a daily basis, wearing six-inch pumps and a thong. The expectations are insane and moms can’t win that battle. Since the mothers are set up to fail, I believe we should fight back by whatever methods we can. We can’t play by the rules because the rules, in the words of my teenager…suck. That’s where White Trash Mom comes in.

"White Trash" Is a State of Mind

There are a lot of crazy ideas about what makes a good mother these days. If you don’t have a body like a movie star, pull down a big salary, dress like a sex kitten, and home school your kids, you are a loser. You are a failure if you are not a supermom. In fact, trying to be the perfect mom can only drive you crazy.

Once you admit to yourself how ridiculous some of the expectations for moms are, you can begin to change your attitude and become what I like to call a White Trash Mom.

No Trailerpark Necessary

A White Trash Mom doesn’t have to be white or trashy or live in a double-wide down by the river. It has nothing to do with socioeconomic status.

A White Trash Mom represents a philosophy and a perspective on motherhood. Being a lifelong smart-ass, I gave this philosophy of parenting a smart-ass name.

It’s a name I chose to represent the opposite of perfection. Perfect is in… so if you’re not a perfect mom, you’re a White Trash Mom.

This book is an attempt to help you find your perspective on motherhood. Navigate your own shortcuts through the insane expectations. You can call your philosophy "Yankee Fabulous" or "Santa Monica Slacker." Call it whatever you want but find a way to work around the rules.

Why I Became a White Trash Mom

It was not my lifelong goal to become known as White Trash Mom. I began writing about white trash motherhood in protest against the onslaught of "shoulds" and "musts" we moms face every day. We all know these expectations are unrealistic, but we can’t help but hold ourselves up against them and become discouraged when we can’t measure up. We know it’s propaganda but it can still make us feel just a teeny bit inferior. We have encountered these unrealistic expectations in the media, our neighborhoods, and homes.

Mothers Who Look Like Supermodels

We know that the sixteen-year-old models who weigh seventy-nine pounds and are featured in the magazine ads for "mommy and me" clothes are not really moms. We know that they are models and actresses, and are some art director’s hallucination (albeit a concentration-camp type of hallucination) of what a mom should look like. We know all the photos in the magazines are airbrushed. But we can’t help it; we still compare ourselves.

Quick and Easy Is Neither

We know that Martha Stewart and others like her have a staff of forty to do the cucumber sandwiches for that magazine article that features Martha and her "easy cucumber sandwiches." We know that much of what is pitched to moms in the media is propaganda and is not real. Deep inside, you doubt yourself just a little when you read that article about the "easy cucumber sandwiches," and don’t make them for your next luncheon or tea. Never mind that your last "luncheon" was eaten in the car on the way to little Susie’s soccer practice.

Myth of Perfection

So, know that the myth of perfection is a scam. But hardly anyone writes about it or talks about it. Every mother buys into the "ideal" and spends the first few years of her mom career beating herself up for not measuring up. It doesn’t feel right and doesn’t do much for the old self-esteem but because we think that we’re the only one—we don’t fight the system.

Good News… You Are Not Alone

You’re not a bad mother if the school has to call you because your kid has a negative balance for his school lunch account. You’re not a bad mother if your kid is the last one picked up from school. You aren’t the only one who feels like you are a bad mom if you don’t have your kids signed up for ten different sports and a language class (or two). Lots of moms feel pressure to look like a "sex kitten," wear chic clothes while pulling down a full-time job and heading up the PTA. Even when you figure out that it’s impossible to "do it all," you’ve wasted years of your life trying to shoehorn yourself into a role that just doesn’t fit. If you’re lucky, you find other moms like you who know perfection is overrated and together you discover that the way to deal with motherhood is to have some great friends, a good sense of humor, and a taste for adventure.

Finding Your Inner White Trash Mom

Because the modern standard of perfection for mothers is not going away overnight, you have to play along with the charade to a certain degree. Sometimes you can buck the system but it can be a lot easier to play along. But you don’t have to lose your soul, or your sense of humor, in the process. I am going to reveal some of my White Trash Mom secrets, so that reality and sanity can become a regular part of your daily life.

There are times you have to confront the problems head on but you have to work within the current "system" most of the time. You have to play the game but that doesn’t mean that you can’t play along by some of your own rules!

This book is a guide to help you find your own White Trash methods of cheating the system. I want to help you find your inner White Trash Mom so that reality and sanity can creep back into your daily life.

The White Trash Mom philosophy is catching on and I am hopeful that we can eventually change the world… one mom at a time.

Please keep these things in mind as you read this book:

It’s okay to lie… sometimes.

Some of my tactics involve being dishonest. For example, pretending that you baked a cake when you really bought it at the store. I don’t think lying is the right way to live your life. But extreme situations sometimes call for extreme solutions. The only reason I give the advice I do is because the current expectations of motherhood are so unrealistic. Call fudging your culinary skills the lesser of two evils.

My backyard is a lot like yours.

The problems and issues that are discussed in this book are universal. Just because I write about issues in my children’s school or our church doesn’t mean it’s a criticism of one community or school. It’s just a way of showing you that what happens here can happen anywhere. And believe me, it does.

Find your inner trailerpark.

This book is more of an idea grab bag for coping with kids, school, and more without losing your mind or your sense of humor.

Preschool is the pregame.

There are tons of baby books and books that tell you how to balance work and motherhood. Many of these books concentrate on the days when children are newborn to age four. It’s only after your kids are old enough to trust them not to stick a fork in the electrical outlet or drink toilet water that the tough part of your job as a mom begins. The baby and toddler years are the pregame, ladies. Elementary school is where "the big show" begins and you need to combine the diplomatic skills of a UN ambassador with the quick-change skills of a Las Vegas showgirl to be on the front lines of the battlefield.

We live in a perfection society now, in which it is possible to make our bodies last longer, to manipulate our faces so that the lines of laughter and distress are wiped out. We believe in the illusion of control, and nowhere has that become more powerful and more pernicious than in the phenomenon of manic motherhood.

—Anna Quindlen, from "The Good Enough Mother," Newsweek, February 21, 2005

Excerpted from The White Trash Mom Hand Book by Michelle Lamar with Molly Wendland

Copyright © 2008 by Michelle Lamar with Molly Wendland

Published in 2008 by St. Martin’s Griffin

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher

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