Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words

Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words

by Kimberly Harrington


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An emotionally honest, arresting, and funny collection of essays about motherhood and adulthood...

“Being a mother is a gift.”

Where’s my receipt?

Welcome to essayist Kimberly Harrington’s poetic and funny world of motherhood, womanhood, and humanhood, not necessarily in that order. It’s a place of loud parenting, fierce loving, too much social media, and occasional inner monologues where timeless debates are resolved such as Pro/Con: Caving to PTO Bake Sale Pressure (“PRO: Skim the crappiest brownies for myself. CON: They’re really crappy.”) With accessibility and wit, she captures the emotions around parenthood in artful and earnest ways, highlighting this time in the middle—midlife, the middle years of childhood, how women are stuck in the middle of so much. It’s a place of elation, exhaustion, and time whipping past at warp speed. Finally, it’s a quiet space to consider the girl you were, the mother you are, and the woman you are always becoming.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062838742
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 174,081
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kimberly Harrington is a regular contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the co-founder and editor of parenting humor site RAZED, and a copywriter and creative director. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerTimothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and on Medium. She lives in Vermont on purpose.

Table of Contents


I Don't Want to Be Dying in Order to Tell You These Things 3


Fuck. This. List. 9

Job Description for the Dumbest Job Ever 17

The Super Bowl of Interruptions 23

I Am the One Woman Who Has It All 33

Undone 37

Dear Stay-at-Home Moms and Working Moms, You're Both Right 45


Just What I Wanted, a Whole Twenty-Four Hours of Recognition Once a Year 55

"If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy": Revised and Expanded 59


Tiny Losses 65

If You Love Your Grandparents, Go Visit Them 81

Let's Have the Wedding Later 89

It's Complicated 95


Your Cute Wedding Hashtags Twenty Years Later 105

Kids, It's Time You Knew the Truth-Your Mother Is a Real Piece of Work 107


Overshare 115

Thank You for Including Me on This Meal Train but Unfortunately I'm a Horrible Person 125

Your Participation Trophies Are Bullshit 129

September 17, 2010: The Day I Turned the Car Around 137

The Ghosts of Halloweens Past 147


Radiohead Song or Accurate Description of My Parenting? 155

Are You Sure There Isn't Something Else I Can Do Before the End of the School Year? 157


The Walls That Define Us 163

Pro/Con: Caving to PTO Bake Sale Pressure 169

The Punching Season 173

Please Don't Get Murdered at School Today 179

I Don't Care If You Go to College 183


What Do You Think of My Son's Senior Picture That Was Shot by Annie Leibovitz? 189

Anne-Marie Slaughter Is My Safe Word 193


Who Does That? 201

If You Can Touch It 209

As Young as We'll Ever Be 219

Hot-Ass Chicks 225

Ashes to Ashes 237


Fifty-One Things You Should Never Say to a Mother Ever 251

Is There a Parenting Expert on This Plane? 257


Do You Have Faith in Me? 263

Thirteen with Dudes 269

Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should 281


You Are All the Joy 289

When I Die 301

Acknowledgments 305

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