Not often does it happen to me that I open up a “parenting” book and I find myself laughing, nodding and reading-out-loud to anyone who happens to be in the room with me. But Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us had me doing just that, and I haven’t even really had a chance yet to read the whole thing through because I keep jumping from one hilarious chapter to the next. With chapters like “How to Drop Off Your Sick Kid at Daycare Before the Teacher Figures It Out,” “How to Sleep In Until Nine A.M. Every Weekend,” and “This Tradition Must Die: Handwritten Notes” I’m feeling my self-diagnosed ADD getting out of control because I want to read them all at once!
The book is co-authored by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner and they’re really telling it how it is because it seems they dug deep into those moments all parents have at one point or another, but just don’t have the courage to admit because they make us feel or seem, well….sh*tty.
Be forewarned that even if you think there’s no way you could be a sh*tty mom, you might have a revelation of sorts once you read this parenting guide and you might, just might, come over to our side.
Being on “our side” just means that we can laugh at being real. We can admit that parenting is a tough job, but one we wouldn’t trade for a thing. That the undeniable love and caring we have for our kids does not automatically brush away our needs as a woman or a man, nor our feelings of “How did I get myself into this?!” that come and go just like our kid’s tantrums and loving moments do.
I’m tired of feeling sh*tty and tired of feeling bad for it. So, it’s with pride — and a sense of humor — that I will start wearing my Sh*tty Mom badge and admit right here and now what makes me a Sh*tty Mom, when I’m not being the most perfect, loving and super attentive mom ever, that is. Yeah, you’ll get your turn too!
But first, this from the book’s press release:
You know you’re a sh*tty mom if…
Your favorite holiday is back to school day
Your fridge is covered with crayon drawings of you with your blackberry where your face should be
You spend the whole playdate trying to figure out how to get rid of the mom who won’t leave
Your idea of hell is a car trip with your kids
Playing with dolls or trains with your kids makes you want to stick your head in the oven
You’ve figured out how to drop your sick kid off at daycare before anyone notices
You consider the idea of wanting to have another baby a sign of mental illness
And now, here are mine:
You’re too tired to read a bedtime story, so you masterfully skip pages without her ever noticing…yet
Your last words before tucking her in to sleep are: “Don’t forget you can’t wake up until the sun is shining very brightly.”
You’ve convinced her she loves pop music playing on the radio because you’d rather listen to her singing than the non-stop chatter
When pickup time comes around you commiserate about all the work you didn’t get done
You *make* her bed right before she comes back from school/daycare/preschool and before she can notice you’re a sh*tty mom
You sleep with the iPad and headphones next to you so when she wakes up early on a weekend she can be quietly entertained for another hour or so
You sneak into the kitchen just to send a tweet or check your email. When she calls, you scream out “Your snack is almost ready!”
Now, I know you have your own sh*tty mom moments that are just waiting to burst out. Go ahead, share them with me here and we can get some bonding and camaraderie out of this!
Check out the forthcoming book I co-authored, Bilingual is Better: Two Latina Moms on How the Bilingual Parenting Revolution is Changing the Face of America.
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