All of a sudden, it seems, bragging about being a “terrible” or “reckless” parent is in vogue. At least if you want a book deal.
As Mother’s Day approaches, publishers have unleashed a series of books targeted at, who would’ve guessed, Mothers.
Those books may be well and good, but the truth is parenting is rarely perfect. We all have the best of intentions, but do we really reach them? Aspiration may be a good thing, but what about a dose of reality?
This year, stories of drunk, slacking, cursing Moms are being served up as the perfect Mother’s Day gift. It appears if you want to win the title of “Mother of the Year“, you need to get real.
Mothers Of The Year 1 of 9
They drink, they swear, they care but they don't care if they're perfect: meet the new Modern Mom.
Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies) 2 of 9
The second book for Jill Smokler, aka Scary Mommy, mines stories and tales from Moms to take the shine off parenting. No sugar-coating here, Jill is promising the truth.
"There wasn't this acceptance about being this sort of less-than-perfect mother, but all of a sudden it feels like that is becoming the norm rather than the exception," Smokler told the Associated Press. "There came a tipping point where everybody just couldn't keep up that facade anymore and there was just a backlash, and here we are."
Image via Jill Smokler
Drunk Mom 3 of 9
"Momma needs a drink," may be a running gag to you, but for Jowita Bydlowska it was desperately true. Sober for three and a half years, she she had a glass of wine to celebrate the birth of her son and was instantly plunged back into addiction. This book is raw, honest, and already raising controversial conversation. In a world of oversharers, is it ever possible for a book to be too honest?
"I find that my story is an ugly story," she told the Canadian Press. "It's a dark story, but it's also a very important story, and it's important for women not to be afraid of telling the dark stories."
Image via McDermid Agency
Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind 4 of 9
From the serious drama of Drunk Mom, we switch gears back to the Moms who Drink and Swear, well because they do.
"People have really found ways to be more authentic about who they are and how it affects us as parents," author Nicole Knepper told the Associated Press. "My mom's generation, they did a lot of pushing down their own interests and their own personalities because they were all about the kids, and this was their job and their focus, whereas my generation, the expectations are different. You multitask. You do it all, only nobody can do it all well."
Image via Chicago Now
Don’t Lick The Minivan 5 of 9
Leanne Shirtliffe is Ironic Mom, a humour writer who releases her first book just in time for Mother's Day. Don't Lick The Minivan offers true tales of parenting twins. The laughs come from real honesty, in a book that tells it how it really is. For example, Shirtliffe advises "on long trips, let your children eat whatever processed crap you can get your hands on."
Image via Ironic Mom
Parenting Illustrated With Crappy Pictures 6 of 9
Amber Dusick, has a very successful blog with her "crappy pictures" of the "Crappy family." It has been turned into a book that pulls back the curtain to show the real family dynamic with honest hilarity.
"It's a healthy balance of being able to laugh at things and yet still reassure ourselves that this is normal and we still love our kids, and parenting is really hard," she told the Associated Press.
Image via Crappy Pictures
The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days 7 of 9
Can a dad write true tales of the Modern Mom? The New Yorker's, Ian Frazier has. His popular magazine character has been tossed into a novel where she must balance home, family, large glasses of wine/scotch/Kahluha, and swearing. Lots of swearing. Some online reviews have commented it to be at least half swearing.
"She wants to do the right thing and she wants to do what is expected of her and she starts out generally, almost always, with a very good intention," he told NPR. "But then something goes wrong, and then she just totally blows up and just screams and yells and curses. That's sort of her character. And then she recovers, you know, and then she's like, 'Wow, what was I thinking.'"
Image via MacMillan
Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother 8 of 9
Before there were Drunk Moms, there were Tiger Mothers. Amy Chua's 2011bestseller, took the high bar for perfection and raised it.
"We got in trouble for A minuses, had to drill math and piano every day, no sleepovers, no boyfriends. But the strategy worked with me," she writes. "To this day, I'm very close to my parents, and I feel I owe them everything. In fact, I believe that my parents having high expectations for me coupled with love is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me. That's why I tried to raise my own two daughters the same way my parents raised me."
Are we too easy on our kids? Should the leash be shorter? Should we be more demanding? You'll find yourself questioning both your own and Chua's expectations.
Image via Amy Chua
Bringing Up Bebe 9 of 9
Last year everyone was trying to parlez franÃ§ais, as Pamela Druckerman extolled the virtues of the EuroParent.
The opposite of Chua's China to America culture contrast, Druckerman goes from America to France where she discovers French children sleep through the night, eat balanced healthy meals, and play nicely while Moms chat.
Image via Pamela Druckerman