Motherhood is SCARY!
Before I got pregnant I GRILLED every woman I knew had passed a human being from her nether regions as to what I should expect. Ninety nine percent of these pregnant mamas assured me it would be the most rewarding and ethereal experience of my adulthood. Well I can tell you post 24 hours of back labor with my daughter where I literally begged every nurse who approached me for a c-section and subsequently burst every blood vessel in my face pushing said baby out of my lady parts, there was NOTHING ethereal about it. In fact, it was so the antithesis of flowers blooming and birds chirping, I hesitated trying for another. It was painful, messy and I assaulted my husband several times when, during labor, he told me to push.
The fact is NO one really tells you how horribly painful labor can be because the end result is their kid, this little person who they pin all your hopes and dreams on, and foresee a childhood rife with running through fields, picking daisies and having a permanently goofy grin plastered on their mug from all the happiness they imagine this kid will bring them. Of course once you become a parent, and bring home this seemingly perfect bundle of joy with its 20 miniature extremities, sweet baby smell and fresh tuft of baby fine hair- after several sleepless nights of changing diapers, and being milked like a cow you realize this angelic creature tugging at your breast is going to require every last ounce of your energy, and will at times literally suck the life, err breast milk out of you.
Of course I always assumed once my kids were able to feed, clothe and bathe themselves that motherhood would become less all consuming, but honestly all that physical stuff is just an introduction to the world of motherhood (AGAIN NO ONE TELLS YOU THIS BEFORE YOU BECOME A MOTHER- but I digress). It's all the unanswerable existential questions that my kids are firing at me at a rapid pace, the looming reality of puberty and the social dramas of childhood-- well that's when motherhood gets scary and truly throws you for a loop. So of course I was intrigued and frankly comforted by Jill Smokler's new book, "Confessions of a Scary Mommy", which brings levity, humor and a good dose of honesty to this thing we call motherhood. I caught up with her to find out more about her take on demystifying the often scary parts of being a mom.
Scary mommy-- why scary?? What is so scary about motherhood? Tell us the TOP 3 things that can make motherhood a scary endeavor?
Jill Smokler: What isn't scary about motherhood? I'd say the scariest parts for me are the abundance of bodily fluids, the lack of sleep and the unrealistic expectations we mostly place on ourselves. In that order.
How does your husband feel about you being so open about your life and kids (this coming from someone who writes a blog called Married My Sugar Daddy)? Has it been hard sometimes to be so honest?
Jill Smokler: My husband is such a better sport about all of this than I would ever be. At his core, Jeff is really just an attention whore, so he really loves when I write about him, even if he should be mortified. I, on the other hand, could never be married to a blogger.
What are some of the more bizarre confessions you've heard and why do you think moms are so drawn to confessions and our shortcomings as parents?
Jill Smokler: There are so many interesting confessions. The most surprising to me are the ones expressing regret at being a mother at all. Much as I complain and go crazy, that's not an emotion I'm familiar with and they always make me feel sad for the confessor. Some of the sex ones are pretty shocking, and the number of unhappy marriages always surprises me. But, reading about other people's struggles really helps put your own issues in perspective. It's definitely comforting to feel like you aren't the only flawed one out there.
Why did you decide to write this book and what do you hope parents come away with after reading it?
Jill Smokler: This is the book I wish I'd read when I was a confused and overwhelmed new mom. I hope moms come away from the book realizing that as lonely and confusing as motherhood can feel, they really are in good company. We're all just making it up as we go along.
If you could talk to your new mother self- after all that you know now- what are the three things you would tell young mom Jill?
Jill Smokler: 1. Lose that baby weight, STAT. It's even less becoming when the baby is four. 2. Don't wish away the time. Sure, the walking and the talking is fun and all, but it's never easier than it is the first few months. 3. Always carry a spare onesie. Babies are gross. You'll need it.
So tell us...what are some of your Scary Mommy Confessions?
More mom confessions:
- On Why I Have Very Few Friends
- Do Moms Lead Double Lives?
- Mom Travel Confession: Packing it all in (VIDEO)