Confessions of a Scary Mommy is Finally Available

Jill Smokler’s book Confessions of a Scary Mommy went on sale today. Smokler is the founder and creator of the hugely successful blog Scary Mommy, which was one of the first mommy blogs to rip the secrecy off of motherhood and start exposing our real struggles as mothers. Her blog is HUGE and has enough followers to populate a small city or take over the world. If you haven’t ever checked out her blog, you should. I don’t like to tell people what to do, but… check out her blog.

There’s not a doubt in my mind that her book will be just as successful as her blog. Her site boasts over a million views a month and I’m not surprised at all by this. Long before I became a blogger myself, I’ve been a reader. When I was browsing mommy blogs late at night in search of another soul out there who could validate the emotional experience that I was having in regard to my new entrance in motherhood, Scary Mommy was the first blog where I landed and subsequently stayed.

I passed by all of the other blogs. The crafty pictures and homemade recipes. I skipped the beautiful pictures and the passionate posts about how motherhood had helped them reach Nirvana. None of these were me. None of these were what I was looking for. I think there are lots of other mothers like me out there. And it’s not just my opinion. Just look at Smokler’s statistics.

There’s a reason that Smokler’s work is on the number one list and not any of the thousand others. Women are hungry for the truth about motherhood. We are like starving children in this area so when we find it we devour it as if it might be our last meal.

One of the central parts of motherhood seems to be pledging a vow of silence. We all knowingly or unknowingly take it the minute we are baptized into motherhood. After I had my son I was desperate for someone else to say, “Man, this is REALLY hard and I have no idea what I’m doing.”

Nobody was saying it. If anything remotely negative was said about having kids or being a mom, it was quickly covered up with, “but I wouldn’t change it for the world” or some other loving remark to prove that we do love our kids. To be fair, I wasn’t saying it either. After all, I didn’t want to be the one labeled a bad mom!

But go online and you find countless confessions about women who are unhappy with motherhood and really struggling. Thousands of readers are there having discussions about the huge emotional difficulties inherent in being a mom. We seek these conversations out online because of the anonymity. We don’t have to say it out loud to our families, our husbands, or the other moms we spend time with. We don’t share our struggles in real life and in real time because there is so much guilt and shame associated with it. We live in prisons of fear we’ve created of how others would judge us if we told the truth. We don’t tell the truth because we are terrified of being labeled a bad mother. Even worse, we are so afraid someone might say or think that we don’t love our children. What would happen if we ignored the guilt and we actually started talking about motherhood in reality with the people that are closest to us?

Looks like we have the answer staring us in the face today. Smokler has done it and mothers are loving it.

(side note: I am not in any way being paid or sponsored to provide this post. I’m not affiliated with Jill Smokler in any way, even though I wish we were friends in real life).

This entry was posted in General Parenting, lies of motherhood, motherhood and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Confessions of a Scary Mommy is Finally Available

  1. Kat says:

    Yep you nailed it!! Women want to read the real thing, and while there are so many beautiful aspects of parenting…it’s kind of nice to know there are people out there who share those negative moments too. Jill is awesome!

  2. Not to be a downer, but another reason that women are sometimes afraid to talk about it is because of how their words will be twisted in the event of a divorce and/or custody situation, particularly in a society where many people apparently believe that Kramer v. Kramer was a documentary. I know a few women who found this out the hard way.

    That said, I love Scary Mommy too!

  3. Kyra says:

    Thank God for Scary Mommy. I found that site just after my second was born and I was feeling completely at a loss with two: I just needed to read something that made me feel like I wasn’t the only overwhelmed and exhausted mother who had no idea what I was doing! I was so tired of the advice I would get whenever I mentioned what I was struggling with to other moms (no thanks other park moms, I don’t need to hear about your calming nap time techniques and why your kids are now perfect) sometimes you just need someone to say “I am having a hell of a time too!” Thanks Scary Mommy!

  4. It should be no surprise that I like! You gave a good, honest review, too. I usually read mysteries in my brief spare time before I pass out from exhaustion, but I really want to make time for Jill’s book. Here’s hoping!

  5. Love this blog! It’s refreshing to see the comments you made about Jill Smokler’s wonderfully honest book. When I was in my 30’s, I carefully chose not to parent. During those times, it was unheard of to announce it as a choice. (It was better for people to think you couldn’t have kids! )
    I announced my choice on “60 Minutes”. Mike Wallace ended that 1974 show saying, “Pardon our perverseness for airing this on Mother’s Day. Good night everyone.” The next day I lost my job as a passionate teacher. I lost friends. I lost family. My life was threatened. My dog’s life was threatened. I spent a lifetime swimming against the stream of what is considered “normal”.
    I too have authored a “confessions” book. “Confessions of a Childless Woman” is a narrative memoir of what happened on that “60 Minutes” show and looking back, at the age of almost 70, if I have regrets. I’m trying to find a literary agency to support this project.
    Jill had the courage to share what I saw as a very difficult career.
    I applaud all parents who embrace the job and give it all they can. And I applaud Jill for telling the truth.
    Pronatalism must end. Truth must be shared. Raising a child is too important a choice. And those who do not see themselves in that role should be given equal accolades and not thought of as selfish or hedonistic.
    Please go to my own site and make a comment. It will help me show agencies that I have a necessary project to share from my heart.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Marcia. I read your guest post on Scary Mommy and really liked it. It definitely took courage for you to speak so boldly about your choice especially in the 70s! Although, I think that even today you would get some pretty nasty responses as well. The woman who said she loved her husband more than her children in a New York Times article got death threats! I would certainly be interested in reading your memoir and hearing the full story as well as how you feel about all of your choices at age 70.

  6. melissa says:

    I am not only disappointed by Scary Mommy’s blog, but horrified, disgusted and sad. I can’t believe the things that she says, and I feel awful for her children that she has no ability to sensor what she feels and thinks at least to avoid hurting their feelings. There’s a big difference between commiserating with new moms and just being bitter and angry with primarily nothing but negative things to say. I had a lot of dark and overwhelming days when I was a new mother, but rather than post things online that might later hurt my daughter’s feelings or make her think I regretted having her or disliked being a mom, I kept a journal and shared how I felt with my husband and my mom, who both understood that I needed support and my job was incredibly hard. I thoroughly enjoy YOUR blog, however, I love your insights and your recounting adorable moments with your son. You find the perfect balance of sharing frustration as a mom and exemplifying love for your child. If you wrote a book, I would buy it for sure. Scary Mommy… not so much.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      I never actually thought about how her children would feel about it…I have just always appreciated her ability to be completely uncensored. You made an excellent point that I hadn’t considered. Thank you.

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