Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood

I imagine that “Confessions of a Scary Mommy” is to mothers and books what “ER” is to actual emergency room doctors and TV.  A few unique and revelatory observations warrant a satisfied “mmm-hmm, you tell it, sister,” while other statements are so inconsistent with personal experience as to induce legitimate anger; but mostly the stories, details, and opinions are familiar and predictable to such a degree that the whole thing becomes irritating and even boring.  At least, it would be lame and dull if Jill Smokler were.  Reading the series of stitched-together blog posts felt like sitting across the playroom from a particularly funny new mommy friend as she riffs on her latest ups and downs.  Every time I began to feel my attention slipping away (or started to think that parenting is such a well-worn subject that I ought to find a new topic for my own posts), Smokler pulled me back in with a deep truth freshly phrased like “[t]he days may last forever, but the years pass by in a blink” or a tongue-in-cheek tour de force like her defense of a three year-old using the phrase “fuck it” in preschool (“I can see no better reason for the phrase than a spilled paint tray or flyaway paper.”).  As with any compilation, some pieces lack comparative literary and/or whimsical lustre while others soar.  In sum, a ground-breaking work it is not, but it’s well worth the hour or two it takes to read the cute little booklet for what Smokler does best: calling bullshit – on the celebrity baby weight-loss mantra, on the things mothers do to one another, and, funniest of all, on herself.

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