Dark but funny turns in new derelict mom books
This combo image of book cover images released by, from left, Gallery Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NAL Trade, shows "Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies), by Jill Smokler, "The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days," by Ian Frazier, and "Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind," by Nicole Knepper. Mother's Day has taken a dark yet funny turn in a fresh round of books about derelict parenting. And they're joined by some funny dads who touch on motherhood in equally twisted ways. (AP Photo)
NEW YORK (AP) — These moms curse a lot, drink to excess, reveal scary truths and draw twisted little stick figures of their kids pooping and whining relentlessly. And this Mother's Day, they're bringing their derelict parenting to you.
The authors behind a fresh round of parenting books love their munchkins, to be sure, but there's something about the scorched earth narrative that sells memoirish parenting books these days.
Is the goal an instructional one? Inspirational? How about some advice?
"No, there isn't any. I don't have anything. No advice. Nobody has any advice," laughed Amber Dusick, a Los Angeles mother of two who brings us "Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures."
The book's 50 "crappy laws of parenting" include this at No. 16: "When you sneak to the pantry to eat chocolate, you will get caught."
The F-bombs fly, the flavored vodka flows and husbands pay dearly, but what's the point of dwelling on the smeared, sleep-deprived underbelly of life with kids? Even if it is just for a laugh.
"We've opened up the dialogue," offered Nicole Knepper, who has two kids and wrote "Moms who Drink and Swear," complete with a chapter titled, "Suck it, Santa Claus."
"People have really found ways to be more authentic about who they are and how it affects us as parents. 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 (She's 43 and lives in Plainfield, Ill.), the expectations are different. You multitask. You do it all, only nobody can do it all well."
Jill Smokler's Scary Mommy certainly can't. "Motherhood Comes Naturally (and other vicious lies)" is her second spin off her popular blog and parenting community at Scarymommy.com. The first was "Confessions of a Scary Mommy."
The 35-year-old mom of three, including boys just 20 months apart, has noticed a difference in exactly how much filth and frustration parents are willing to reveal in the five long years since she first put up her blog.
"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," said Smokler, in Baltimore, Md. "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."