So, we all know Moms who think they need to be perfect to qualify for the title. And we know the perfect Moms who want to fix you if you aren’t. Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner have hit on a brilliant idea. A book for everybody else.
When you’re “Yes”-ing your kid to death on your way to drop him off at school because he’s going on and on about some stupid dinosaur he saw on TV that sang this song and wore this hat and met this friend, you may be wondering if you’re a bad mom. You are, but it’s totally OK.
And, you’re not alone. Hitting bookshelves this month is Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide For The Rest Of Us, which proves that every mother — no matter how good her intentions — is a “sh*tty mom” from time-to-time, as she rightfully should be. As authors and real-life moms Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner remind us, there’s only so many times mama bears can go a full day taking care of their screaming, crying, jumping, burping, pooping kiddies without wanting to stick their heads in an oven.
Hilariously written, the book is a must-read for any mom who’s ever wondered if her parenting methods were less than kosher. But, you don’t have to take it from me. I recently interviewed Alicia and Mary Ann — both married, Emmy-award winning producers at NBC with two children — to find out why they think every woman with a child can relate to their “how-to and how-not-to” guide.
OK, spill it: what was the inspiration behind Sh*tty Mom, and why are babies out to ruin us?
Mary Ann: “Think about it: what happens after you have kids? You gain weight, lose your sex drive, get overly tired and rarely travel. Despite all these things, you can’t help but be crazy over these little people. The real inspiration was laughing about all of our less-than-perfect parenting moments. To Alicia, that might mean not remembering to check the box of cupcake mix for her son’s class to to see if they are gluten-free. For me, it’s remembering my girls’ birthdays.”
Alicia: “Our number-one goal is to liberate women from this notion of ‘trying to be the perfect mom’ that society has created. We’re living in this world of hyper-sensitive, extreme parenting, yet sometimes the only thing necessary to being a good mama is the ability to parent less. Think of it as ‘parenting-lite,’ with 40 percent of the effort. Parenting on a more minimal level is actually a good thing – that’s how most of us were raised.” #LoveAfterKids: Join Our ‘Love After Kids’ Twitter Party!
The way Sh*tty Moms is written is absolutely hilarious. Did you all sit in a room and commiserate on how much road trips suck and how to feign sleeping when your kids are trying to wake you up?
Mary Ann: “Actually Alicia, Karen and I came up with the idea over margaritas and chips and salsa while we were simply talking about mom moments. From there, we wrote up a proposal for a book. But we weren’t funny enough (go figure!) so we brought Laurie in for the humor.”
Alicia: “What really united us to this subject was how no matter what age your child is, how many children you have or where you live, each and every one of us has survived hundreds of Sh*tty Mom moments.”
You have conflicting views about keeping kids away from iPhones, iPads and PDAs. How do you really feel?
Mary Ann: “They are absolutely horrible, addictive and brain rotting, except when you are sitting in a resturant, plane or car. Then, they are your lifesavers.”
Alicia: “My husband and I do not allow our children to have their own electronics yet. But, that hasn’t stopped me from bribing my kids with the promise of using my electronic devices like my Blackberry, iPad and computer.”
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