The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us

October 3, 2012

It is called "Sh***y Mom" and it aims to help mothers everywhere do one thing - relax. The four authors use humor to demonstrate how our children's priorities have a tendency to obliterate our priorities, and why it doesn't need to be that way.

Co-author Laurie Kilmartin (a stand-up comedian and mom) took the time to answer a few questions of mine via e-mail.

Matt: Where did you get the idea to write this book?

Laurie: Basically, we wrote a book that we wanted to read. The four of us are suffering parenting-book fatigue. Every month, there's a new book of expert advice, most of it we are too exhausted to implement. We wanted "Sh***y Mom" to be the antidote to that. Short, funny and non-judgmental.

Matt: Do you think moms feel as if they need to be perfect in raising a child?

Laurie: Well, I feel the need to be perfect, and I'm quite lazy. If I feel the pressure, imagine how Type-A moms feel.

Matt: Certainly you are suggesting that too many parents allow children to run the household. I'm guessing you will say there was a time when this was not the case. What happened?

Laurie: We happened! Much of the top of Generation X was raised by moms who did very little, in terms of hands-on, hover-style parenting. We're not so bad, are we? I'm not sure we're saying that parents let kids run households. I think we're saying that pressure to be perfect can make mothers feel awful. We're trying to alleviate that feeling, a little bit.

Matt: What is the best mom advice you ever received?

Laurie: I cherry-picked any advice that allowed me to sleep as much as possible. As soon as I saw an article titled, "Cry it out," I was on board. I didn't even read the article. That's one of those rare cases where the title says it all. That and, "Never wake a sleeping baby."

Matt: What is the best advice you can give dads?

Laurie: Don't leave! (Oops, that's just my situation.) Dads are as important as moms, and if your wife is hoarding the baby, wrestle it from her arms. You're not the backup parent, you're the other parent.

Matt: Are kids worth it?

Laurie: Yes. I say that because it's true, and also because my kid will be able to Google this article in 10 years and read my answer. So, a thousand times yes.

For more info on the book click here.

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