Being a Sh*tty Mom Doesn’t Make Me A Bad Parent

Being a Sh*tty Mom Doesn’t Make Me A Bad Parent

See that picture? Yep, that could be me! And I am no longer ashamed to admit it!


I am a Sh*tty Mom.  There’s just no other way to say it.  I am also a Sh*tty housewife which shouldn’t surprise anyone since I am a Sh*tty Mom (the two seem to go together.)  Some might say that I am a Sh*tty blogger but that’s getting a bit too personal, don’t you think?

For some time, I have kept my Sh*tty Mom guilt closeted and have shared one or two stories with only my closest friends who either won’t judge me or have already decided that I am an eccentric who needs to get a full time job already!


Thanks to the following book:  Sh*tty Mom The Parenting Guide For The Rest Of Us, the shackles of shame have been released!   I am not alone!  There are Moms like me who have, for example, avoided taking her child’s temperature in the morning so she can honestly tell the school nurse that “I had NO IDEA Katie has an 103 degree temperature and has a nasty rash!”  When did that develop?!? She was fine when I dropped her off this morning!” (page 76)

Actually the four fabulous women who wrote this laugh-out-loud, no nonsense bow to mothers, Laurie Kilmartin, Karin Moline, Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner clearly love their kids.  But they also understand that as much as one can love her offspring, it’s okay to admit, nay declare, that we are still people and have not been transported to some magic “Leave It To Beaver World” where we are transformed into a form of Stepford Wife.  Somewhere in the Mothering world, a mom needs to reclaim herself and be reminded that, at one point or another, we are all Sh*tty Moms.  We just are.

The book reads like you are speaking with your best girlfriend and she is giving you absolution (and solutions) for some of the stickiest situations in Mommyhood. In Chapter 39, “How To Get Rid of a Mom Who Wants to Stay Over During the Entire Playdate”, I felt like I was getting advice from one of my sisters.  The authors outline the scenario: child and mom enter your house, kids run to your daughter’s bedroom and mom lingers. (In my case, Mom not only lingered but watched the children jumping on the trampoline, invited her younger (3 years old) child to jump as well and then interacted with the kids for the entire play date.)  How I wish I had received the Sh*tty Moms advice: either open a bottle of wine and offer some or be honest by saying “you know, there’s so much laundry and cleaning that I was hoping to get done while the girls played…”! Heck, I never realized that I could have started working in my garden and offered the offending mom the rare opportunity to weed it!  But no, because I did not have this amazing book, I was trapped,  like a dummy, trying to engage the other mother in boring and gossipy conversation.

Talk about a waste of a good opportunity to get some free labor or get the woman out of my yard!

Sh*tty Moms really don’t have time (or the attention span) to read long involved books.  If you are a long book reading mom, either you don’t work from home and can take a lunch break or you are ignoring your child BIG TIME and better go check on him PRONTO!  The Sh*tty Mom book is short; only 175 glorious pages!  And the chapters are short: I can read one while in the drive-thru lane at Starbucks.  Seriously, I did that!

Bottom line: Guess what my sisters are getting for the holidays?  You betcha! The Sh*tty Moms book!  Surprise!  And if you are looking for an unusual gift to give a new mother?  Look no further than this book.  You can get it from most book sellers.  It’s also on Amazon if you are like me and download everything onto my kindle.

You’ll be saving the mom many hours of intense guilt and assuring her that she is not a bad mom, but she may be a Sh*tty one–and that’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect to be a great mom!   If that’s not enough, she can probably get through the first half of the book during a 3:00 am feeding.  Follow these gals on twitter too (@shttymoms)!  If it’s the middle of the night, it’s nice to know that there is someone out there feeling your pain so connect to them on their website: Sh*tty Moms.

I won’t judge.  Will you?



So now it’s your turn: What is your sh*ttiest Mom moment?  Remember, I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me!



All Hail The Mighty E-Book

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

At 9:15 p.m., along with “Mommy, I just threw up in your bed” one of the last things a mother wants to hear from her child is “Mommy, I forgot to do my homework and it’s due tomorrow!” Despite reminding her to finish the assigned reading this week, my daughter “forgot” to do it because, to be quite honest, she hates the reading assignment: Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

Most parents have been in a similar situation. Children frequently and conveniently “forget” to do their homework particularly when it is a subject that they despise, like Ramona. I can remember finishing an assignment or two at the breakfast table before school started while my mother berated me for procrastinating. So, despite the fact that she should have already been sleeping, I told my 8 year-old daughter that she had a choice: either stay up tonight and finish the assigned chapter or I would get her up early the next day. Either way, that kid was going to show up for class with the dreaded reading done.

And that’s when she hit me with the “kicker”: “But Mom, I can’t find the book!” Of course she couldn’t; she HATED the book and the assignment. Losing the book was all part of the plan, right?

While she got ready for bed, I looked frantically all over the house and in my car for her missing book. Guess what? I couldn’t find it because, my daughter sheepishly later acknowledged, that she may have left it at school. Another 15 minutes wasted.

Now I faced a real dilemma: in the Chronicles of Mommyhood (as I like to call it) this was an opportunity to teach my 8 year-old a lesson about responsibility. Despite the fact that she didn’t want to do the assignment, it was still due. We all have things that we dread doing in life. LESSON, LESSON, LESSON….bah blah, bah blah, bah blah.

If this was the early 80’s, for instance, my mother would have yelled at me for being so irresponsible and admonished that I deserved whatever punishment the teacher felt was appropriate for my misdemeanor. With that train of thought, if I was my mother, I would feed my daughter to the lions (aka her teacher.) But if this was the 80’s there would also be no such thing as a Kindle, iPad or other e-reading device.

I have a Kindle and with a flick of my magic wand (the internet, a computer and I could make this problem go away for my young child. As I stood at the foot of K’s bed, I thought about the swimming analogy: do I do nothing which means letting her sink and hope that she figures out how to swim (i.e. learns a lesson) or do I hold her up because I know that there is a tool available to me now that wasn’t available when I was a child?

What would you have done if you were in my place?

I suggested to K that I download the book on my e-reader and no one would be the wiser. But I also took advantage of the moment to remark that she was “Darn lucky that your mother is SO smart and willing to help you out of a jam!”

My reasons for helping K were not totally altruistic. It’s important that I reveal that there was another reason for my willingness to commit a “Mommy Crime” and possibly rob my daughter of her future integrity; I needed to observe a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday at our synagogue and I knew that if I helped K that she would be obligated to come with me. I gave her the choice: “I’ll download the book and help you out but then you have to come with me on Saturday. Or if I don’t download the book and you deal with your teacher, you’ll get to chill at Grandma’s Saturday morning.”

Guess what? She asked me to download the book. She read three pages tonight and promptly fell asleep. So much for helping her out. Note: She still has to go to the Bat Mitzvah. Before I downloaded the book, I made her “pinky swear.”

A promise is a promise after all, right? And I have integrity after all.