Let’s Schmooze!
Like Me, Pretty Please!
Subscribe to the Tribe!

Enter your e-mail address to get Mishegas of Motherhood in your Inbox:


In Honor of National Authors Day, Let’s Salute Sh*tty Mom

While some women hoard shoes, I collect more parenting books than I can read in a lifetime. Something tells me I need a new fetish. The top drawer of my nightstand is packed with “Stop Struggling With Your Child,” “Raising a Thinking Child,” “Surrendering to Motherhood,” and “Why Do They Act That Way?” The bottom drawer is stuffed with the entire series of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (even though my kids are now teenagers) and the “50 Shades” trilogy. As soon as “What To Expect The Empty Nest Years” comes out, I’ll buy that too.

In my office, the bookshelves are crammed with everything from “The Jewish Parents Almanac” and “Chicken Soup for the Father & Daughter Soul” to “13 Is the New 18” and “Are You My Mother?” I’m a sucker for Dr. Seuss rhymes.

I always stash books in my car to keep me company in carpool line, such as “Brain Dead in the Burbs,” (the recipes are divine), “Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim,” and, of course, a box full of my own “Mishegas of Motherhood” in case I meet a literary agent at the coffee shop or the owner of the dry cleaner wants to buy one.

Recently, however, no other book has inspired me more than “Sh*tty Mom. The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us.”



Don’t let the title fool you. This manual on imperfect parenting hit the coveted New York Times Best Seller List. The fulltime working mom authors are a cast of characters: Laurie Kilmartin is a stand-up comedian and Emmy-nominated writer for Conan O’Brien. Karen Moline is a journalist and bestselling novelist. Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner are both Emmy award–winning producers for the Today Show, and they will appear November 14 at the upcoming St. Louis Jewish Book Festival for an unforgettable Mom’s Night Out.  (See below for details).

This hilarious book is a must read for every mom. In a nutshell, the 176 pages covers shortcuts on “parenting with 40 percent effort and doing a half-assed job, but doing it well enough so that no one but you notices.” In fact, I would go so far to say that “Sh*tty Mom” ranks right up there with the mother of all parenting books, “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee.” That’s because the powerful message is the same: Sure we love our kids more than anything, but that doesn’t mean we have to like them all the time. Most importantly, good enough parenting is actually better for our children than “helicopter” or the newest stigma “lawn mower” parenting, which experts tell us has resulted in a self-entitled, narcissistic generation who can’t deal with boredom, failure, or diversity, not to mention knows how to use a washing machine, boil an egg, plunge a toilet, or look for a job without mom or dad editing the resume.

I only wish this tongue-and-cheek resource was written when my first child was born 17 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of angst. If I only knew then what I know now about the “Ten-Second Rule: Pacifier on the Ground,” “How to Sleep Until 9 a.m. Every Weekend,” and “How To Not Hear the Baby in the Middle of the Night.”

I finally realize that I should have been a sh*ttier mom.

For example:

  • I carried an apple peeler and corer in my diaper bag when I took my kids to the park so that they could munch on a nutritious snack instead of  Vanilla Wafers.
  • I sanitized their toys with rubbing alcohol after play dates.
  • I lived for sporting events on weekends (Chapter 12) and considered eating sunflower seeds on the bleachers the same thing as date night with my husband.
  • I used to lock myself in the bathroom to conduct phone interviews for story assignments so that I could get a little privacy, while my toddler had full reign of the house.
  • I allowed my kids to control the radio station in the car before they used ear buds to listen to their music and tune me out.
  • I’m a “Nom,” or  “non-Mom,” who makes other moms feel like I love my dog more than they love their children, unintentionally, of course. (Chapter 30). I have more professional portraits of my apricot toy poodle Luci than I do my own kids. My pet is my screen saver on my computer and, more often than not, my facebook profile picture. My dog sleeps in my bed, while my children, well, not so much. (Hey, maybe I am a sh*tty mom, after all!).

“Sh*tty Mom is all about celebrating those less than perfect parenting moments,” says Alicia Ybarbo, who is Catholic and lives in New York with her “nice Jewish boy” husband. She has been on a whirlwind book tour and fortunately has a great hubbie and babysitter to hold down the fort.

“Jewish moms and Catholic moms have one thing in common—lots of guilt!  And regardless of the religion you had growing up or the religion you practice now, the one common denominator between all of us moms is humor.”

Indeed this book is filled with sarcastic humor, and no topic is off limits, such as “He Wants Sex, You Want to Sew Your Legs Shut for Ten Years” (Chapter 42) and “How To React If You Think Your Child Might Be Gay (Hint: Celebrate).” (Chapter 5)

“We just think a lot of moms feel guilty that they work and don’t spend every single moment with their kid. Moms tweet us asking if it’s bad that she has her child clip coupons while she’s in a time out… That to us is the ultimate in multitasking.  Another mom tweeted that if box tops came on wine labels our schools would be rich!  We can’t get enough of these stories, thoughts and antidotes,” says Ybarbo.

“We think our book has struck a chord with all those moms out there who might secretly fantasize about doing more with their kids or being “better” moms but they don’t have the time or the energy. Our books is helping moms laugh and release some of their mom guilt,” says Ybarbo.

And we all know Jewish guilt is the worst.

Are you a Sh*tty Mom? Tweet the authors and tell the world all about it!


Shitty Mom author event

Join Me at Mom’s Night Out

With  Alicia Ybarbo & Mary Ann Zoellner

Authors of Sh*tty Moms: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us

When: Wednesday, November 14

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Jewish Community Center, Staenberg Family Complex

What: Refreshments, prizes, surprises, laughter

How Much: $18. Free with Series and Series PLUS tickets.

Why: Why Not?