Title: Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies)
Author: Jill Smokler. She is the author of a previous book of parenting essays, Confessions of a Scary Mommy and blogs at ScaryMommy.com
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Readers: Mothers Sulyn, Megan V., Katie and Reinventing Mommy.
Summary: Newly pregnant and scared out of her mind, Jill Smokler lay on her gynecologist’s examination table and was told the biggest lie she’d ever heard in her life: “Motherhood is the most natural thing in the world.”
Instead of quelling her nerves like that well intentioned nurse hoped to, Jill was instead set up for future of questioning exactly what DNA strand she was missing that made the whole motherhood experience feel less than natural to her. Wonderful? Yes. Miraculous? Of course. Worthwhile? Without a doubt. But natural? Not so much.
Our Take: A funny and candid look at real parenthood that would make a great gift for new parents. Our readers enjoy Smokler’s frankness, but warn that she may offend more sensitive readers.
Jill Smokler hits it out of the ball park with Motherhood Comes Naturally. Smokler sets out to disprove twenty-three of the most pervasive ‘lies’ new and expectant mothers hear from a wide variety of sources. Each chapter heading includes a scary mommy confession from Smokler’s blog. I enjoyed reading other moms’ take on motherhood and the different situations we encounter as mothers. My favorite might be Scary Mommy Confession #192319 “If I’d known what having children would do to my body, I’d have spent more time naked in high school. And I would have taken pictures.”
The great thing about Motherhood is that it’s written with a frankness that reads like a breath of fresh air. It is a great read for any mommy or dad deep in the trenches of parenting because there are so many ‘lies’ we all tell ourselves and each other that are debunked, making parenting feel like a more even playing field.
While Smokler’s candor is her trademark and certainly appreciated, her use of the F-bomb is not. I could have skipped ‘An Ode To My Husband’ for that very reason.
I highly recommend this read, with the disclaimer that the language can be offensive at times.
Jill Smokler’s book about her experiences as an expectant mother, giving birth, and the life that follows are written in a style that is friendly, forthright and funny.
The book is exceptional in its honesty. Although the author’s point of view was generally optimistic and caring, there were times when her anger and resentment were also quite evident, and, in my opinion, appropriately so for the most part.
My only issue is Smokler’s use of the word “bitch” to describe a 9-year-old girl who was very mean to her daughter. (It’s probably just my age.) While that was offensive to me, I must say that, in general, Smokler’s candor is what makes the book so significant.
Jill Smokler has written a stress reliever, and life preserver, for expectant women, new moms, and mothers of all ages, including grandmothers like me. It wouldn’t hurt dad’s to read this book either. In fact, I suggest they do.
I am fan of Scary Mommy online and read her previous book, so I was looking forward to reading this one. However, I ended up feeling let down. I don’t think I actually laughed out loud once, and the material didn’t feel fresh to me. I do think it would a fun gift for someone about to have their first kid, because it does shatter lots of the myths out there about being a mom, and in a humorous way. But my kids are 4 and 14, so I have been there, done that. While I did relate to many of her stories, they certainly weren’t a revelation to me. The “chapters” are very short and it’s a quick read, might be fun to read a chapter at a time in the bathroom, or as a gift like I said, but otherwise I wouldn’t run right out and buy this one.
If you know what it’s like to always have food-stained shirts, spare children’s underwear or diapers in your purse, and you can’t remember the last time you got to use the bathroom by yourself, the chances are great that you will find something to relate to in the pages of Motherhood Comes Naturally.
Just as she does on her “Scary Mommy” blog, Jill Smokler uses humor to expose many of the lies embedded in the common idioms about motherhood, all the while highlighting the everyday hilarity that exists in the profession of being a mom. The book is a short, fast read broken up into chapters only a few pages long, which is perfect for those moms deep in the trenches of which she writes. She brings humor to the situations that could seem to bring mothers down – such as a lack of sleep or time to yourself – and her writing gives moms permission to abandon the notion that motherhood is in any way intuitive. Smokler confesses all of little idiosyncrasies about motherhood of which we rarely speak, like the fact that our bodies are never the same and that all mothers do – at one point or another – find their children incredibly annoying.
If you have a few minutes a day, a child (or two) on your hip, and need a little touch of humor in your life, you will definitely enjoy Motherhood Comes Naturally.
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