“Selfish and suicidal, babies try to kill themselves twenty-four hours a day. They reach for knives, lick the Lysol bottle, and roll over on their stomachs at night. Every morning, babies call each other on the phone to discuss new ways to get you into trouble with Child Protective Services.”
These words were not to be found in any of the parenting guidebooks I was gifted as a young, first-time parent. The ones I was given were instead full of helpful information about babies and toddlers, and what to expect that first year – all of which promptly sat on my bookshelves gathering dust. I just couldn’t get myself psyched up to read expert opinions on breastfeeding, healthy diets or bowel movements, as helpful as that information would have undoubtedly been. No, these words are from the only parenting book that I was able to finally read cover-to-cover, and then again just for giggles, Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us.
Written by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner, Sh*tty Mom is by far the most inappropriate, and the most enjoyable, parenting book I’ve ever encountered.
Instead of advice on selecting the right physician or keeping your breast milk safe, it is full of tips for making parenting life just a little bit easier. Parenting cheats if you will.
Vital cheats, like how to survive road trips with your kids, how to hand off a newborn who just filled a diaper, how to leave your possibly if not likely sick child at daycare guilt-free, or techniques to employ if you want to sleep in until 9 a.m. every weekend.
Or my own personal favorite, “How to Leave Your Baby in the Car While You Dash into a 7-Eleven.” The authors of Sh*tty Mom had it right when they discuss the hell that is running errands with a baby It’s often an all-day ordeal, with each exit and entry of the car taking at least ten minutes. There’s the five-point government mandated buckle, then the stroller or sling you have to wrestle with. Or if you’re me, you just give up and carry the whole damned twenty-pound child seat in and out of the buildings. Giving you what may be carpal tunnel in the process. Any opportunities you have to shorten this grueling process for a quick in-and-out stop, I say take! The authors of Sh*tty Mom happen to agree. They do end the section with the reminder that this is only meant for quick dashes. It’s a “three-minute operation, tops.”
Not sure if you’re a shitty mom? Chances are good you probably are, but just in case you’re not sure the authors provide a fun quiz to determine the answer. Parenting guidebooks aren’t commonly known for being literally laugh-out-loud funny, and I’m so thankful to have found one like Sh*tty Mom that so blatantly breaks that mold.
“Sh*tty Mom is about how to survive babies, and what they grow into: children. Sh*tty Mom is about shortcuts and parenting with 40 percent effort. It’s about doing a half-assed job, but doing it well enough so that no one but you notices. It’s about not letting that baby win every battle.”
For every friend of mine who becomes a first-time parent, and for those who already have children, I will be recommending Sh*tty Mom as the most vital guidebook they can read. Because what every new parent needs to remember is, “’Dog’ spelled backward is ‘God.’ And ‘kid’ spelled backward is ‘dik.’” They’ll find this and so many other hilarious and helpful tidbits while reading Sh*tty Mom.