The Scary Mommy Book Rave

Do you frame every scribble that comes home from school? Fashion Dora the Explorer out of whole grain bread for your child’s lunch? Sob at the end of summer break because it means time away from your child?

Then Jill Smokler’s debut book of essays Confessions of a Scary Mommy  is NOT for you. Everyone else? I’ve found you the ONLY parenting book that doesn’t sugarcoat pregnancy, caring for infants, toddlers, and everything else about having children.

Jill’s essays are laugh-out-loud funny. And I don’t mean the cutesy version of motherhood funny like “oh, it’s hysterical that you pee a lot when you’re pregnant.” Jill avoids that surface nonsense you see in other so-called “honest” takes on the motherhood experience. It’s What’s to Expect When You’re Expecting on Xanax chased with a bottle of Chardonnay. Except maybe that would make you pass out, but you get what I’m saying.

Jill’s essays are real, brave, and they give us permission to stop taking our parenting “selves” so damn seriously. If you read Jill’s wildly popular blog, then you know she’s masterful at finding the humor in the insane expectations of parents today. The book is the same Jill, only better because we get more of her.

Jill’s take on everything from birthday parties to family “vacations” is a refreshing break from the Martha Stewart-fication of motherhood and “keeping house.” For all you Pinterest users, just check out the names of her boards for a taste of Jill’s ability to cut through the bull. Speaking of Pinterest, her post “Pin This” about erasing her account is one of my favorites on her site. (She eventually caved, but if you’re overwhelmed by the perfection on Pinterest you will LOVE the post.)

And because I owe Jill BIG TIME for giving me my first big shot at the blogging experience (back when my blog had a different name, and I was still a mom of “only” three) and even a second shot with her insanely large audience, I’m pre-ordering copies for TWO of my readers. I also just love the book that much and I want everyone to read it!


Disclosure: I received a free (and autographed–yup!) copy of Jill’s book. But I wouldn’t review it if I didn’t love it. I would just pretend that it got lost in the mail or destroyed by my kids. 

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Nina is a columnist at The HerStories Project and a contributing writer at and Her essays have appeared regularly at Brain, Child Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Jewish Daily Forward and have been syndicated in Jewish newspapers across the country. Her short stories have appeared in over a dozen literary magazines, and she loved participating in the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother. Nina is a co-founder of The Twin Cities Writing Studio. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

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64 Responses to The Scary Mommy Book Rave
  1. Heidi Smith Luedtke
    March 20, 2012 | 12:22 pm

    Pick me, pick me! Scary Mommy makes me feel better about my not-so-nice parenting moments.

  2. talesofwhimsy
    March 20, 2012 | 12:24 pm

    o o o o o this sounds awesome! Please pick me! :)

  3. carlrscott
    March 20, 2012 | 12:37 pm

    Glad to hear there’s some truly scary mommies out there. Some folks get so far into parenting that they forget how to have real “big people fun” themselves.
    I tweeted about the giveaway as well:!/carlrscott/status/182157879229423616

  4. Koala Bear Writer
    March 20, 2012 | 12:45 pm

    Oh, this sounds like a great book! The kind of book I’d love to read. :) (In part to dissect and figure out how to write about motherhood in such a funny, readable way myself!) I’m tweeting and FBing this giveaway too. :)

  5. MommaKiss (@mommakiss)
    March 20, 2012 | 12:47 pm

    Autographed copy? Sign me UP!

    • Nina Badzin
      March 20, 2012 | 1:17 pm

      Well, not autographed because I’m pre ordering for you guys via Amazon. But still–yay!

      Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse any errors.

  6. MommaKiss (@mommakiss)
    March 20, 2012 | 12:50 pm
  7. Barbara A McNichol
    March 20, 2012 | 12:57 pm

    They wrote a book about ME!? Fantastic. I posted the facebook link so everyone knows and then went off to download a copy only to find its not available yet. Sigh!

    • Nina Badzin
      March 20, 2012 | 1:19 pm

      I put a link in the post to where Jill explains the giveaways she’s doing for pre-ordering. It’ll be at your door on April 3rd!

      Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse any errors.

  8. Shanna Krider
    March 20, 2012 | 1:00 pm

    Sounds amazing! I wish more of us were honest about how crazy and not so funny motherhood can be. I am posting to my Facebook!

  9. Sarah Baughman
    March 20, 2012 | 1:08 pm

    If only I hadn’t just popped a Dora-shaped whole wheat loaf in the oven. JUST. KIDDING. I posted this on Facebook and Twitter– great giveaway, Nina!

  10. Sharayah
    March 20, 2012 | 1:09 pm

    Ooh, as someone still childless but hoping to start trying soon and totally aware that I am ENCHANTED with the idea of motherhood… I think I could use a hilarious snap back to reality. 😛

  11. Christine
    March 20, 2012 | 1:11 pm

    Sounds great! I can’t wait to read it

  12. Kelly M
    March 20, 2012 | 1:18 pm

    I would love to read it!

  13. ramblingsfromtheleft
    March 20, 2012 | 1:36 pm

    Nine, you didn’t have to ask me twice. I’ve already posted this on Facebook and Jill’s lovely face came up on top of the post. Go ahead and give the old granny a good laugh. You can add me to your drawing since I can always snicker at what was once ain’t no more. Done and did that and glad they are grown and gone :) There I said what most granny’s, bubbies, nonnas and other loving souls are afraid to say. Loved having them (maybe) loved whoever invented sleep away camp and college boarding and loved when they took all their “stuff” out of the closets and made messes in their own places :):) Thanks so muchfor this and for introducing Jill.

  14. TJ
    March 20, 2012 | 1:52 pm

    I linked this post on Twitter. It sounds like a good book to give to my sister. She just told us on Sunday that she’s pregnant with her first kid. She needs a taste of what to expect. =)

  15. girlparker
    March 20, 2012 | 2:15 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous read! Thanks for the recommendation. I hate cutesy, so I’m looking forward to this.

  16. Sandy
    March 20, 2012 | 3:16 pm

    Add me to the drawing :)

    • Sandy
      March 20, 2012 | 3:18 pm

      I posted to facebook…

  17. Stacy S. Jensen
    March 20, 2012 | 3:59 pm

    Nina it sounds like a great book. I tweeted your post, so add me to the drawing please. — Signed Not a Martha Stewart and not sure I could live up to the coolness of a Scary Mommy

    P.S. Thanks to WordPress changes, I’m having to do extra work to link to my blog when I comment. Everytime I think – “It would be so much easier to sign in with Twitter.” It strikes me that you would wonder why I sign in with Twitter and not my blog, because that’s what I really want to do. So, I’m taking the extra step to make sure my blog is linked. (Fingers crossed it worked). Honest, no Xanax or Chardonnay involved in this comment. So that might make it extra special sad. :)

    • Nina Badzin
      March 20, 2012 | 10:30 pm

      I’m so confused about the WP changes! Arg!

  18. Hillary Manaster
    March 20, 2012 | 5:01 pm

    Looking forward to reading Scary Mommy’s book. Her blog is hysterical, and I always appreciate when people tell it like it *really* is!

    March 20, 2012 | 5:03 pm

    I want a copy!! I always enjoy what you write about on your blog!!
    PS I posted the link on my facebook page!!!

  20. Laura Mahlen
    March 20, 2012 | 5:24 pm

    I’m excited for her book! Put me in the drawing please! I don’t cut sandwiches into Dora shape, but I do use other cookie cutter patterns! I think I really need to read it!

  21. gojulesgo
    March 20, 2012 | 5:34 pm

    How cool! As someone who doesn’t have kids (…yet?), I would still totally read this. But maybe I shouldn’t? LOL 😉

  22. Jess Witkins
    March 20, 2012 | 6:16 pm

    I heard about the Scary Mommy blog recently in a magazine and was enthralled. My sister is raising her first, now a toddler, and there are days when the momentum of all she deals with (ex. teaching kindergartners all day!) and then coming home to have to cook dinner, do homework, spend time with a 3 year old who loves playing the same make believe game over and over and over and over and over and over…and over, well, I thought this site would be perfect!

    I’m thrilled to hear it’s now a book and not in the least shocked that I’d learn about it on your site, Nina! Awesome!!! Please put me in for a copy and consider this blog tweeted! 😀

  23. Theresa Young
    March 20, 2012 | 7:52 pm

    Sounds fun!

  24. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson
    March 20, 2012 | 8:28 pm

    Sounds fabulous! I’m off to tweet you now! And then off to my Fan page RASJacobson’s “Lessons From Teachers & Twits” to let people know!

    But I kind of hope you pick me! Pick me!

    • Nina Badzin
      March 20, 2012 | 10:32 pm

      Thanks! You have the best FB community. I haven’t started a “writer” page. It makes me nervous . . . like someone will say “a writer of what?” That’s probably a post of its own waiting to happen.

      • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson
        March 20, 2012 | 11:04 pm

        Don’t do it. You have nine bajillion babies. I have one 12 year old.

        • julie gardner
          March 22, 2012 | 11:21 am

          I haven’t taken the leap to make a fan page/writer page either…
          I already feel like I’m attached to my sanity by a thin (thin!) thread.

          And I only have half the babies Nina does.

  25. Selina Simmons
    March 20, 2012 | 10:15 pm

    I put link on my facebook which is diff name, plus I retweeted you on twitter. I may be an empty nester now, however I know I would get some belly laughs from this book, would SO LOVE IT!!

  26. Alison
    March 20, 2012 | 10:47 pm

    Ohhhh!!!!!! Someone finally wrote a book about me!

  27. Leah
    March 21, 2012 | 12:29 am

    No. No. And no. Sounds like a great book!

  28. Carrie @ Tempo Life Coaching
    March 21, 2012 | 1:14 am

    I’m so tired of all the “isn’t life wonderful with kids” books that are out there. Of course, I have to keep my blogging tame since I’m a life coach and all, but I’m all about honesty. I spent the first 8 years or so of my oldest daughter’s life wanting to write a book warning parents of how it really is to have a kid (I think you read that post). Anyway…I look forward to winning a copy (hehe), and if not, I’ll just have to pre-order. I’ll be tweeting this, so I have even more chances to win. yay!!

  29. Bekki
    March 21, 2012 | 4:27 pm

    Posted to FB — hope I win! Sounds like a great read…

  30. jolinapetersheim
    March 21, 2012 | 8:28 pm

    Surely a new mom who is juggling a nursing child while writing this gets a double shot at Scary Mommy, right? One can always hope….Great review, Nina. I want to read this book regardless if I win it or not!

    • Nina Badzin
      March 24, 2012 | 12:56 pm

      I think about you when I’m feeding the baby at night and wonder if you’re up too! :)

  31. Everyday Commotion
    March 21, 2012 | 10:50 pm

    Great review! I’d love to be entered in the drawing for a copy. I follow her on Twitter and always find myself either nodding along in agreement or laughing.

  32. julie gardner
    March 22, 2012 | 11:23 am

    Off to tweet about you and Jill. I think she’s simply fabulous and I had no idea she’d been a big supporter of you from the get-go which makes me like her even more.

    Go, ladies. Go!

  33. Momma Be Thy Name
    March 22, 2012 | 11:39 am

    Please put me in the hat!!

  34. Kristen @ Motherese
    March 22, 2012 | 1:12 pm

    What a great review of a great-sounding book! What’s not to love about honest, funny takes on parenting. I’m also really impressed by the way Jill has built her blog and created a writing career. She’s an inspiration!

  35. Monica Gebell
    March 22, 2012 | 9:51 pm

    Please enter me in the contest, Nina. I’ve been reeeeeally good about not carving shapes out of my daughter’s PB&J.

  36. Lisa Salamon-Handel
    March 23, 2012 | 9:22 am

    Count me in for the giveaway! Refreshing take on motherhood–a place where we are just too hard on ourselves.

  37. michelle
    March 23, 2012 | 12:52 pm

    Hi Nina! I just wanted to thank you for being so generous with your info about blogging and twitter as a new one to the blogging world I find it welcoming and overwhelming at the same time . I just love your practical and enticing approach. Thank you again for all your tips! Michelle

    • Nina Badzin
      March 24, 2012 | 12:57 pm

      Thank YOU for saying that. Those are my favorite posts on the blog for sure. I appreciate hearing the feedback.

  38. Frume Sarah
    March 23, 2012 | 3:23 pm

    As the only parent not video-taping the ONE song that the third grade sang at the Friday assembly earlier today, I thought “there must be other moms just like me.”

    And yes — posted on Twitter and FB.

  39. CeeCee Wood aka survivormom
    March 23, 2012 | 5:10 pm

    JILL SMOKLER ROCKS MY SOCKS!!! Not only is she witty, she is our GRAND SCARY MOMMY!! LOVE YA JILL!!!! Mean it

  40. CeeCee Wood aka survivormom
    March 23, 2012 | 5:12 pm

    I have bought 3 copies so far, shared this on my fb and twitter. So I will forgo winning the book.

    • Nina Badzin
      March 24, 2012 | 12:58 pm

      Thanks for stopping by to mention your love of Jill though. “Grand Scary Mommy”–PERFECT!

  41. Shannon Pruitt from 'Mynewfavoriteday'
    March 24, 2012 | 12:55 pm

    I definitely want to read this and love your description Nina “What to expect when you’re expecting” chased with Xanax and Chardonnay! So clever and would love to win the book but just happy to know about it too! Thanks for sharing.

  42. Lisa Ahn (@Lisa_Ahn)
    March 25, 2012 | 6:22 pm

    Oh, how I need this book! And I’m tweeting this right now. Great contest!

  43. Piper Bayard
    March 25, 2012 | 8:38 pm

    Hi Nina. Sounds like a great book, and I’d love to win it. So glad Renee introduced us. :)

  44. Kasey Mathews
    March 26, 2012 | 1:20 pm

    Nina, I love a giveaway as much as the next girl, but I’m on my way to preorder right now!! This sounds exactly like my kind of book!! FYI – I’m new over here – friend of Renee!! Just subscribed so I don’t miss a word!! Thanks!!

    • Nina Badzin
      March 26, 2012 | 10:20 pm

      On behalf of Jill, I know she appreciates any pre-orders. The book publishing world is a crazy business model (as you well know–already have been on your blog) and the pre-ordering MATTERS so much for numbers, ranking etc. Love the cover of your book–the color version like your daughter suggested. :)

      Stop by my blog: Follow me on Twitter: @NinaBadzin

  45. Mika
    March 26, 2012 | 2:16 pm

    I’m the last person on earth who would cry at the end of summer break. :) Put my name in the hat please!

  46. Jodi Lipschultz
    March 26, 2012 | 7:00 pm

    Love how she puts it! Nina this is a book I would read, all the things I think but don’t say! Pick me! I am posting this to fb too!

  47. Aly
    March 26, 2012 | 10:13 pm

    Can’t wait to read this book
    Please enter me and I’ll post to Facebook
    Nina, I’m Jorie and Robby’s cousin and friends with Tobi
    Love reading ur blogs and love ur book recommendations
    Great job

    • Nina Badzin
      March 26, 2012 | 10:18 pm

      Aly! Of course I know you. (By name at least!) 😉 So glad to hear you like the blog. I really appreciate it. You’re officially entered in the giveaway.

  48. […] finally, I’m thrilled to announce the winners of last week’s book giveaway. Stacy Jensen and Shanna Krider will each receive Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler on […]

  49. 50 Shades Overrated | Nina Badzin
    June 20, 2013 | 11:04 pm

    […] finally, I’m thrilled to announce the winners of last week’s book giveaway. Stacy Jensen and Shanna Krider will each receive Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler on […]

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