Jill Smokler’s book Confessions of a Scary Mommy went on sale today. Smokler is the founder and creator of the hugely successful blog Scary Mommy, which was one of the first mommy blogs to rip the secrecy off of motherhood and start exposing our real struggles as mothers. Her blog is HUGE and has enough followers to populate a small city or take over the world. If you haven’t ever checked out her blog, you should. I don’t like to tell people what to do, but… check out her blog.
There’s not a doubt in my mind that her book will be just as successful as her blog. Her site boasts over a million views a month and I’m not surprised at all by this. Long before I became a blogger myself, I’ve been a reader. When I was browsing mommy blogs late at night in search of another soul out there who could validate the emotional experience that I was having in regard to my new entrance in motherhood, Scary Mommy was the first blog where I landed and subsequently stayed.
I passed by all of the other blogs. The crafty pictures and homemade recipes. I skipped the beautiful pictures and the passionate posts about how motherhood had helped them reach Nirvana. None of these were me. None of these were what I was looking for. I think there are lots of other mothers like me out there. And it’s not just my opinion. Just look at Smokler’s statistics.
There’s a reason that Smokler’s work is on the number one list and not any of the thousand others. Women are hungry for the truth about motherhood. We are like starving children in this area so when we find it we devour it as if it might be our last meal.
One of the central parts of motherhood seems to be pledging a vow of silence. We all knowingly or unknowingly take it the minute we are baptized into motherhood. After I had my son I was desperate for someone else to say, “Man, this is REALLY hard and I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Nobody was saying it. If anything remotely negative was said about having kids or being a mom, it was quickly covered up with, “but I wouldn’t change it for the world” or some other loving remark to prove that we do love our kids. To be fair, I wasn’t saying it either. After all, I didn’t want to be the one labeled a bad mom!
But go online and you find countless confessions about women who are unhappy with motherhood and really struggling. Thousands of readers are there having discussions about the huge emotional difficulties inherent in being a mom. We seek these conversations out online because of the anonymity. We don’t have to say it out loud to our families, our husbands, or the other moms we spend time with. We don’t share our struggles in real life and in real time because there is so much guilt and shame associated with it. We live in prisons of fear we’ve created of how others would judge us if we told the truth. We don’t tell the truth because we are terrified of being labeled a bad mother. Even worse, we are so afraid someone might say or think that we don’t love our children. What would happen if we ignored the guilt and we actually started talking about motherhood in reality with the people that are closest to us?
Looks like we have the answer staring us in the face today. Smokler has done it and mothers are loving it.
(side note: I am not in any way being paid or sponsored to provide this post. I’m not affiliated with Jill Smokler in any way, even though I wish we were friends in real life).