Book Review: Sh*tty Mom for All Seasons

cover83474-mediumContent warning. As you can tell by the name of this book, there will be some off-color content. There will also be some in this review. You were warned.

I started this book fully expecting to be laughing all the way through it.

I laughed so hard at the first chapter.

I mean, what’s not funny about:

…perfect trips with kids are like vaginal orgasms: Good luck with that. Wouldn’t spring break travel be easier if we got advice that was less like zesty Internet porn and more like the sex life of a middle-aged married couple? The theme of that spring break trip would be founded on three simple ideas: Lower your expectations. Minimize the surprises. Manage the dysfunction.

But soon, it just wasn’t as funny. I stopped laughing. It was like the authors spent a lot of time getting the first chapter perfectly hilarious – but the next few just weren’t as inspired. I mean, it’s amusing, sure. And relatable. A little. It just didn’t have me cracking up like that first chapter.

And it gets kind of fucked up. Not funny fucked up. Which I’m all for. Just fucked up. (And if that bothers you, FYI, you really don’t want to read this book. I don’t think they have an ‘edited for television’ version.) The shock value of this stuff – funny in the first chapter, gets a semi-amused yawn by this point. It’s almost like they’re trying to be the Andrew Dice Clay of the mom set. And most of the jokes end up falling into the “I’m-sick-of-being-a-parent-so-I-want-to-get-rid-of-you-for-a-few-days-and-drink-martinis-and-watch-Netflix-I-don’t-care-how” category. It’s kind of funny, but you can only tell that joke in a certain number of ways before it stops being funny.

And there are quite a few un-PC references. I don’t want to be the PC police, but don’t know how to characterize it. If you’re not amused at slightly humorous references to the Amish, the Irish, gender stereotypes, old people, kids with ADHD, people who can’t eat gluten…this book may also not be for you. Really, what most people call being PC is just not being an asshole.

I mean, there are some nuggets in there:

“Kids think their creations are amazing. This is partly your fault for clapping when they pooped.”

But in the overall scheme, I stopped LOLing and started SAing (Smiling Amusedly) at the funnier jokes.

And chapter 4 – do people still get on Listservs? Hasn’t that that been replaced by Google Hangouts and FaceBook Groups? What is this, 2002?

Take this as an example. I’m dealing with road rage, the first suggestion is to take it out on the Starbucks barista? Really? I know it’s supposed to be funny, but since so many people take their rage out on Starbucks baristas (and other people who serve them) it just screams being a privileged asshole.

But see, it was followed up by this particularly inspired rant about who to take your rage out on:

Truckers with girly wheel flaps.The only problem with yelling at these guys is they might be packing heat. Find one who’s headed into the restroom and tell him (while he walks in) what you think of his denigrating wheel flaps. There’s no reason to objective the female body like that! Also, can’t one of these smutty companies make a wheel flap of Mark Wahlberg? Fucking patriarchy!

This is kinda funny: “Thanksgiving was obviously invented by men to celebrate a short workweek that ends in three of their favorite things: carbohydrates, football, and sitting.”

And I did laugh at these New Year’s Resolutions:

-Don’t swear around, about, or at your children. If you can’t follow these rules, just don’t do the last one.
-Establish a money jar to penalize yourself for every time you swear around or about your children.
-Give the swearing jar’s contents to charity when it’s full.
-Stop stealing from the swearing jar to pay for field trips, hot lunch accounts, and parking meters. If you need to empty it completely – because you need money for beer and pizza – refill it the next day, or as soon as your kids notice.

Though not because I related to it. Oh, no. That would be bad.

In the end, the ends didn’t justify the means. Or, it wasn’t as funny as I’d hoped. I might have actually told you all the really funny parts in this review. They definitely aren’t representative of the rest of the book. 2 out of 5 stars for the stuff I thought was funny. Was this book really written by 2 producers of the Today Show?

Thanks to NetGalley and ABRAMS for a copy in return for an honest review.

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