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Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest…
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Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, Mary Ann Zoellner

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515229,653 (3.72)3
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Title:Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us
Authors:Laurie Kilmartin
Other authors:Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, Mary Ann Zoellner
Info:Harry N. Abrams (2012), Hardcover, 176 pages
Collections:2013, Your library
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Tags:2013

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Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Laurie Kilmartin (2012)

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
This book is so me. That's pretty sad but I loved it! ( )
  GwendolynGrace | Jul 15, 2015 |
Very funny! I loved all the little asides and lightbulbed "What to Remember" takeaways at the end of every chapter. And mixed amid the humor are often little tidbits of common sense, helping us harried moms keep things in perspective. ( )
1 vote michellebarton | Aug 5, 2014 |
I think my expectations for "Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us" somewhat sabotaged my enjoyment of it. I expected humor (and humor I got), but I also expected some actual advice and guidance, and that I did not get.

For me, the best and funnies part was the chapter headings (while the chapters themselves were hit-or-miss in the humor department). "He Wants Sex, You Want to Sew Your Legs Shut for Ten Years" (advice within: "allow and encourage porn", and "on occasion, give it up"). "Organized Sports Might Be Great For the Kids, but They Suck for You" (which was one of the better chapters, and made me laugh out loud more than once - for every Michael Phelps' mom, there is a hundred "For ten years, I sat in the bleachers next to Michael Phelps' mom" moms - still cracks me up). "How to Feel Nothing When You Dump Them at Grandma's for the Weekend/Week/Month/Summer/Ever" (which I personally think I have already mastered).

It was a very quick read, and I got some chuckles out of it. My recommendation: check it out from the library. ( )
1 vote WeaselOfDoom | Mar 31, 2013 |
This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: This cover is fun. The colors work well, the font is cute and the image of the exhausted mom, sipping a latte and fiddling with her phone while hiding from the kids - is perfect for this title.

The Gist: Sh*tty Mom was written by four moms who are willing to concede that while their children may not grow up to be rocket scientists or president, they will damn well know how to get their own breakfast and turn the TV to cartoons so that mom can get an extra hour of sleep! It provides a tongue-in-cheek guide to the mom who wants to raise her kids with the least amount of effort possible.

Review: I don't normally read and review non-fiction or humor but, as a new mom, this title caught my eye and I had to give it a shot. Over the last year, I have been inundated with advice from moms who know it all (and some non-moms who know it all). I have gotten "the look" when I feed my baby store-bought food right out of the jar and felt out of place when my son is the only one at a party not wearing the latest teething necklace made from self-sustaining bamboo that I grew in my own back yard. The I-read-all-the-latest-articles-on-soothing-techniques-and-am-on-a-first-name-basis-with-5-pediatricians moms are all too vocal. However, the moms you never hear from are the ones who are willing to lock themselves in the bathroom to play Draw Something for 5 mins or count down the hours, minutes, seconds until bedtime. Those moms stay quiet because the Perfect Moms shame us into doing so. They judge us with their cloth diapers and all organic burp cloths. Well, in the interest of an honest review and to take a stand against the Perfect Moms, here are my Sh*tty Mom Confessions:


1) I let him watch TV- lots. I even put on the Little Einsteins DVDs when I really need him to bliss out in front of the boob tube.
2) I let him snack on cheerios - a lot. They are a major food group for him.
3) Cry-it-out is the only go to sleep technique that ever worked for us.
4) I only dress him in real clothes for pictures or if someone is coming over. Otherwise it is just a diaper or a sleeper (depending on the temp that day).


Sh*tty Mom must be taken with a large dose of humor (and perhaps an even larger dose of wine). It is NOT the book for a mom looking for sound advice on how to raise her little one. It IS the book for a frazzled mom who needs a little time out and, perhaps, some perspective. With chapter titles such as "How to Sleep In Until Nine AM Every Weekend" and "How to Drop Off Your Sick Kid at Daycare before the Teacher Figures It Out" it is clear that this book provides some serious humor and would go great with your copy of Go The Fuck To Sleep.

There were a few moments when I was a little put off by the humor. For example, in a section entitled "How to Leave Your baby in the Car While You Dash into a 7 Eleven" the authors discuss babies being locked in cars, pardoning the parents and blaming the child:

"The real problem here is that babies do not know when to cry. it would behoove them to learn. How is it that babies can scream through the night but when you're about to leave them in the hot car, not a peep? Do they even want to live? Why hasn't the evolutionary process hard-wired an 'I'M IN THE BACKSEAT' scream into all babies' DNA?"

This didn't come off as remotely funny for me and, had the section been seriously edited or removed entirely, it would have increased my enjoyment of the book immensely. After this point, I found myself constantly anticipating the next slip while reading and it set me on edge. Interestingly enough, a further chapter "Rediscover Your Passion for Violent TV, Movies, and Jokes" brings up exactly this point with the illustration of a new parents' inability to laugh at dead baby jokes. Those, I never found funny and perhaps that shows that my sense of humor was never crass enough to enjoy the passage above - kid or no kid.

Ignoring those sections, Sh*tty Mom is extremely funny. The writing is witty, and the layout marries short chapters with lists and notes of advice that make for a very quick read. It also cleverly buries moments of wisdom. For example, this is something that I wish I could tell the parents of all my students who sit in the middle of the pack:

"Average kids inherently understand that they don't have the goods. They develop other skills precisely because they can't get an A-plus on a paper that was begun the night before it was due. They grow into college students who can study for a test and into competent grown ups who can install a kitchen backsplash and use a slow cooker."

In the end, Sh*tty Mom does have a deeper purpose. The message of this book is not how to do the bare minimum and get away with it, ok well it is, but it goes deeper than that. It teaches us that if, at the end of the day, your kid didn't really have a balanced meal (cheerios count as a food group remember?), he didn't learn a new word (at least not one you want him to use in public) and he didn't have an enriching and educational outing that will surely set him on the path to school super-stardom. That's ok, because he is alive and (relatively) healthy. He will grow up just fine even if you don't celebrate every milestone (no first-poop-in-the-potty parties for you!) or sacrifice every moment of your time to his fulfillment. And hey, even if you are a Sh*tty Mom, at least you aren't a REALLY Sh*tty Mom!

Notable Quotables:

On managing PDA time for your kids: "Imagine for a moment what it must be like to dole out coke to a cokehead. That's a cokehead that you can control. That's a cokehead who will brush his teeth the first time he's asked. Who will be quiet at a Starbucks and engrossed during the aforementioned seven-hour drive."

"People get annoyed if you stop at one child. They say you're selfish for not giving your kid a sibling, that your kid could turn out spoiled and awkward. These people are usually called 'grandparents.' Beware the grandparent!"

"Remember: Nobody dies in Goodnight Moon." ( )
1 vote ZabetReading | Mar 31, 2013 |
If you can't answer 'yes' to at least one of the questions in the Sh*tty Mom quiz then I suggest you put this book down and walk away. It takes time to get a little perspective on the whole parenting thing so don't despair, in another year or two, or after another child or two, you will be ready to enjoy the irreverent advice and humour found in this tongue in cheek guide to motherhood.

Sh*tty Mom: The Guide for Good Enough Moms has a structure similar to the early parenting guides you read so intently while you were pregnant but with chapter headings such as "How To Hand Off the Newborn Who just Filled a Diaper" and "Stop Looking for a Great Babysitter and Settle for One who Shows Up", it lacks the traditional wise and scientifically proven judgements passed down from pediatricians whose own children were raised by their (bilingual) nannies.

Essentially this is a stand up comedy show script with lines written strictly for audience reaction. I couldn't help but snigger here and there and even laughed loud enough for my husband to ask 'what was so funny?' on occasion. There were scenes that went a little far, even for my relaxed mothering style, but I am sure a redneck somewhere thought they were hilarious.

Even though there is little in this book in the way of serious, or even legal, advice there is a kernel of wisdom buried under the snarky wit and carefree attitude of Sh*tty Mom. Parenting is, at times, exhausting, thankless, and insanely competitive. Sometimes "good enough" is the best you can do, and that's OK. ( )
3 vote shelleyraec | Sep 9, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie Kilmartinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moline, Karenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ybarbo, Aliciamain authorall editionsconfirmed
Zoellner, Mary Annmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To our moms: JoAnn Kilmartin, Gloria Moline, Irene Ybarbo, and Ann Knight
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An irreverent guide to parenting presents advice on handling common parenting concerns in the easiest and most efficient way possible.

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