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Author Discusses Being a ‘Scary Mommy’

Mt. Washington resident Jill Smokler is a New York Times bestselling author.

It’s OK if you’re not always perfect as a mother.

In fact, it’s OK to sometimes want to bang your child’s head against the wall, according to Jill Smokler.

Smokler, a Mt. Washington resident, is the New York Times bestselling author of the book Confessions of a Scary Mommy, a compilation of essays on the challenges of motherhood both original to the book, and culled from her popular blog of the same name.

“The general gist of [the book is] loving motherhood, but wanting to bang your head against the wall, and sometimes wanting to bang your kid against the wall too,” Smokler said. “[Kids are] frustrating, and people don’t talk about that. So you feel like when you have those emotions, that you’re a terrible person, because nobody ever talks about having those emotions.”

Smokler following a book signing at, and discussed her writing career, and the range of emotions her work has provoked.

"But really it’s been oddly supportive," Smokler said of the feedback. "It’s their words. They can relate to it and it makes them feel like a better parent, not being the only person who feels these things."

Wee Chic owner Bridget Quinn Stickline, a Scary Mommy fan, was excited to have Smokler signing books in her store.

"I’ve been reading Jill for a long time and this store came from my point of view as a mother," Stickline said. "I’m very sympathetic to Jill’s message—you don’t have to be perfect to be a mom. Some of the best moments of being a mother are the moments are not perfect."

The blog itself began a "baby book" for her children. Smokler said her mother kept a daily log of what foods she ate, how much she weighed and so on.

"It just grew into much more of a parenting website," she said.

Her now 6-year-old son gave her the title “Scary Mommy” when he was younger after watching a Disney movie.

"He’s so proud of himself that he started this all. But lately he’s been saying that he wishes he didn’t do that because then I wouldn’t be so busy," she said.

After the blog began to attract a wider audience, a literary agent reached out to Smokler about transitioning her blog into a book.

"Once I was introduced to the idea it seemed like a great way to get the message out to a broader crowd," she said.

Scary Mommy was a bestseller in its first week in circulation and is currently in its sixth printing.

But Lily, Smokler's 8-year-old daughter, doesn't put much stock in her mom's "scary" persona, and responded with a shake of her head "no" when asked if she thought her mom was scary. Although she still hasn't been able to read what all the fuss is about.

"I’m not allowed to read it," Lily said.

So what is the best part of being a mom?

"I think really watching your children turn into little people before your eyes," Smokler said.

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