Before I had kids, I read all the time. I mean it. ALL.THE.TIME! To the point that it annoyed my husband, and he took to writing “I (heart) Books” on my things in an effort to be funny and point out that I spent entirely too much time with my nose in a book.
To help you understand, we would go to Florida in the summer for a two-week beach vacation, and I’d finish eight to 10 books while we were there. I read the last Harry Potter in one sitting. It’s over 1,000 pages. I think you get the point.
Since becoming a mom, my reading life has changed significantly. Most of what I read now are parenting books, blogs, or news articles and, of course, kids books. Brown Bear, Brown Bear? Got it memorized! Mr. Brown Can Moo? Know it by heart.
Early on in my mommyhood, I steered clear of a certain kind of book or blog. You know the ones. The ones where moms rant about their kids and basically talk about what a crappy job motherhood is. Someone actually gave us Go The F*ck To Sleep as a baby gift, and I was seriously offended. I wouldn’t even read it. And then one day, I read it and laughed out loud. It’s all true!
Parenthood isn’t all lovely and sparkly and snuggles and happy moments. There are parts of it that suck the life right out of you. A lot of days we fall into bed emotionally, physically and financially exhausted. We sleep for a few hours, we get up and do it all again. Somewhere around the sixth month of being a mommy, I stopped reading parenting books and blogs and started looking for the kind I had so carefully avoided. People who were “keeping it real.” Like @HonestToddler on Twitter. I happened across Karen Alpert’s blog, Baby Sideburns. In April of this year, Alpert turned her popular blog into a New York Times Bestselling book, I Heart my Little A-Holes.
I’ll admit, I was still a bit hesitant to read the book. But then, a good friend read it and RAVED about it so I knew I had to give it a try. With chapter titles like, “A Lot of Sh*t You Don’t Need When You’re Having a Baby,” and “Ten Things I Really F’ing Want for Mother’s Day,” you know it’s not going to be your average parenting book.
When asked why she wrote her book, Alpert replied, “When I had my daughter I remember looking down at my newborn and thinking there’s a reason God made babies ridiculously cute. So we wouldn’t give them away. Or eat them. Because having a kid is like the hardest thing on Earth. I mean yeah it’s super rewarding and you can’t help but loving them to pieces, but no one ever tells you before you have kids just how difficult it’s going to be.
“And you’d never know it from looking at Facebook or Pinterest. You’d think that having kids is all hunky dory and awesome and smiley, like unicorns flying over rainbows. Wait, unicorns don’t fly. Fine, unicorns with wings. But I digress.
“So this is why I wrote this book. To let parents everywhere know that they are not alone. That parenting is hard for everyone. Being preggers, breastfeeding, tantrums, explosive blowout diapers, bedtimes, naptimes, scraping projectile vomit off the ceiling, scraping projectile poop off the wall, the terrible twos, the terrible threes, the terrible fours, etc etc etc.”
She goes on, but you get the point.
This book is real. And hilarious. And full of curse words, so if that’s not your thing… you’ve been warned. But if you’re in the market for a great book to read over the holidays while your kids are all home on break, and you can’t leave the house because it’s too cold to be out, this just might do the trick.
I promise you will laugh out loud, shake your head in agreement, and breathe in a sigh of relief that someone else had had the very thoughts you have secretly had.