Mom of three, Jill Smokler, has built a judgment-free community online for moms to feel understood, connect with each other and commiserate. Her just-released first book, Confessions of a Scary Mommy, offers a deep look into the mind of the original Scary Mommy.
SheKnows: What is your ultimate Scary Mommy moment?
Jill Smokler: My ultimate Scary Mommy moment happened on vacation with my family a few years ago. I set out on the week-long trip with a single mission. Not to have fun, not to relax, not to read a book... my mission was to get a picture of all three of my children, together. I bribed them, I begged them, I did everything I could to capture that picture and completely failed.
On the last night of the trip, I gave up and put the camera down. The kids were running around, and I haphazardly picked up the camera and took a single shot. Turns out it was perfect. Perfect lighting, perfect faces, perfect composition. Perfect, except for the fact that Evan had taken off his pants and his penis was front and center. The picture remains one of my all-time favorites and really reminded me that there is no such thing as perfection. But reality can be much funnier.
SK: Where do you think automatic competitiveness comes from between mothers? And how can we get rid of it?
JS: I think people are naturally competitive — in school, at work, recreationally. I think motherhood is something we all care so deeply about succeeding at and by putting other mothers down we tend to feel better about our own skills. Of course, that does no good for anyone involved. It's easy to judge someone based on the quick snapshot you may see, but that's never the complete picture. We need to get to a place where villainizing someone else doesn't make us the winner. It makes us silly.
SK: What’s your advice for the “aching ovaries” set?
JS: Spend the day with a 12-year-old and realize that the baby you long for will one day grow into an obnoxious tween. Baby fever over.
SK: Mommy and Me classes, mom’s groups, etc. Blessing or curse?
JS: In theory, a blessing. In my experience, more of a curse.
SK: What do you consider the best and worst places for moms to make mom friends?
JS: Many of my closest mommy friends live in my computer. I mean, they're real people, but sadly not the closest to me in proximity. Making mom friends is so hard. Just because you have children the same age with the same interests, it doesn't mean you necessarily have anything else in common.
SK: Who would play you in a movie?
JS: Sarah Jessica Parker, circa 2000.
SK: What is the most overrated virtue?
SK: If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
JS: Their ability to ignore me. I'd get rid of that for sure.
SK: Which child’s toy/cartoon character/cash cow do you most detest?
JS: All of them. I swore I was never going to have kids in character shirts and branded shoes and that's all my kids want. I hate every last one of them.
Be scary, of course!
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