Things They Can’t Say: Scary Mommy

Jill Smokler is better known as Scary Mommy and is one of my favorite bloggers, ever. She has a book coming out next week entitled Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood- The Good, the Bad, and the Scary. And that pretty much sums up what you’ll find at her blog, too. I’m so excited that she is sharing for today’s Things They Can’t Say feature.

jill smokler

If there’s anything I’ve learned from parenting, it’s never to judge another mother. (Having no fucking clue what I’m doing comes is a very close second.)


Before I was a mother, however, I’ll admit that I did my fair share of eye rolling. OK, more than my fair share. But, you can’t blame me! It’s just so easy to judge mothers before you are one. So natural to shake your head at children misbehaving at the mall and question why parents would bring an obviously overtired child out to dinner on a Saturday night. It’s second nature to snicker at a horribly mismatched ensemble some two year old is sporting and judge the three year old with the pacifier or the diapers or blankie in public.


But suddenly, you find yourself a mother and all the energy you spent on judging others seems not only like a compete waste of time, but purely idiotic. Suddenly, you begin recognizing yourself in them. You realize that you have become the source of the eye rolls and the snickers and the judgment.


When I leave the house with a daughter dressed in head to toe clashing pink and rain-boots on a sunny day, I hope that other parents just know I let her dress herself. When I needed to snag a few wipes from another mom at the airport, I’d just assume that she’d been in the same “blowout diaper with no wipes left” situation. When my kid eats a french fry off of the floor, though repulsed, I know it’s not going to kill him. And when the twenty something, child-less girl scowls at me, I’m the one rolling my eyes at her. Soon enough, she’ll be in my shoes.


Life is short and the kids are only going to be little for such a fleeting period. Finding matching socks just isn’t worth it at five o’clock in the morning and sometimes cereal for dinner sounds pretty darn good. Puddles are fun to jump in and a little ingested dirt never really hurt anyone. They’re just not fights worth fighting and I get it now.


Plus, I need to save the eye rolling for my kids. They’re the ones who really deserve it.

scary mommy

Do you see why I love Scary Mommy? Please leave Jill some comment love here. I’m sure you’re already following her blog, twitter, and facebook, but be sure to if you aren’t already. And remember her book is coming out on April 3rd! I’m giving away a copy, too. 


  1. says

    I won’t lie, there is still an occasion or two when I roll my eye at another mother, but it has to be something pretty off the wall.
    Oka recently posted..PMM~NOTMy Profile

  2. says

    As I was bribing my child with a piece of candy the other day, I had a flashback to a childless time when I rolled my eyes at a friend who was pacifying her kid with a lollipop. And now her kid is older and turned out fine. And the shoe is on the other foot! :)
    Jennifer recently posted..Letter to a Younger MeMy Profile

  3. says

    so true.  Jill is an excellent writer, and I admit that I’ve been guilty of doing things like before children, too.  I think it’s just the nature of the beast.  I remember one time seeing a child with no shoes on when it was cold out, and I couldn’t believe the child didn’t have shoes.  Well, now that I’m a mom…I know why.  The child wouldn’t let the mom put the shoes on her feet. 
    Leigh Powell Hines (@Hinessightblog) recently posted..Carolina Crossroads Roasted Beet Salad: A Recipe for SpringMy Profile

  4. says

    I let my toddler pick up crumbs off the couch/ floor and eat it. It saves cleaning time. And yes, sometimes, French fries IS a meal. 

    I did my share of judging pre-child days and I absolutely regret them. I apologize publicly to all those mothers I rolled my eyes at and mumbled, “That would not be me, that would not be my child.” Yeah right.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..This Blog and IMy Profile

  5. says

    I have two children, so I have a lot more eyerolls to save. And we borrowed a wipe from a Mom who had actual diapers to change while what we had was an ice cream disaster the other day. Oh yeah. I’ve been there.

  6. Cindi says

    Clashing hot pink outfits and rain boots in the summer are treasures! I miss those days. (LoL)

  7. says

    Yes. Times a million.
    Clashing pink and rainboots? People around me should be happy she didn’t wear her FIRST outfit: snowboots, a bathing suit, and a three-sizes-too-small t-shirt she found in the back of her closet. Plus her self-painted fingernails.
    angela recently posted..I Spy Rice BottlesMy Profile

  8. says

    Until I started blogging, I totally did that “judging” thing… and then I saw what my “mom-blog” friends deal with – and it totally changed my perspective. I think this blogging thing – especially reading Scary Mommy – has helped me understand a bit more of what my SIL deals with when my nephew is acting crazy. :)
    Julie @DutchBeingMe recently posted..If I won the #MegaMillions…My Profile

  9. says

    I got married at 18 and had my first baby at 19. I was such a baby myself that I had no idea about judging. Since then life has been so crazy it’s hard to focus on anybody’s kids but mine…they deserve plenty of eye rolling too. My autistic son has helped me realize that you never know the story behind a kid’s behavior so stop acting like you know everything…(that was advice for myself, not you guys!).
    momof12 recently posted..It was "Wicked"ly FunMy Profile

  10. says

    I admit to some eye rolling from time to time. But I have a four year old that dresses herself and 2 year old twins that never want to go in the same direction so I know that I’m the target for some serious eye rolling now. I am glad that I never felt the need to say something to the mothers that I was judging, I just wish I could say the same thing about the people who feel the need to give me unwanted advice or critism when I’m out with my kids.
    Twingle Mommy recently posted..Random Friday ConfessionsMy Profile

  11. says

    Just for the record, I LOVE cereal for dinner. Some j-hole rolled his eyes at me the other day when I said my husband and I have cereal for dinner a few times a month and he said, “You serve your husband cereal for dinner?!?!” I said, “No, he gets it himself.”
    I’m sure I’ve rolled my eyes before too, and having a child has humbled me. Many times already.
    Kristin Shaw recently posted..Losing FaithMy Profile

  12. says

    I use to be a judgmental eye roller… now I give a sympathetic smile and nod because yup… I’v e been there. Lets face it, we’ve all been there. I’ve had to leave my shopping cart in the middle of the store carrying a screaming and kicking child to the car… who am I to judge anyone now? I totally agree with you… you have to pick and choose your battles and some things aren’t worth fighting over. If your kid wants to jump in the puddle, eat food off the floor or dress in strips and polka-dots them so be it, at least they are happy and healthy!

    PS I love how the comments show what the commenter has recently posted on their blog – awesome idea!

  13. says

    I love Scary Mommy too!

    I think we’ve all been guilty of judging before kids.  And that’s not the judging that really drives me crazy.  It’s the current mom’s that judge that make me insane.  Or the grandma’s.  They should understand and give a little slack.
    Kmama recently posted..The Fairy Who-What?My Profile

  14. says

    Cereal for breakfast…my kind of mom! That is so me. I definitely remember my 20 something self rolling my eyes at mom’s with kids, but now I totally understand! I often smile at that mom who is having one of those days because with boys, I always have one of those days.
    Jenny recently posted..Summer Wardrobe…My Profile

  15. says

    AMEN!! My only issue with this is that I experience OTHER MOMS rolling thier eyes or judging me. Seriously? I just smile and continue on my way….my energy is all about rolling my eyes at my daughter ;)
    Kristin @ Meanbean recently posted..Stroll with meMy Profile

  16. says

    Yep! Totally was the judgy Mother before I actually became one. Food off the floor (if the dog doesn’t get to it first) mismatched socks every day and as for the rest of their ensemble…well I’m lucky to even GET clothes on their body wiithout a full on WWF match occurring. And just today I had to borrow wipes from another Mom not because I ran out but there was NONE in my diaper bag. One time I had to use a newborn size diaper on my 18 month old because it was all I had left. He looked like a baby sumo wrestler. So…yep. Been there!!! Great post!
    January recently posted..Basking in the Love MomentsMy Profile

  17. says

    I totally Love me some Scary Mommy. And anyone who parents like she does. I’m lucky in that I have much older siblings who had kids sort of “as I was growing up” so I was able to see first hand that a pacifier that hasn’t been sanitized 34 times is not gonna kill a kid. Nor is eating dirt. Or other germs. {as aside, as a mom w/ a peanut allergy kid, I swear that our “sanitized world” has created more allergies}
    So. Even though I was a total hot mess when I had my own kids, I’m glad I had such good (bad) role models to reassure me that when I fluck up, the world would not end.
    MommaKiss recently posted..Turn that frown updside down, bitchMy Profile

  18. says

    I feel this tenfold as a twin mom. But even then I still judged other moms who didn’t follow a strict nap schedule or fed their kids french fries and sugary juice. Enter my third child, and man and I eating my words. Or my eyerolls.
    Leigh Ann recently posted..Soften the blowMy Profile

  19. says

    I thought I was the only one who rolled her eyes at her kids!!!!!!!!!! My ten year old can push me to the end and I eye roll with the best of ‘em!

    GREAT post!!! Can’t wait to read the book!

  20. says

    This is so true and I think it has happened to all of us. This information needs to be made available to all non-parents so they can see that their judging will someday come around to haunt them.
    Mercy recently posted..Mommies Need Exercise TooMy Profile

  21. says

    I love it!!  The worst is the 20-year-olds.  I had my two kids at the mall and my autistic 5-year-old was in full meltdown mode about the elevator.   These two sorority sisters walk by and one looks to the other and says, “This is so why I’m never having children.”  She didn’t even try to be subtle.  Ugh.  I hope she has 27 kids.  At the same time.  =)
    Ashley recently posted..Ninja SkillzMy Profile

  22. says

    I did my share of judging pre-kids too. I’ve learned a lot since then. I’m on the other side now and instead of judging I try to pass a sympathetic glance in their direction to let them know I’ve been there too.
    Kimberly recently posted..A Big AnnouncementMy Profile

  23. says

    Cereal is totally a meal – I thought so before I had kids.

    I am blessed with “active” children. This means eyerolls are tossed my way on a regular basis. I can always spot the parent who gets it – they give me a smile  saying, “I get, I do, I’m just glad it isn’t my child doing that right now.”
    Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos recently posted..Desperately Seeking Mr. MiyagiMy Profile

  24. says

    Oh, I have seen this name appear EVERYWHERE recently :) Will definitely have to start following her. Mother or not, it sounds like she has pearls of wisdom to bestow on us all. Thanks for a great guest post, Shell!
    Charlotte recently posted..readyMy Profile