Motherhood Smotherhood: Fighting Back Against The Lactivists, Mompetitions, Germophoboes, and So-Called Experts Who Are Driving Us Crazy

JJ Keith

Skyhorse, 2014

Agent: Jill Marr

What’s the first thing a woman does when she thinks she might be pregnant? She Googles. And it goes downhill from there. While the internet is full of calming and cheerily supportive articles, it’s also littered with hyper-judgmental message boards and heaps of contradictory and scolding information. Motherhood Smotherhood takes parents through the trenches of new parenting, warning readers of the pleasures and perils of mommy blogs, new parent groups, self-described "lactivists,” sleep fascists, incessant trend pieces on working versus non-working mothers, and the place where free time and self-esteem goes to die: Pinterest (back away from the hand-made flower headbands for baby!).

JJ Keith interweaves discussions of what it takes a village” really means (hint: a lot of unwanted advice from elderly strangers who may have grown up in actual villages) and a take-down of the rising "make your own baby food” movement (just mush a banana with a fork!) with laugh-out-loud observations about the many mistakes she made as a frantic new mother with too much access to high speed internet and a lot of questions. Keith cuts to the truth—whether it’s about "perfect” births, parenting gurus, the growing tide of vaccine rejecters, the joy of blanketing Facebook with baby pics, or germophobia—to move conversations about parenting away from experts espousing blanket truths to amateurs relishing in what a big, messy pile of delight and trauma having a baby is. It turns out those little buggers are more durable and fun than we think they are!

“J. J. Keith's writing is exceptionally gutsy, sometimes heartbreaking and always laugh out loud funny. She’s the queen of finding a fresh angle on every topic. What I'm saying is, I'm jealous of her ability. Okay? There. The secret is out.”
Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, bestselling author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime is the New Happy Hour

"J. J. Keith's entertaining book succeeds where so many writers on parenting fail: she takes her experience, avoids universalizing it, and uses it to bring parents together, away from the myth of perfection parenting. Motherhood Smotherhood is filled with worldly perspective and an original voice. In short, it's frank, fresh, and funny. I wish I'd written it."
Leanne Shirtliffe, author of Don't Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids

“In today's culture of parenting do's and don'ts, those who seek out the ‘best’ child-rearing philosophies are often met with more questions than answers. J. J. Keith demystifies those questions by asserting that no parent is perfect—and that's okay. Her relatable and witty essays soothe rather than worry, and for someone who's embarking on the parenting journey, that's the only advice that will really matter.”
Blair Koenig, author of STFU, Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare