Jill Smokler pens the wildly popular humor blog Scary Mommy. She found her fame by being the original tell all for the good, the bad and the ugly of motherhood. We have a sneak peak of Jill's fabulous new book Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies)!

Jill Smokler headshotJill Smokler's first book broke ground by gifting moms the chance to be imperfect — scary even. Her second book, Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies), is about the lies we need to stop telling ourselves and all new moms. Knowing that it was written in heartfelt and hilarious Scary Mommy blog style, we absolutely had to get our hands on the book and find out from Jill what it — and her — are all about.

Why so scary?

Jill was one of the original mommy bloggers to hit the blogosphere. She launched Scary Mommy in early 2008. With three kids under 4 and a need for a creative outlet, she decided to chronicle her children's childhood via an online baby book — her blog. Like most things mom related, her blog name circles back to children. Jill says, "Before I had the blog, Ben had just seen some Disney movie that scared him and he was afraid of everything and everything had a "scary" before it. Scary dog. Scary car. Scary bed. Scary grilled cheese. Scary Mommy. I'd been thinking about starting a blog and the name just seemed perfect and gave me the push. And here we are."

The real deal

Is motherhood wonderful? Yes. Miraculous? Of course.
Worthwhile? Without a doubt.
But natural? Not so much.

Jill's original goal was to create a gift for her children — their story in her words. But as her readership grew, something surprising happened. Jill says, "I found that certain posts I wrote that were the most honest — and the most real — about how hard and ridiculous some days were, got the most comments." Readers, other mothers, were ready to discuss motherhood in this different and fresh way and Jill's blog became the hub for all things real. She says, "Is motherhood wonderful? Yes. Miraculous? Of course. Worthwhile? Without a doubt. But natural? Not so much."

Motherhood is about the shining beautiful moments that pull at our heartstrings — baby kisses and pudgy fingers and belly laughs. But it's also about never sleeping through the night again, being told no a ridiculous number of times and serving macaroni and cheese for more than one meal, more than one day in a row. Moms were ready to talk — and laugh — about these parts of motherhood, too.

A Scary Mommy army

Motherhood Come Naturally book cover

Jill opened the door for moms being real with themselves and each other via her blog and her first book. Jill says, "Confessions of a Scary Mommy was about coming clean about our own feelings about motherhood and why it's important and healthy to do that." And clearly, mothers agree. Jill's following is staggering. More than 80,000 people follow her on Facebook, more 296,000 on Twitter and approximately 80,000 readers visit her blog per day!

Even more staggering is how her readership participates in her blog, which has morphed into a community. Scary Mommy now hosts contributing writers, message boards and a travel guide. As her community grew and changed, Jill found that Scary Mommy readers had humor and heart, and out of that two important facets of Scary Mommy were born.

Mothers helping mothers

The first is the Scary Mommy Nation — a nonprofit with the simple goal of mothers helping other mothers. Together, Scary Mommy readers have put food on bare tables, birthday gifts in empty hands and women in jobs for many hundreds of families. Jill says, "Our message boards are closely monitored to be supportive. And it's a generous, kind community. Someone posts I can't afford food this week and someone else immediately responds I'd like to send you money. The nonprofit is the barrier and the bridge in between." Readers even took it upon themselves to buy Jill's books for those who couldn't afford them!

There's no place to comment on the confessional. It just feels good for moms to get it all out there, come clean and move on.

And the second addition to Scary Mommy is the wildly popular anonymous confessional. Born in 2011 with approximately 20 confessions per day, today the confessional is the part of Jill's site that gets the most traffic. Jill says, "I noticed that on my most honest posts — the ones where I admitted to feeling defeated or hating the day — people commented differently, and commented anonymously. I wondered how that would look if everything was anonymous." It turns out that what it looks like is women confessing the big and the little — from stealing their kids' chocolate to feelings of loneliness — then finding themselves lost reading their community's confessions, 27 pages later. The confessional sees up to 20,000 visitors per day! Jill adds, "There's no place to comment on the confessional. It just feels good for moms to get it all out there, come clean and move on."

Liar, liar

We're better off helping new moms by carrying their diaper bags or giving their kids our extra snacks, not by repeating those that set them up to feel like failures.

Jill's honesty and candor is about moms supporting and helping each other and, importantly, being open with each other. This is also where her books come in. Jill's brand new book, Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies) continues her long-term goal and theme of mothers being open with each other. Jill says, "We often tell new moms outright lies: You'll be back to your old self in no time. Parenting strengthens a marriage. And my favorite: It gets easier. None of that is 100 percent true. We're better off helping new moms by carrying their diaper bags or giving their kids our extra snacks, not by repeating those lies that set them up to feel like failures if they're not wearing skinny jeans or feeling like motherhood is a breeze." In the book, Jill takes 23 commonly told myths (Read: Lies) and disputes them with wit, heart and real life stories within new essays.

If we all take ourselves a little less seriously, laugh together and stop spreading ridiculous notions, like: You're the grown-up, or, You are your own harshest critic... we'll be better off and be better equipped to enjoy our right now.

Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies)

Jill told us what we all know is true — that real lessons of motherhood need to be learned on the job. She wrote the book for moms in the trenches, the ones that have already figured out that some days are hard and need to hear that they're not alone. Jill says, "Motherhood never reverts back to easy — like before they were born. It's an endless life of worries. You just move from worrying about sleeping through the night to molding morals. If we all take ourselves a little less seriously, laugh together and stop spreading ridiculous notions, like: You're the grown-up, or, You are your own harshest critic... we'll be better off and be better equipped to enjoy our right now."

To find out more about Jill, visit Scary Mommy, confess a sin — or two! — or follow her on Twitter and Facebook and, of course, buy the book.

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