Laugh Off Your Parenting Imperfections

To promote her new book, writer and comedian Johanna Stein asked a group of children what they’ve always wanted to say to their moms. Their funny and honest answers may not be what you’d expect to hear – especially so close to mother’s day.

Stein explains:

I wanted to shoot a rebuttal to all those sappy, marketing videos that seem to show up around Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong — those sappy videos make me cry harder than anyone on the planet. In fact, that’s probably why I felt the need to make fun of them. So I could get back at those folks for making my eyes so puffy.

In How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane And Other Lessons From A Highly Questionable Source, Stein encourages you to embrace your less-than-perfect moments and laugh off your parenting mishaps. The book grew from a now-classic Motherlode essay of the same title. And now you can laugh along with Stein with her collection of witty stories – and things most moms would never say out loud. 

On ever being tempted to put on the perfect mom facade, she says:

All the time! Every day I wake up feeling like I’m going to be the best mother in the history of mothering, and then half an hour later I’m subpar. So yes, I’m tempted to proclaim that I’m a perfect mom, which is why I’ll do something like trying to make a puppet out of a barf bag on an airplane and then have it blow up in my face. 

Stein goes on to sum up parenting in one, honest sentence:

There’s a great saying, “Good enough is good enough.” Or how about this: striving for mediocrity. I strive for mediocrity. I aspire to mediocrity. 


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