You also address some serious issues like having a gay child, one of a different race or one that's just "average." How did you decide to approach those topics?
Alicia: "These are real issues that come up in real households across America. To ignore reality is not being truthful to the reader. Not only that, but it's often things that we're thinking about even when they're not in our own household, so we are keeping a level of transparency in the book."
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Some chapters may get you into trouble, a la "How to Leave Your Baby in the Car While You Dash into a 7-Eleven." What are you going to say to the haters?
Mary Ann: "Look at the movie Bridesmaids – for some people, the food poisoning scene is the funniest thing ever. For others, not so much. Comedy is really hard to make everyone laugh. Remember the scene in The Hangover when they went to the chapel to find out about the wedding from the night before and they left the kid in the car — with his seatbelt on — for '5 minutes'? It's humor! The truth of the matter is, when you're driving, your kids will scream and then magically fall asleep when you pull into the store to buy groceries. It's awful. You'd never do it ... but it sure is tempting."
Alicia: "We are all parents who work very hard at being moms. We love our children, we love our families. The book was written to strike a funny bone, and everyone knows when it comes to humor, it's often served in 31 flavors. Not every person likes every flavor. We don't feel the need to apologize to anyone for finding portions of the humor unrelatable or offensive, even though we've all been in the position where we've wanted to leave our kids in the car ... even though we haven't. That is what makes it humorous." 15 Reasons Couples Become Happier As Their Kids Grow Up
What's your personal favorite and least favorite thing about being a mom?
Mary Ann: "The best is the 'I love yous.' Worst: bedtimes."
Alicia: "I love the rare Sunday morning when the kids crawl into my bed and we watch TV in our pajamas while we ignore the clock. In fact, a good day is changing out of our PJs to go to dinner. The worst part about being a mom is the saggy boobs I've been left with."
'Fess up: which one of the "awkward moments" in the book have you had yourself?
Mary Ann: "Oh my God! As a mom I give myself timeouts all the time when I absolutely break down and have a temper tantrum. Embarrassing, but true."
Alicia: "I am the queen of 'How to Not Hear the Baby in the Middle of the Night.' From day one, my kids were trained to find daddy's side of the bed because they knew mommy just doesn't wake up!"
What do you want moms to get out of reading Sh*tty Moms?
Mary Ann: "Ultimately, to feel better about themselves -- to know that everyone (no matter how great a mother they are) feels sh*tty from time-to-time. It's time to stop beating yourself up about it. As Laurie Kilmartin likes to say, 'The mom you think is perfect is probably a lot worse than you think she is, and you are a lot better than you think you are.'"
Alicia: "A really good chuckle. If laughing is the only exercise you're doing all day, better make it a good workout."
Who should read this book, and who should absolutely put it down?
Mary Ann: "Every person. Laughter makes the world a better place."
Alicia: "Pick it up if you want four instant friends who are going through exactly what you are in the parenting world. Put if down if you take yourself, your friends and the world too seriously."
How old are your kids now? Will you be sharing the fact that you wrote Sh*tty Moms with them? Do you want them to read it when they have kids?
Mary Ann: "My kids are 8 and 6. My oldest daughter started reading the part about telling the kids that your smartphone was out of batteries and called me on it. She was also upset with me the other day for trying to get her out of my brother's pool. After listing her arguments and being denied, she took a slight pause. 'Do you know what that makes you?' she said. 'A Sh*tty Mom.'"
Alicia: My children are 7 and 9 years old. My daughter really has no reaction to it, however my son is so overtly proud of me and shares the fact that I'm a Sh*tty Mom every chance he gets. And although it really is all fun and games, I hope they wait until they go off to college to read it."
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Tell us about your "sh*tty mom" moments.