remarkably averageThe Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting is one of the best books about parenthood I’ve ever read. It is an honesty, funny and poignant look at the un-glamorous side of parenting. I loved the pictures. I loved the stories. I wish that this book had been around when I had my baby. Between this read and How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids, mothers-to-be have all their bases covered.

Ilana warns mothers about the perils of choosing rare names: “… if you want to name your child something odd, I support you. I like odd names. I think odd names make the world a more interesting place. But you should be prepared to hear some criticism when you are at your most vulnerable.” pg 19. I didn’t even pick something that weird for my child (Willow) but I still faced criticism. When I told my grandpa the name I picked for his first female great-grandkid, he told me that it was the stupidest thing he’d ever heard. And there I was, heavily pregnant. Yeah, I cried. Wish someone had warned me.

I empathized with the idea that parents have no clue what they’re doing and we’re all secretly terrified that we’re going to screw up our kids in some irreparable way. Over a decade later and I still feel that: “In hindsight, the newborn phase wouldn’t be that hard if new parents weren’t so worried about messing up in such a way that it would ruin their newborn’s life forever.” pg 33.

The page entitled, My two-year-old’s rules for eating a banana pg 76, had me in stitches. Kids are so weird about food. My daughter is currently on a mac-n-cheese, ramen and ice cream kick. This time last year, all she would eat was homemade pancakes and grilled cheese with the crusts cut off. I’m sure that in another year, we’ll be somewhere else. And it’s not just about the “what”, there’s also the “how.” If you cut the crusts off the grilled cheese, but then don’t cut it diagonally, then no dice. You may as well throw it out because my kid won’t eat it. It’s absurd, but true. Poor Ilana suffers through the same thing but with bananas.

The other funniest mini-chapter is: “Totally Butchered Words: Even if you do stop cursing and shield your kids’ ears from swearwords outside the home, your kids will probably still end up saying a few unfortunate things anyway. This is because toddlers might be trying to say one thing, but then it comes out sounding like another word entirely.” pg 116. I can’t even quote what she prints on the next pages because it is too filthy but, in my opinion, it is absolutely hilarious.

Ilana’s parenting philosophy is fantastic: “It’s not a matter of high or low expectations- it’s a matter of no expectations. Discover who your kid is as you go. Your kids will not be who you expect, but the things that amaze us most in life are never the things we expect.” pg 215 Mine amazes me all the time.

Highly recommended to own or give as a gift, The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting is a cut-above average.

Thanks for reading!

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