"Scary Mommy" blogger Jill Smokler has devoted her new book, Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies), to debunking the rosy platitudes many new moms hear about parenting.
On Wednesday, the bestselling author joined HuffPost live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to discuss the types of parenting advice she finds least useful -- and what she's doing to help readers feel they're not alone.
"The aim [of my book] is basically just to give the down and dirty about what motherhood is really like, because I don't think we do," Smokler said. "Everything I heard about motherhood before I was a mother has been proven completely incorrect."
"There's this weird thing with moms, where you just want to tell a new mom who's struggling that it gets easier, and that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and you want to sort of encourage her. But it doesn't."
Myths like "you'll be back to your old self in no time," "you are your own harshest critic" and "pets make children more responsible" -- to which Smokler devotes whole chapters of her book -- make many moms and dads feel like they're failing, she suggests. And asked on HuffPost Live to name one of the biggest lies out there, Smokler singled out the "bullsh*t" claim that "parenting strengthens a marriage."
For all her efforts to comfort new parents, though, Smokler says there are still some things they need to find out for themselves. "As much as I try to dispel these myths and tell things to new moms, I think you really sort of have to pay your dues, and then realize it in retrospect." At which point, this honest and good-humored mom blogger will be more than willing to commiserate.