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Last week, I got to attend the book signing and reading for Ilana Wiles' (aka Mommy Shorts) new book, The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting.
I've followed the Mommy Shorts blog for quite a while and have always admired Ilana's laid back style of parenting and the way she portrays her real life, especially in her Snapchat stories. There is so much pressure to be a "perfect" mom these days that it's refreshing to see someone else hand over a tablet when they need 20 minutes to get ready in the morning and feed her kids frozen waffles so that you feel more normal, and less guilty, about it. We're all doing the best we can, and the Mommy Shorts brand helps us embrace that.
Plus, she puts together some awesome contests, fun photo submission posts like '44 Kids Determined to Ruin Their First Day of School Photo', and features on her blog, like the Monday Mornings and Wednesday Evenings series with AllState (some really amazing stories there).
I'd been to a book signing for Young House Love several years ago, and was pleasantly surprised by the much more laid back and intimate nature of this book signing. It was at the HarMar Barnes and Noble, which is huge, so there was plenty of space, and there were chairs for everyone to sit in if they wanted to, instead of just waiting in a long line waiting to have your book signed. It was also great to hear Ilana read three excerpts from the book. It's always interesting to hear how the author of a book reads their own stories versus how you'd read them yourself. She had the crowd laughing with each one of the totally relatable stories: Naming Your Child is Easy if You Don't Have A Husband, Making Your First Mom Friend, and Lies I Tell My Kids.
There was a Q&A session, through which we learned that people in New York often don't use car seats in taxis (which makes sense. All parents know how much of a pain it is to move car seats around!) and where they store their stuff in their NYC apartment (it's crammed everywhere, like pretty much everyone else I know).
Post Q&A it was book signing time! It's always hard to come up with what to say to someone when they are signing a book for you. I was seriously nervous walking up because I had no idea what to say and ended up showing Ilana a picture of my older daughter in her crazy outfit and big sunglasses because her daughter Harlow also has an affinity for them. And I got a photo with her, too!
I can't wait to dig into the book more, mostly to make myself feel better about being a remarkably average parent myself. Because no matter how good (or bad) of a mom I think I am sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, I am totally average, and that's OK! I think my kids will turn out juuuuuust fine. Here are some examples of my remarkably average parenting:
- Sometimes, baths just don't happen as frequently as they should.
- Bribes are commonplace with my 3 year old. We're currently hanging a new Everest Paw Patrol figurine over her head to make her stay in bed at night.
- If it's early on a weekend and my oldest is awake, she gets an old iPhone so she can watch YouTube and we can get a few more minutes of sleep.
- Donuts and juice are a perfectly acceptable weekend morning breakfast on occasion. (Gasp! Sugar! I'm pretty sure my first kid didn't have a donut until she was 18 months. My second baby probably had one before age 1. It's amazing how much you let go when your second kid is born!)