The Parent Trip is exactly that…a trip, and so is its writer. Author Jenna McCarthy is hilarious, witty and the cool kind of potty-mouthed mom who says the things you wish you could say. Celebrity Parents recently spoke with Jenna about all things pregnancy, baby and poop-related.
What was the impetus for writing this book?
At the end of the day, I’m a writer. It’s what I do. When you’re pregnant, you tend to read. When you’re pregnant and have OCD (like myself), you tend to buy every book on the planet. You read everything that’s out there, you have the baby, and then you think, “Well, that didn’t help me at all!”
After reading all those books, I couldn’t find anything I could relate to. And I like to laugh. I wanted to share my experience in a way that could make readers laugh, but also give them an inkling of what their life was going to be like.
You’re very candid in the book.
That’s how I am. I wanted to write about all the things that women really felt, but didn’t want to say.
That you’re going to hate your husband. Absolutely hate him. “You did this to me and now you get to go off to work. I’m stuck here with this baby — who I love with every fiber in my being, by the way — but I’m stuck here alone!!!”
(Laughs) It’s so true.
It is. Ultimately, there are a lot of books that try to tell you how to be pregnant. My goal in writing The Parent Trip is to let women know they are not alone. You’re not this horrible post-partum psycho who has to hide her feelings. You’re just a normal woman who has gone through a pregnancy (which is hard) and now has a baby (which is even harder). Of course we love our kids, but yes, I too get tired of screaming and I do lose my temper. And frankly, when a baby shits up its back on a plane, it sucks!
Do you find that motherhood has become a competitive sport?
Definitely, although among my friends, it’s not a huge issue. That’s probably why they’re my friends! The other day, we had to go to a kids’ bowling party, and my friend asked me if I had brought a flask. I thought, “Damn, I didn’t!” so we hit the bar in the bowling alley and got a beer. At 2:00 in the afternoon! I needed it; I felt like I was having an ADD explosion!.
I live in Santa Barbara, and it’s a very chic chic community. Everyone is perfect, and trying to be the best. I’m finding that three is now the new two. Everyone is trying for three children. If you have three, that means that you have a lot of money; you can afford three car seats, five seats on an airplane, etc. The insanity just goes on and on.
You have great biting humor, which I love.
Thanks. I love humor. My dad was my idol and best friend. He was the funniest person I’ve ever known, and there are a lot of funny people in my family. I love to laugh and have fun. I’m that horrible person who laughs at a funeral. But kids are funny, too. One of the great things about children is that they definitely make you laugh. The other night, I paid $100 to see Seinfeld, and it was a good show. The next morning, my youngest daughter, Sasha, climbs into bed with me, and says, “Ew, Mom, it smells like there’s poo coming out of your mouth!” I thought that was funnier than Seinfeld’s act!
It sounds like you are really enjoying your life.
Oh, now I can’t be funny! I get sappy when I talk about my girls. It’s hard not to walk around fearful; that I don’t deserve this rich, fantastic life. Sophie and Sasha are two beautiful, strong, smart, funny girls. I feel incredibly lucky. I think I must have been a nicer person in a past life, because I don’t think I’m necessarily the nicest person in this one. Well, I’m pretty nice, until you cut me off on the freeway or talk on the phone while you’re ringing up my purchases.
You have another book coming out in a few weeks.
Yes, Cheers to the New Mom! Cheers to the New Dad! Tips and Tricks To Help You Ace the First Months of Parenthood is coming out April 1st, which I’m excited about. I wrote The Parent Trip based on my pregnancy with Sophie, and I will write a book about Sasha, too. I promised, and she asks about it all the time. I hope I don’t mortify my kids, but I probably will. That’s part of the job.