25 Sep When You’re The Mom They’re Laughing At

Fresh from landing on The New York Times Best Seller list, I interviewed Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner, two of the four authors of the new humor book rocking the mommy world one laugh at a time. Alicia and Mary Ann are Sh*tty Moms by night andTODAY Show producers by day.

Describe a Sh*tty Mom.

Mary Ann: It’s mothering with 40 percent of the effort. It is a Mom who tries her best but manages to still mess up most of the time.

Alicia: We’re all Sh*tty Moms at one point or another. From dropping a ball at work, at home, or both, sometimes you just can’t win at being mom.

Can you be a great mom and a Sh*tty Mom?

Mary Ann: Of course! Most Sh*tty Moms are great moms, they just have their less than perfect parenting moments. I think a lot of it comes from being stretched too thin. We want to do it all and can’t so things fall through the cracks.

Alicia: I had my best mom/Sh*tty Mom combo last Thursday after an extremely exhausting week at work, where I rushed home in time to put the kids to bed, then stayed up making 36 cupcakes for my son’s school birthday celebration. I’m both tired and energized because here I was making them myself, with the help of Duncan Hines. The next day I got a call at my desk asking if they were gluten-free, peanut-free, taste-free…I had not looked at the side of the box to see what they were so the teacher had to refrain from serving them to the class.

What has been your quintessential Sh*tty Mom moment?

Mary Ann: I have too many to count. When my kids were younger I found it so hard to arrive home during the witching hour – the time when they are about to go to bed and you are just getting off of work. I was so exhausted from work so I would stay at work a little longer than necessary so they would be asleep when I got home. It was either doing that or come home and whip them up into a frenzy and they wouldn’t go to sleep for another a couple of hours and the days that happened we’d all be miserable. Also, I’m the queen of giving myself time outs.

Alicia: I’m the queen of Chapter 24:  How Not To Hear Your Baby in the Middle of the Night. From day one my kids were trained to find daddy’s side of the bed because they know mommy just doesn’t wake up!  Of course they would nudge me, slap my face and poke my eyes until they realized they’d have better results on the other side of the bed.

You both work full time. What if you were transformed tomorrow into Stay-at-Home Moms?

Mary Ann: I couldn’t do it. I work for my kids as much as for me. I honestly couldn’t be a stay-at-home mom. I don’t have the patience for it. That is why I’m so blessed to have a super babysitter and a wonderful husband. But now that the kids are older I’d probably be able to do it. Can I still have some help in the evenings?

Alicia: I would absolutely love it…for a while. But in the end I don’ t think it fits my personality. I need constant attention and can get that all day from my office mates. I mean, who would I drive crazy between the hours of drop-off and pick-up?  Bottom line, we’re all busy moms. The only difference is where the desk is in relation to the bathroom or fridge.

You are producers on the TODAY Show and the book is your second career. How do you manage it all?

Mary Ann: I don’t. That is why I’m a Sh*tty Mom.

Alicia: Sadly, I don’t manage, but I happily screech by. I have a babysitter, a loving husband, a grocery delivery man and trusty paper calendar (pencil only!) to remind me every day of what I’m doing wrong or forgetting.

Who is the Sh*tty Mom’s aspirational celeb mom?

Mary Ann: I loved the mom from Malcolm in the Middle. She was on the high Sh*tty Mom meter, always yelling and screaming but you could also tell she had a big heart and really loved her kids.

Alicia: Roseanne set the bar pretty darned high!

What would make a “Sh*tty” dad?

Mary Ann: We don’t know. We both have super awesome husbands.

Alicia: Dads get the short end of the stick. For as much as they’re doing for their families today they still get labeled as the less-involved parent. Neither Mary Ann or I have husbands that fit that description.

Samantha Ettus is Founder of Working Moms Lifestyle, a bestselling author, media personality and speaker. Connect with her on Twitter @samanthaettus.

To read this article on Forbes, please click here.

Samantha Ettus is a bestselling author & corporate speaker. The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction will be released in September.