It’s true. Really. Robin O’Bryant says so (or at least us mommas like to tell ourselves that it counts). In her book Ketchup Is A Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves, Robin bares it all in this no-holds-barred look into her life as a wife and mom of three. With chapters entitled “Boob Sweat” and “Eff the PTA and Their Effin Carpool Line,” you’ll get a hysterically honest look at motherhood.
Now, I know all you new moms to be out there don’t want your perfect little dream shattered – you know the one, where you bring your pink, bouncing baby home to a life filled with sparkly rainbows and sweet coos all the time. You might see the rainbows but that’s only because you’ve slept a total of three hours in the last five days – delirious won’t even begin to describe the way you feel. And the coos? It’s unreal how such a tiny person can shatter the eardrums of anyone within a 5-mile radius.
You need this book. Whether you have one on the way or five running wild, you’ll find camaraderie in this book – or at least satisfaction knowing you’re not the only mom out there who isn’t surrounded by butterflies and glitter.
Amid her busy, busy schedule, Robin very generously took the time to answer a few of my burning questions. So without further ado…
What is the inspiration behind Ketchup is a Vegetable?
I wrote it for moms in the trenches. Because what we do can be so isolating that you start to feel crazy. I remember distinctly being in the grocery store in Savannah, Georgia when I had a two-year-old and a newborn. The butcher made the mistake of making eye contact with me and asking, “How are you?” I told him. And told him. And told him. Then I realized he was just being polite and that I hadn’t spoken to another adult in weeks.
What one piece of advice would you give to all the exasperated mommas out there?
Hang in there — it gets better before it gets worse. I’m kidding! (Sort of.) Having small children is so physically demanding. It’s frustrating and challenging emotionally and mentally as well, but mostly you are so freaking exhausted all the time that you can’t even think clearly to hang a roll of toilet paper. I’ve found that the more independent my children are from me physically, the less exhausted I become and the more I’m able to enjoy them and engage with them.
We are in a sweet spot right now. My kids are finally all potty-trained but we haven’t hit the prepubescent drama. It’s nice to not spend my whole day changing diapers and wiping tiny heinies. I wouldn’t give anything for those days but man, oh, MAN it’s nice to sleep through the night every night!
We’ve all had them – some worse than others. What has been your biggest parenting blunder?
Good lord… there are so many. How do I choose just one?
I mess up with my kids every day. I lose my temper and yell or don’t follow through when I should… but I’m glad that my girls know I’m human. I don’t want to screw up with them, but when I do blow it I apologize and ask them to forgive me. I can’t teach my kids to be perfect, but I can teach them how to admit it when they are wrong and how to ask for forgiveness.
You’re so good at maintaining a sense of humor about parenting. How would you describe your parenting style?
Do what you gotta do. My house isn’t perfect and most of the time my kids dress themselves, which isn’t always pretty. But I don’t have the time or energy to stress over every little detail. You make do, cut yourself some slack and don’t worry when the laundry piles up.
I take more time with teaching my children values: how to treat others, how to be respectful, following through, teaching them responsibility by making them do chores and contribute to the family. These are the places I don’t want to cut corners. But if Sadie wants to wear a tutu and rainboots to the grocery store? I couldn’t possibly care less.
Your blog has become such a huge hit. Is there any advice you’d like to offer fellow bloggers who hope to create a larger reader base?
Start where you are and write faithfully. If you blog irregularly you will lose your audience. Your readers should know what kind of content to expect from you and see it with regular frequency – even if it’s only once a week.
Look for opportunities to write for other websites and blogs to increase your readership, query local and regional publications, publish e-books – get your writing and your name OUT THERE.
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
Actually, I’m an RN. I’ve worked as a Scrub Nurse in the OR, in Labor and Delivery and as an ER nurse. I took a few years off of nursing to be a stay-at-home-mom and started writing – which has always been my dream job. If I wasn’t working as a writer by the time my youngest started school, I probably would have headed back to the ER. I loved the pace and the variety of patients I got to see as well as the people I got to work with – ER nurses are hilarious.
And finally, the most important topic: After a long day of keeping your kids alive and your sanity intact, what is your favorite drink?
WINE! (Sorry, I got a little excited.)
The brand varies but right now my absolute favorite is a glass of Cupcake Red Velvet. I’m drooling a bit just thinking about it. I’m also a hot tea person and love Bigelow’s Orange and Spice in a mug of apple cider. Mmmmm.
Many thanks to Robin for taking the time to grace us with her wit and candor! Be sure to check out Ketchup Is A Vegetable and A Second Helping for a serious ab workout. Or follow Robin’s side-splitting antics on her blog at robinschicks.com or on twitter @robinobryant.
Want to win a signed copy? Of course you do! Leave a comment below to enter. One person, chosen at random, will receive a signed copy of Ketchup is a Vegetable.
AND THE WINNER IS: My hubby played the part of random comment chooser. At first, he chose one of my comments. But I really didn’t think that would be fair. So the next number he chose was … commenter number 8! Congratulations to Kristie! She will get a signed copy of Robin O’Bryant’s book Ketchup is a Vegetable.