My menopausal brain is now extremely choosy about what books it subjects itself to, and I knew right off the bat that “Mean Mommy” by actress, comic and author Kerri Louise was a good investment for whatever brain cells I had not yet sweated away.
“Mean Mommy” is a very entertaining, enlightening and helpful book about the hardest job in the world. I found it enormously relatable as a human being, a mother, and a stand-up comic, three groups that are beginning to overlap more and more in our society.
I recently had the pleasure of performing in a show Kerri Louise headlined at a comedy club in Massachusetts, and afterwards, I got an autographed copy of “Mean Mommy.” On the way to Kerri’s minivan to grab the book, we encountered a woman laying on her back who appeared to be under the effects of too much alcohol. She didn’t know where she was and kept telling us to go away. We then realized she had been in the audience for the comedy show, and had been heckling us. Despite that, Kerri and I expressed our concern for the poor lady, saying we didn’t want her to choke on her puke like Jimi Hendrix. We flagged security and got the woman on the road to group therapy and possible incarceration, a great example of how Kerri Louise and I are never not walking the walk as optimal human beings, mothering types, and stand-up comics. We were Mean Mommies in action!
Anyway, back to the book: its candor is bracing and hilarious. From oversights that “impacted” travel plans, to the prodigious barfing skills of one of her three sons, Kerri invites us into the privacy and hilarity of her loving and wacked fam. A great deal of the book echoes what I heard Kerri say in her stand-up, so that for me, having just watched her perform, “Mean Mommy’s” written passages were infused with that much more meaning.
Reading Kerri’s book made me feel better about several “mothering” things. Discipline, role modeling and the commitment to prettier legs are three examples.
Depending on where you live in the country (or within your state, even), there are differing views on smacking your kid when they do something wrong, or to protect them from danger. “Mean Mommy” made me feel ok about the few times I did that to MY kid. (He deserved it! And once my son became large enough to hurt me back, that actually encouraged me more in the area of corporal punishment, since he was able to defend himself. KIDDING! Subtle satire is often missed these days, so I felt the need to clarify that. It is very true, though, that I’m still a big fan of those bumper stickers that say “The beatings will continue until morale improves!”)
“Mean Mommy” allows mothers, and any reader, really, to visualize a pragmatic way to conduct themselves. No expectations of perfection are pitched, but MM expects everyone to try their hardest and learn from their mistakes. This is the role modeling message I picked up from the book, and it’s effectively aimed at both parents and offspring.
The allusion to prettier legs is my spin on the important message “Mean Mommy” imparts about “mommy self-care.” Kerri reminds us that it’s not only ok, but necessary for mommies to feel attractive, and sometimes great measures are needed to attain that. Get that tummy tuck (like Kerri)! Do the varicose vein surgery (like me)! Your husband might be a total slacker in helping when you need it most (see the chapter on husband bashing, p. 95), but it is still so worth it in order to avoid being asked “when’s the baby due?”, or why you made your legs look like Clint Eastwood’s ulcerated, veiny gams (he’s got a big problem and really should see a vascular specialist. See? MM has me trying to mother Dirty Harry. That’s MEAN!!).
In “Mean Mommy,” Kerri Louise tells uproarious tales from her life, including an incredible encounter with bedbugs, escapades with her husband and fellow famous comic Tom Cotter, plus a new way to think about cutting a pineapple. (Talk about rolling out a “welcome” mat. Read the book and you’ll get my insinuation!)
“Mean Mommy” is a great read with content that’s both mirthful and purposeful. I hope Kerri Louise writes a sequel, and titles it “Mean Mommies.2: Still Taking Care of You Motherf*ckers”, aimed at an audience that could conceivably include nasty hecklers saved from dying in a pool of their own vomit, and maybe even Clint Eastwood. MM is for everyone! “Mean Mommy”, don’t forsake us: please dispense another batch of funny wisdom someday soon.
“Mean Mommy” by Kerri Louise is available at Amazon Books by clicking here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0989538184/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_N.uyDb31SCJKK