Poop Pee Puke! An Interview with Shannon Sutherland
I am originally from Kansas. I met my husband, Aaron Haber, while doing stand-up comedy in New York City. We married, got a dog, and decided to have a baby and reside in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It all sounds so perfect right? Well, it is in a way. But after we got our dog our lives started to be controlled by his poop, pee, and puke. We live in an apartment so we have to walk him whenever he has to go and did I mention he gets explosive diarrhea when he eats chicken, has irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux that makes him puke a lot? And worst of all, he eats every disgusting thing you can think of including a used tampon he found on the street.
When our daughter was born I thought it would be all pink dresses and bows but we weren’t allowed to leave the hospital because she hadn’t peed, she had extreme reflux and puked about 10 times a day, and poop –well you get the picture. When my daughter was 5 months old I had a bad day that resulted in my daughter pooping in the bathtub, peeing on the floor, the dog drinking it up and then while I was dealing with my daughter he ate her bath tub poop, and then the dog started puking. I wonder why… After I put my daughter to bed I fell asleep crying because I felt like my glam Manhattan life had turned into a life that was just about poop, pee, and puke.
So I started my blog PoopPeePuke.com initially as a way to document my daughter’s growth and vent. Then I started writing about my struggles of staying glamorous despite the mess and was able to receive advice from other mothers I met online. My blog gives me a reason to wake up in the morning when I feel exhausted, put something stylish on, and see how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family.
When I tell people the name of my blog I get one of two reactions. The first is, “I love that name it’s so funny. That IS my life.” These people are usually parents or grandparents who actually take care of their children. The other response I get is, “GROSS! That sounds like a fetish website!” These people either don’t have kids, have kids but also have nannies, or are expecting parents and are in for a big shock.
What is Shannonism, and what is Shannonism about?
Shannonism is about putting yourself first. When my daughter was first born I never slept or took time for myself. This resulted in me texting my mother-in-law at 3am begging for help even though when I was pregnant I assured her that I would not need any whatsoever. She arrived at 8am and then I slept for 16 hours straight. This cycle of me not taking care of myself and having to be saved by my in-laws kept happening until I realized I couldn’t take care of my daughter unless I took care of myself.
Tell us more about the Princess A’s Outfit of the Day segment on your blog.
After my daughter was born I suffered from postpartum depression. The only thing that made me feel better was to put my daughter in cute outfits and photograph them. Now I style a different outfit for her almost every day and post a picture on my blog. I get the clothes from loving family members, fans, and fellow moms trying to get some press for their new companies.
What made you choose to begin your blog? What topics do you often write about? Which posts happen to be your favorites (you can link to your posts)?
Part of my depression resulted from not having a creative outlet. Before my daughter was born I preformed stand-up comedy almost every night in New York City. Now the only way for me to do that would be to pay someone to watch her at night and then someone else to wake up with her in the morning and not only do I not have that kind of money but I want to raise my child. I started a blog to post a picture of my daughter every day for myself and family and so that I can have a place to showcase my voice so I don’t feel like the creative part of myself died when my daughter was born.
What type of activities does your family like to do to have fun/bond?
We love to walk in Central Park because we can bring the whole family including our dog. Then we go to the playground and both my daughter and our dog swing. It’s definitely a crazy thing to see and when buses full of tourists pass by people take our picture.
What is your biggest challenge being a mom?
2 words. Sleep Deprivation
What are your top 5 tips for all moms?
1. Do something nice for yourself every day.
2. If your husband or family members offer to babysit so you can take a break do so! Yes, no one can do things like you but the world will not end if you take 1 hour off to get a manicure and pedicure.
3. If breastfeeding doesn’t work out move on and don’t beat yourself up about it.
4. Get a dog. There is nothing like unconditional love when you spend all day questioning your parenting choices. Also, dogs make great vacuum cleaners at mealtime.
5. You are doing a much better job than you think.