Snarky Mommy Amy Sprenger on Her Blog and New Book
Meet Snarky Mommy Amy Sprenger in our latest interview, where she talks to MommyPage about starting Snarky Mommy, her husband’s blog Snarky Daddy, and her brand new book coming out today (July 9th!) Baby Bumps!
Tell us more about yourself, your site, and your family. What motivated you to start Snarky Mommy? Where did the name “Snarky Mommy” come from?
The original incarnation of my blog, back in the olden days before I had kids, was called SprengBlingBling. Of course the phrase “bling bling” became passé about five minutes after all the suburban white kids started throwing it around. Lil Wayne and Cash Money Millionaires laughed all the way to the bank after coining that phrase, however, so I’m sure they didn’t actually care some Lincoln Park yuppie was using their slang as the title for her blawwwg. At first, my blog was simply a place I could express my creativity after moving away from writing for a living. After I got pregnant with my son, it morphed into a Mommy Blog. When he was a year old, my husband, Josh, and I launched a kids’ T-shirt business featuring sarcastic sayings on wee baby shirts and onesies and we went with the name Snarky Babies – in the interest of branding, I became Snarky Mommy. After birthing my second and then third children, I couldn’t not write about the craziness of our life and it became a semi-popular site (i.e. more than three people read it each week, not counting my mother). My proudest moment was live-blogging my husband’s vasectomy. That was all kinds of awesome.
Your husband has a blog as well called “Snarky Daddy.” Did he get inspiration to start a blog from you? What are the main topics he likes to discuss?
This is actually hysterical because my husband says he has a blog, but he never updates it. I tell him he can’t call himself a blogger by updating once a year and he tells me his archives speak for themselves. He originally started his blog because he thought he was funnier than me, but we all know that’s ludicrous. [I am funnier than you. -- Josh] [Josh, stop editing the documents on my computer without my permission. I am so changing my password.] He usually takes some topic I have mentioned on my own blog and spins it with his own slant – if he wasn’t my husband, I would accuse him of unoriginality and start a Twitter war with him. His fans should really encourage him to bring blogging back, I miss his over-the-top musings.
Congratulations on your new book! Can you give our readers a little snip-it of what they may read about?
“Baby Bumps” (out July 9 exclusively through Nook First, Aug. 9 at all other e-tailers) is a “fictional” account of my pregnancy with my son. When I was 20 weeks pregnant, a doctor told me I had an incompetent cervix and I was immediately offended. But then he explained it was an actual medical condition requiring emergency surgery and strict bedrest. I spent four interminable months in bed while we were also gut-rehabbing our house. Did I mention my mother moved in to care for me because my husband traveled for work? That was fun. Throughout the ordeal, hilarious things kept happening and I couldn’t help but laugh about the absurdity of snow falling in my bedroom after a contractor made a hole in my roof or carrying a bottle of urine in my Coach purse to a company holiday party. I know high-risk pregnancy doesn’t sound like a time for hilarity, but it was in my case.
What type of activities does your family like to do to have fun/bond?
Our kids are spoiled rotten in that we take them on very nice vacations thanks to all the hotel points and airline miles my husband accrues traveling for work. They’ve been all over the US, as well as to Britain, France, Puerto Rico and Jamaica. We’re taking all three of them to Hawaii later this summer, but I can guarantee we’ll rue the day we made those reservations when we have three jet-lagged kids on an overnight flight back home. I apologize in advance to any United Airlines passengers lucky enough to sit near us. If we’re not traveling (which my friends would joke is never), we spend a lot of time at the playground and the park or playing Xbox Kinect Dance Central – my kids have the moves like Jagger.
When you get the chance, what are some of the ways you like to relax?
Trust me, relaxation is built in to my mothering schedule or I would go insane. My husband travels four days a week, so I make the most of the time he is in town. Bikram yoga is my newest obsession, which is weird considering I walk in the door after two hours a dripping, sweaty mess, but I love it. It really calms me down and brings a little zen to my crazy life. My husband and I also try to schedule a few weekends away together and always take one week-long, child-free vacation a year. It makes me a better mom to get away and recharge and they get spoiled by their grandparents for a week. Win-win for everyone. And I won’t ever turn down an invite for a night out with friends.
From your experience, what are your top 5 tips for being a mom?
- Laugh at yourself, laugh with your kids. There’s moments you surely won’t feel like laughing, but there’s a lot more when you will. Like when your potty-training 2-year-old poops on your leg. (Don’t even ask.)
- Write it down. Even if you think you’ll remember your daughter yelling, “Fock! Fock!” at the dinner table when she wants a fork, you won’t. I don’t have to keep baby books for my kids because I have documented pretty much everything on my blog. Someday, I’ll look back and laugh about the time my 3-year-old threw a rock at an occupied parked car in the Chipotle parking lot. That day has not come yet, however.
- Get professional help – and not the psychiatric kind. There’s no gold medal or cash prize for spending 24 hours a day seven days a week 365 days a year with your kids. Hire a college student to babysit one night each weekend so you can have dinner with your husband. Find a nearby teen-ager to act as a mother’s helper one afternoon a week so you can hide in your bedroom and read a book (might I suggest “Baby Bumps” as a selection?). Can’t afford a sitter? Set up a babysitting trade with a friend – you each take the whole gang for a few hours so one of you can just go to the grocery store alone for 15 minutes and stare at all the different types of salsa on the shelf in blissful silence.
- Trust your instincts. Not every nurse, doctor, child psychologist, teacher or clergy member knows best. You’re the authority on your child and 99 times out of 100, your first instinct is right. Don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for your children. I have gone Mamageddon on people when the situation warrants and I’ve never regretted it.
- Say hello to another mom. I’m so sick of the perceived Mommy Wars going on right now. We all do the same job whether you stay home or have a job outside the home – and we all need to get on the same page. The next time you see an unfamiliar mom on the playground, go up and say hello. Introduce yourself. Exchange pleasantries about your kids or the neighborhood or the weather. Find some common ground. Chances are she’ll welcome the interaction and you’ll feel better for having reached out. And if she rebuffs you, you’ll have a great story to tell on your blog for all the world to see.