You guys! I brushed my hair today.
And I have to tell you, these shiny untangled locks look fierce. Or at least they will for about 12 more seconds until one of my kids gets syrup it them.
But that’s motherhood right? It’s sticky, sweet, messy, and very funny if we let it be.
That’s where Karen Johnson and her new journal, I Brushed My Hair Today: A Mom Journal for Mostly Together Moms, comes in. I’m low key obsessed with Karen, I adore this journal, and by the way, I’m IN this journal. My quote is just a couple pages before Chrissy Teigen’s, which makes us best friends.
Learn more about Karen and this awesome journal below, and pick up your own copy!
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WHO’S THAT LADY & WHAT’S THAT JOURNAL?
Karen Johnson is known on social media as The 21st Century SAHM. She writes about all things parenthood—some humorous, some heartfelt. And she credits her three crazy kids with providing endless material.
Her new journal, I Brushed My Hair Today: A Mom Journal for Mostly Together Moms is filled with journaling prompts you aren’t going to find anywhere else. Like “When you need five minutes to yourself, where do you hide from your kids? And when they find you, where do you hide next?”
Its pages are also filled with quotes to make you laugh through the sticky stages of motherhood and know you aren’t alone. There are so many moms, of the famous variety (Gwen Stefani, Oliva Wilde & Kristen Bell are all in this journal!) and of the sitting on this couch right now variety (me), who have been where you are. Solidarity sisters!
In addition to quoting me in her journal, Karen also agreed to sit down for a few questions about the inspiration behind these glorious pages, her feelings about stay at home mom life, and her fantastic writing. Let’s get to know Karen, and then buy one million of her journals for all your friends and casual acquaintances.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
Becca: I Brushed My Hair Today is just about the best name ever for a journal. Can you tell us what inspired this project, and the killer name?
Karen: The one thing that got me through those early baby / toddler years was humor and feeling less alone. The title reflects the truth of what those days are like. If you have babies and toddlers and you brushed your hair (or teeth) you probably feel like a movie star! I mean, then a kid pukes on you 3 minutes later, but still.
So the project is meant to make moms in the trenches of potty-training and toddler tantrums and poop and pee laugh, have a place to vent about the realities of the shit-storm they’re living, and feel like they aren’t alone because these prompts and quotes apply to so many of us.
THAT MOM LIFE
What’s your favorite mom quote in I Brushed My Hair Today? I mean besides mine…it’s SO nice of you to pick mine as your favorite, but we’ll just assume that’s number one and go with number two.
Oh my gosh I love all the quotes and yes, especially yours!
But I think my favorites are probably the Ali Wong one about how breastfeeding is like parallel parking because it cracks me up and is so true. Breastfeeding was so. effing. hard. at first.
Although this is a humorous journal, I also really love Katie Weber’s quote about how she doesn’t love motherhood every day. I think that’s an important one for mothers to hear and realize that they aren’t shitty moms. NO ONE loves their job every minute of every day, so why should moms (who are doing the hardest job ever) be any different?
What’s your favorite journal prompt in the book, and your personal answer to the prompt? It’s my blog and I’ll be nosy if I want to, nosy if I want to, nosy if I want to.
My favorite prompt is “What is one parenting rule you used to follow but have abandoned completely because you’re too damn tired?”
I love this one because I was such a sanctimommy about so many things—as a new mom, I would say things like “My kids will never eat fast food!” My 1st had a strict bedtime and we read books every night, and he was super well-behaved. I would think all other kids jumping off couches and running amok and hating books just weren’t parented properly. HAHAHAHA.
I eat my words today on a daily basis as my van is overflowing with happy meal toys, my kids were up until after 10 last night while I drank a beer on the couch watching The Food Network, I don’t know when they last brushed their teeth, and my third child IS that crazy kid jumping off furniture and knocking shit off the shelves at the store that I used to judge (and judge his parents) so karma has completely kicked my ass.
All of my “rules” have gone out the window. Now it’s just survival mode.
SHE’S GOT THE WRITE STUFF
I just KNOW readers are going to want to hear more from you. To kick off everyone’s 21 Century SAHM experience can you tell us your favorite piece you’ve ever written and why?
By far my most popular piece is my “popsicle post” which went crazy viral in the summer of 2017.
Another favorite piece was what I read at the “Listen to Your Mother” show in Kansas City a couple years ago called “I am the Boss.” It’s about how I’m a control freak and tried like hell to maintain control over everything, even after having kids.
My third child is incredibly strong-willed and gives ZERO FUCKS about me being the boss. And I actually shouted at him, “I AM THE BOSS!” which, as we all know, when “the boss” shouts that, it means they’ve actually lost it and really aren’t the boss anymore.
Parenting him has brought to my knees and I although he challenges me to the point of exhaustion daily, I’m so grateful for him because he’s taught me so much about motherhood in a way my other two didn’t.
How about your favorite meme?
My favorite meme is probably this recent one I just made because we need to stop telling exhausted moms to “enjoy every minute” as they catch vomit in their hands or their kid smears shit on the curtains.
Some minutes we cannot and will not enjoy, or miss. Of course we will miss their sweetness and snuggles, but on those endless days, we just need to hear “you got this” and maybe get a break instead.
MOM LIFE TRUTH BOMB
Last question! Any piece of parental wisdom you’d like to drop on us? I always like to share that my go-to piece of advice is “none of us know what we’re doing” so the bar is quite low on this.
This is for the moms in the trenches with babies and toddlers crawling all over you. I was you, a few years ago.
I was drowning. I was depressed. I was resentful of my husband’s success at work and last minute lunches with other grownups and fancy dry-cleaned clothes. I didn’t love being a SAHM the way I thought I would, and I didn’t know what to do about that because didn’t that mean I was a terrible mom? Why wasn’t I 100% fulfilled?
It took years of self-reflection to realize how normal these feelings are, and to accept that no, that doesn’t make you a bad mom. Motherhood is kick-you-in-the-gut hard—whether you work out of the home or not. So give yourself some grace.
If you’re lonely, network. Find friends you can be real with. Do something for YOU. It wasn’t until I started writing and had MY OWN THING beyond wiping butts and cooking mac and cheese that the fog of depression began to lift. I needed something else and I had to admit that to myself and give myself permission to go find it.
GET THE JOURNAL!
Karen is great and that last line is everything. Giving yourself permission is something a lot of people struggle with. Taking out the ball point pen and signing your own permissions slip to chase a goal or do something for yourself can be incredibly challenging, but so worth it.
Want to start somewhere? Give yourself permission to laugh through motherhood! Give yourself permission to admit that this is really hard sometimes. Give yourself permission to be a mostly together mom who loves her kids fiercely but also needs to vent sometimes.
And definitely give yourself permission to add I Brushed My Hair Today: A Mom Journal for Mostly Together Moms to your Amazon cart right now! These are your memories and they matter. YOU matter! HUGS!
With love from one mostly together mom to another,