You know all those how-to parenting books and baby shampoo commercials that make motherhood seem like a breeze, full of sunlight and giggles?
Vicki Murphy’s new book, “Motherfumbler,” is the antithesis of that.
With sections titled “Time Waits for No Mom,” “Romance: Gone the Way of the Placenta,” and “Giving Birth: Cruel and Unusual ... Privilege?” her book tells it like it is, with all kinds of satire and sarcasm and a whole lot of wit. Murphy is a hilarious, blunt lady.
“Having a baby is a double-edged sword. And feels like passing one, too,” she writes. “All you moms out there who had a ‘textbook birth,’ who so sincerely apologize for our lesser fortunate in the birthing suite, who answer ‘no biggie’ when asked ‘how was it?’ news flash: we hate your face.”
Since bringing home her son Max (a.k.a. Turbo Ginger) in 2009, Murphy, a native of Badger’s Quay, has been chronicling her adventures in motherhood on her popular blog, motherblogger.ca.
An advertising creative director and self-described “hot mess,” Murphy says she started the blog to share funny stories with other moms and make light of the hard stuff. Her father died of cancer when Max was just nine months old, and writing about it all became her therapy.
“The blog took off, I started blogging for the Huffington Post, and later I said screw it — I’ll try and pull it all together into a book and see what happens. Breakwater Books said yes, and the rest is history.”
Where did she find the time to put the book — which contains some blog material and new some new — together? When she wasn’t working or being a mom, she wrote her arse off.
“I had to count on my husband to take care of things while I became one with my laptop,” she said. “Remember all those beautiful days we had this past summer? I spent most of those inside, typing away, which helps explain why I am the whitest person on Earth. There was a lot of frustration and mommy guilty, but I was determined to do it, and I did.”
“Motherfumbler” is available at bookstores now.
What is your full name?
Vicki Dawn (Combden) Murphy.
Where and when were you born?
1978 at the Grace in St. John’s. I was a townie for about 72 hours until Mom and Dad drove me home to Badger’s Quay.
Where’s home today?
What was your favourite year?
That’s a tough question. I guess it was 2009. That’s the year my son was born, and the year my dad published his book, “Fogo Island Boy.” Dad died in January 2010. But we all had 2009 together.
What was one act of rebellion you committed as a teenager?
I was at a hotel in Gander with my parents, who were attending a convention. While they were at an event, I stole the family car and drove around town for a few hours. I had no driver’s licence. When I got back to the hotel, my parking spot was gone.
What are five songs on your playlist right now?
“A Better Son or Daughter” (Rilo Kiley), “Travellin’” (Matt Mays and El Torpedo), “29 Palms” (Robert Plant), “Wagonwheel” (Old Crow Medicine Show), “C is for Cookie” (Cookie Monster).
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Katherine Hepburn, while drunk. You know, if she wasn’t dead.
What is your greatest regret?
Deleting the photo my husband took of the placenta. I’d like to see that now.
What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you?
What is your favourite food?
Macaroni and cheese.
Who inspires you?
Smart, funny women like Carol Burnett, Caitlin Moran, Chelsea Handler, Kristin Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Gilda Radner, Wanda Sykes, Betty White, and Krysta Rudofsky.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can throw a perfect spiral.
What is your most treasured possession?
Photos and footage of my dad and my son together. They only shared the earth for a few months, so that time was precious.
Who is one person, living or dead, you'd like to have lunch with?
Jesus Christ or Will Ferrell.
What was your most vivid dream?
I gave birth to a kid, as in a baby goat, and his hooves got stuck on the way out. I just made that up. I don’t usually remember my dreams.
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Wrote a book.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Travel the world with my own personal back-scratcher. And maybe my husband.
What bugs you?
Promise-breakers. People who don’t follow through. I want to give them epic wedgies.
What is your greatest fear?
Just small stuff like spiders, stepping on Legos, and death.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In whatever they’ve invented to replace “the mirror.” I really have no idea, and I think I’m okay with that. As long as my Max is healthy and happy, I’m best kind.