by Tina Fey

Troy Shu
Troy Shu
Updated at: March 12, 2024

What are the big ideas? 1. The power of humor in political commentary: This book offers a unique perspective on the importance of political satire in shaping public

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What are the big ideas?

  1. The power of humor in political commentary: This book offers a unique perspective on the importance of political satire in shaping public perception through Tina Fey's experience impersonating Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. It highlights how comedic timing and delivery can be an effective tool for addressing societal issues and influencing cultural conversations.
  2. Balancing work and family life: The book presents a candid account of juggling the demands of motherhood and a successful career, offering insights into managing expectations, communicating effectively with caregivers, and finding a balance between personal and professional commitments.
  3. Embracing body image realities: Tina Fey shares her experiences with societal pressure to conform to certain beauty standards and the importance of accepting one's appearance while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She encourages women to focus on their strengths and not let others' opinions dictate their self-worth.
  4. The complexities of being a celebrity mother: This book offers an honest look at the challenges faced by celebrities as they navigate motherhood in the public eye, including handling criticism, maintaining privacy, and dealing with societal expectations.
  5. Finding humor in everyday life: Tina Fey's unique voice and storytelling abilities bring levity to common experiences like traveling for the holidays or dealing with challenging family dynamics. Her ability to find humor in the mundane showcases the importance of maintaining a sense of humor in daily life.




  • For women in male-dominated workplaces: Dress professionally, express emotions appropriately, choose partners based on talent, avoid diet foods in meetings.
  • For parents: Raise achievement-oriented, drug-free children by providing a strong father figure, encouraging bad skin, and dressing them in child-sized colonial-lady outfits.
  • If you hate Tina Fey or love Sarah Palin, this book may contain reasons to do so.
  • Offers spiritual allegory with Lorne Michaels as God and author's struggles with hair removal as a metaphor for virtue.
  • Entertaining humor includes joke about "Two peanuts walking down the street."
  • Being a boss means hiring talented people, getting out of their way, or pretending not to be their boss and letting someone else take charge.
  • Author's book development involved retracing steps to understand what factors contributed to becoming who she is today.


“Some people say, “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.”

“When choosing sexual partners, remember: Talent is not sexually transmittable.”

“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.”

Origin Story


  • The narrator's older brother played a significant role in her upbringing.
  • Starting kindergarten, the narrator realized her parents were older than other parents and felt worried about their well-being.
  • In kindergarten, the narrator met a Greek boy named Alex who ripped one of her drawings, leading to a realization of the real world.
  • The narrator was slashed in the face by a stranger during kindergarten but doesn't discuss it often due to various reactions from people.
  • People's responses to her scar have ranged from ignorance to intrusive questions, and she has learned to navigate these interactions.
  • The narrator's scar brought attention and special treatment throughout her life, leading to an inflated sense of self but also a misunderstanding of the motivations behind the attention.

Growing Up and Liking It


  • At age ten, author asked mother for permission to shave legs due to unwanted body hair and received a "my first period" kit instead
  • Puberty and menstruation explained through fake correspondence in "Growing Up and Liking It" pamphlet
  • Mom likely did not read the accompanying "How Shall I Tell My Daughter?" pamphlet
  • Author's first period happened unexpectedly at age ten while singing Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue"
  • Women often realize they are becoming women due to negative experiences with men, such as unwanted comments or advances
  • Buying a white denim suit marked author's entry into womanhood in high school
  • First gynecology appointment at Planned Parenthood was uncomfortable and resulted in fainting during exam


“I was ten. I had noticed something was weird earlier in the day, but I knew from commercials that one's menstrual period was a blue liquid that you poured like laundry detergent onto maxi pads to test their absorbency. This wasn't blue, so...I ignored it for a few hours.”

“Almost everyone first realized they were becoming a grown woman when some dude did something nasty to them. ...It was mostly men yelling shit from cars. Are they a patrol sent out to let girls know they've crossed into puberty? If so, it's working.”

“I experienced car creepery at thirteen. I was walking home from middle school past a place called the World’s Largest Aquarium—which, legally, I don’t know how they could call it that, because it was obviously an average-sized aquarium. Maybe I should start referring to myself as the World’s Tallest Man and see how that goes? Anyway, I was walking home alone from school and I was wearing a dress. A dude drove by and yelled, “Nice tits.” Embarrassed and enraged, I screamed after him, “Suck my dick.” Sure, it didn’t make any sense, but at least I don’t hold in my anger.”

All Girls Must Be Everything


  • Women have been taught that there is an infinite number of things wrong with their bodies and must correct these "deficiencies" to be beautiful
  • The standard of beauty in the late 70s was small-eyed, thin-lipped, blond women with no buttocks
  • Beauty ideals have evolved over time, but have not become more inclusive or diverse
  • Women are expected to strive for an impossible ideal and are pressured to change their bodies through dieting, cosmetic procedures, and surgeries
  • Embracing the unique features of one's own body and learning to love oneself is important in counteracting societal pressure to conform to narrow beauty standards.


“You could put a blond wig on a hot-water heater and some dude would try to fuck it.”

“But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”

“Instead of trying to fit an impossible ideal, I took a personal inventory of all my healthy body parts for which I am grateful: Straight Greek eyebrows. They start at the hairline at my temple and, left unchecked, will grow straight across my face and onto yours.”

Delaware County Summer Showtime!


  • The author attended a theater program called Summer Showtime when she was a teenager.
  • She met many interesting people there, including her first gay friend, Brendan.
  • One summer, two girls at a party kissed each other, and the author tried to stop them because she thought it was inappropriate.
  • The author realized that she had been using her gay friends as entertainment and that this was not fair or appropriate.
  • She learned that gay people were not made for her entertainment alone and that they deserve respect and privacy in their relationships.


“Gay people don’t actually try to convert people. That’s Jehovah’s Witnesses you’re thinking of.”

“Obviously, as an adult I realize this girl-on-girl sabotage is the third worst kind of female behavior, right behind saying "like" all the time and leaving your baby in a dumpster.”

That’s Don Fey


  • Strong father figure is crucial in raising achievement-oriented, obedient, drug-free, virgin adults
  • A father's appearance and demeanor can instill fear and respect
  • Fathers should dress well to project authority and confidence
  • Fathers who look "somebody" command respect from others
  • Fathers with strong personalities leave lasting impressions on their children
  • Fathers with diverse experiences can provide valuable lessons and perspectives
  • Prejudiced attitudes, while unfortunate, are a part of some people's upbringing
  • Children should learn to be afraid of consequences for their actions
  • Children need guidance and discipline from their parents
  • Fathers from the Silent Generation have unique perspectives and cannot be easily marketed to.


“I only hope that one day I can frighten my daughter this much. Right now, she's not scared of my husband or me at all. I think it's a problem. I was a freshman home from college the first time my dad said, "You're going out at ten p.m.? I don't think so," and I just laughed and said, "It's fine." I feel like my daughter will be doing that to me by age six.

How can I give her what Don Fey gave me? The gift of anxiety. The fear of getting in trouble. The knowledge that while you are loved, you are not above the law. The Worldwide Parental Anxiety System is failing if this many of us have made sex tapes.”

Climbing Old Rag Mountain


  • The author felt like an outsider at college due to her ethnicity and struggled to find interest from white boys.
  • She had a secret relationship with a white boy, which involved late-night make-out sessions in cars.
  • They eventually went on a "date" where he bought her a sandwich and took her to the mall, but no actual romantic advance was made.
  • He invited her to climb Old Rag Mountain at night, but they didn't bring water or flashlights, making the journey difficult and dangerous.
  • The boy fell off the mountain and they continued up, eventually reaching the top where he shared a story about his crush on another girl.
  • The author was disappointed when no romantic advance was made and instead they descended the mountain.
  • She felt accomplished for having climbed the mountain despite the disappointing outcome.


“This worked out perfectly for me in college, because what nineteen-year-old Virginia boy doesn't want a wide-hipped, sarcastic Greek girl with short hair that's permed on top? What's that you say? None of them want that? You are correct.”

“I think someone should design exercise machines that reward people with sex at the end of their workouts, because people will perform superhuman feats for even the faint hope of that.”

Young Men’s Christian Association


  • The author worked at a YMCA front desk job and found it to be a grim experience due to long hours, low pay, and interacting with difficult residents.
  • She developed a crush on Eli, a preschool teacher who was an aspiring actor.
  • The YMCA had a sad Christmas dinner for the male residents without families.
  • The author learned that some gym fees are a scam and started taking improv classes at night.
  • She eventually got an office job in the YMCA, which she only stayed in for less than a year before leaving for a job with The Second City Touring Company.


“A coworker at SNL dropped an angry c-bomb on me and i had the weirdest reaction. To my surprise, I blurted, "No. You don't get to call me that. My parents love me. I'm not some Adult Child of an Alcoholic that's going to take that shit.”

“Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You” was constantly on my FM Walkman radio around that time. I think that made me cry because I associated it with absolutely no one.”

The Windy City, Full of Meat


  • Agree and say yes in improvisation to build scenes
  • Add your own ideas with "Yes, and" instead of just agreeing
  • Make statements instead of asking questions to contribute to scenes
  • There are no mistakes in improv, only opportunities for new directions
  • Gender equality in casting can lead to more opportunities for all actors
  • Don't believe the myth that there's not enough for everyone; collaborate and create together.


“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”

“MAKE STATEMENTS also applies to us women: Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions. No one wants to go to a doctor who says, “I’m going to be your surgeon? I’m here to talk to you about your procedure? I was first in my class at Johns Hopkins, so?” Make statements, with your actions and your voice.”

“THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, only opportunities.”

“This made no sense to me, probably because I speak English and have never had a head injury.”

“This is what I tell young women who ask me for career advice. People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. "You're up for a promotion. If they go for a woman, it'll be between you and Barbara." Don't be fooled. You're not in competition with other women. You're in competition with everyone.”

My Honeymoon, or A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again Either


  • The author's cruise ship experience was marked by a false alarm of a fire and subsequent evacuation in the middle of the night.
  • During the evacuation, the author's husband, who is afraid of flying, was given only one pill for anxiety.
  • The author learned that "Bravo" being repeated multiple times indicates increasing severity of the emergency situation on the ship.
  • Performers on cruise ships are trained to handle lifeboats in case of emergencies and may be authorized to use force against disruptive passengers.
  • The author decided not to cruise again due to the traumatic experience and the availability of planes for travel.


“I keep my eyes on the sea, waiting to be rocketed into it on a wave of fire. I'll be ready for it to happen and that way it won't happen. It's a burden, being able to control situations with my hyper-vigilance, but its my lot in life.”

“What were you thinking when we were holding hands diagonally?" I ask. Jeff says, "I was thinking, 'It's going to be so hard for her when she chooses not to get on that lifeboat and stay with me.'"

I decide I can't start this marriage with a lie.

"Really?" I say. "'Cause I was thinking that it was going to be so hard for you when I got on the lifeboat and you had to stay behind." He is appalled. I plead my case. "Remember when we saw Titanic how mad I was at Kate Winslet when she climbed out of the lifeboat and back into the ship? I think she encumbered Leonardo DiCaprio. If she had gone on the lifeboat, then he could have had that piece of wood she was floating on and they both would have survived. I would never do that to you."

I wait for his response, hoping that in the twenty-first century romantic love can be defined as not lying about your plans to get on the lifeboat and remembering to get your partner some pills. He just laughs. With that settled, we begin our married life.”

The Secrets of Mommy’s Beauty


  • Embrace your natural beauty and unique features without comparison to others.
  • Develop a consistent personal style that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
  • Proper skincare is essential, including cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection.
  • Makeup can enhance features but is not necessary for beauty.
  • Haircuts should be chosen based on personal preference and comfort.
  • Fashion trends come and go; find what works best for your body type and stick with it.
  • Manicures are a simple yet effective way to maintain clean and polished hands.
  • Aging is natural, focus on maintaining health and well-being rather than fighting against the process.
  • Caring for the body is important but should not consume all your time and energy.
  • Maintaining good hygiene is essential for overall wellness and self-confidence.
  • Acceptance of aging and imperfections is an important part of growing older gracefully.
  • The most important rule of beauty is to prioritize self-care, confidence, and a positive attitude towards your own appearance.


“What Turning Forty Means to Me

I need to take my pants off as soon as I get home. I didn't used to have to do that. But now I do.”

“If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: who cares?”

Remembrances of Being Very Very Skinny


  • Experienced being very skinny at the turn of the century and recall several memories from that time
  • Constantly felt cold
  • Wore size-four corduroy short shorts to work in Manhattan
  • Enjoyed when people commented on weight loss
  • Once brought sliced red peppers as a beach snack
  • Consumed disgusting health food cookies
  • Attracted unwanted male attention
  • Used pillow between legs to sleep due to bony knees clanking
  • Had more free time due to less eating
  • Ran three miles a day on a treadmill six days a week
  • Believed feeling superior to others
  • Encourage trying skinny phase, but ensure healthy methods and respect personal choice.


“We should leave people alone about their weight. Being skinny for a while (provided you actually eat food and don't take pills or smoke to get there) is a perfectly fine pastime. Everyone should try it once, like a super-short haircut or dating a white guy.”

Remembrances of Being a Little Bit Fat


  • I once enjoyed larger breasts and craved Krispy Kreme donuts.
  • Believed making meals of fast food items was more nutritious.
  • Couldn't run a mile, wore oversize men's overalls.
  • Guys didn't want to date me because of my weight.
  • Vomited on Christmas Eve from eating certain foods.
  • Took pride in being a size twelve and considered it the "real woman" size.
  • Avoided ironing my belly to prevent accidents.
  • Being overweight is natural and nothing to be ashamed of, as long as health isn't compromised.

A Childhood Dream, Realized


  • Lorne Michaels values a balanced writing staff that includes both Harvard-educated writers and improvisers.
  • Television is a visual medium, so appearance is important.
  • Avoid making big decisions immediately after a season ends.
  • Don't cut to closed doors, let the content dictate the cutting pattern.
  • Hire people you wouldn't mind running into in the hallway at 3am.
  • Never tell a crazy person they're crazy.
  • Keep working even during difficult times.


“You have to remember that actors are human beings. Which is hard sometimes because they look so much better than human beings.”

“The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.”

“It's a great lesson about not being too precious about your writing. You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke you can until the last possible second, and then you have to let it go. You can't be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it...You have to let people see what you wrote.”

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.”

“It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring on live TV.”

“Never tell a crazy person he’s crazy.”

“...nothing is creepier than a bunch of adults being very quiet.”

Peeing in Jars with Boys


  • Men in SNL writing room urinated in cups and left them around the office
  • Some men also pretended to rape each other, but it was harmless
  • Women in comedy were good daughters and citizens, mild-mannered college graduates
  • Head writers at SNL fought for their preferred commercial parodies with producers and directors
  • Producers and directors didn't know what a maxi pad belt was, revealing lack of institutionalized sexism but also lack of familiarity with certain women's products.

I Don’t Care If You Like It


  • Amy Poehler made a stand for herself in SNL, refusing to conform to being "cute" or playing wives and girlfriends in boys' scenes.
  • Don't let others' opinions deter you from doing what you want to do, especially if they are not in a position of power over you.
  • Focus on your work and outpacing others instead of trying to change people's opinions.
  • If your boss is a jerk, try to find support from colleagues or those above them.
  • Go "Over! Under! Through!" and let opinions change organically when you're in charge.
  • Don't care if others like what you do; do your thing.


“Amy Poehler was new to SNL and we were all crowded into the seventeenth-floor writers' room, waiting for the Wednesday night read-through to start. [...] Amy was in the middle of some such nonsense with Seth Meyers across the table, and she did something vulgar as a joke. I can't remember what it was exactly, except it was dirty and loud and "unladylike", Jimmy Fallon [...] turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said, "Stop that! It's not cute! I don't like it." Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. "I don't fucking care if you like it." Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit. With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn't there to be cute. She wasn't there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys' scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.”

“It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don’t like something, it is empirically not good. I don’t like Chinese food, but I don’t write articles trying to prove it doesn’t exist.”

“So, my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.”

“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”

“Don't waste your energy trying to change opinions ... Do your thing, and don't care if they like it.”

Amazing, Gorgeous, Not Like That


  • Preparing for a photo shoot involves choosing outfits, getting a spray tan, and removing body hair.
  • Posing for photos requires turning sideways, leaning back against a wall, relaxing shoulders, making angles, smiling, and sucking in your stomach.
  • Dealing with the photographer's feedback can be embarrassing, but it's important to act confident and enjoy the experience.
  • Photoshop is a controversial topic, but it's here to stay. It's important to accept that some level of retouching will always be present in magazines and advertising.
  • The experience of a photo shoot can be overwhelming, but it's important to remember that the final product may not accurately reflect reality.
  • The cover of a magazine is often not representative of the actual content within.
  • It's important to have realistic expectations about body image and appearance in media.
  • Photoshop can be used to enhance or alter features, but it's important to remember that the final product may not reflect reality.
  • The experience of a photo shoot can be frustrating and embarrassing, but it's important to remember that it's all part of the process of creating an image for public consumption.
  • Photoshop is not inherently evil, but it's important to use it responsibly and realistically.
  • The final product may not reflect reality, but it can still be a valuable tool for self-expression and creativity.


“You must not look in that mirror at your doughy legs and flat feet, for today is about dreams and illusions, and unfiltered natural daylight is the enemy of dreams.”

“Most photographers have some kind of verbal patter going on when they shoot: "Great. Turn to me. Big smile. Less shark eyes. Have fun with it. Not like that." Some photographers are compulsively effusive. "Beautiful. Amazing. Gorgeous! Ugh, so gorgeous!" they yell at shutter speed. If you are anything less than insane, you will realize this is not sincere. It's hard to take because it's more positive feedback than you've received in your entire life thrown at you in fifteen seconds. It would be like going jogging while someone rode next to you in a slow-moving car, yelling, "Yes! You are Carl Lewis! You're breaking a world record right now. Amazing! You are fast. You're going very fast, yes!”

“Photoshop is just like makeup. When it’s done well it looks great, and when it’s overdone you look like a crazy asshole.”

“Feminists do the best Photoshop because they leave the meat on your bones. They don’t change your size or your skin color. They leave in your disgusting knuckles, but they may take out some armpit stubble. Not because they’re denying its existence, but because they understand that it’s okay to make a photo look as if you were caught on your best day in the best light.”

Dear Internet


  • Tina Fey responds to fans' questions and comments on various websites
  • Sonya in Tx asks about removing a scar, Tina jokes about getting advice from her assumed-to-be medical expert fan
  • Centaurious calls Tina an overrated troll and ugly, Tina defends herself and pokes fun at the commenter's late hour and NASA connection
  • jerkstore accuses Tina of ruining SNL, Tina responds by criticizing the societal celebration of women and taking credit for negative changes on the show
  • SmarterChild suggests a sexual act, Tina jokes about being relevant with her age and appearance
  • Kevin 214 accuses Tina of plastic surgery, Tina provides a detailed list of procedures she's had done and names drops celebrity friends who have also allegedly had work done.


“To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair.”

30 Rock: An Experiment to Confuse Your Grandparents


  • Tina Fey wrote this essay about her experience creating and starring in "30 Rock," a TV show on NBC.
  • She discusses the challenges of juggling writing, acting, and motherhood during the production of the first season.
  • The show was originally intended to be more mainstream but ended up being quirky and weird, which contributed to its eventual success.
  • Fey acknowledges that the cast is not particularly good-looking, which she believes allows viewers to connect with the characters more easily.
  • She reflects on the importance of patience and compassion in the face of setbacks and uncertainty in both her personal and professional life.


“My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.”

“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. "Blorft" is an adjective I just made up that means 'Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.' I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.”

“(My proudest moment as a child was the time I beat my uncle Pierre at Scrabble with the seven-letter word FARTING.)”

Sarah, Oprah, and Captain Hook, or How to Succeed by Sort of Looking Like Someone


  • Sarah Palin requested to appear on Saturday Night Live (SNL) during the 2008 presidential campaign
  • Tina Fey, a former SNL cast member and current weekend update anchor, was tasked with impersonating Palin for the show
  • Fey worked closely with SNL producer Lorne Michaels and writer Seth Meyers to create the sketch
  • The process involved wig and makeup tests, rehearsals, and filming
  • The sketch received high ratings and positive reviews, but also criticism from some viewers and Palin herself
  • Fey's appearance on SNL was part of a larger cultural phenomenon surrounding Palin during the campaign, including media attention and satire
  • Fey's experience on SNL demonstrated the power of political satire in shaping public perception and the importance of comedic timing and delivery in political commentary.


“By the way, when Oprah Winfrey is suggesting you may have overextended yourself, you need to examine your fucking life.”

“Politics and prostitution have to be the only jobs where inexperience is considered a virtue. In what other profession would you brag about not knowing stuff? “I’m not one of those fancy Harvard heart surgeons. I’m just an unlicensed plumber with a dream and I’d like to cut your chest open.” The crowd cheers.”

“there was an assumption that I was personally attacking Sarah Palin by impersonating her on TV. No one ever said it was 'mean' when Chevy Chase played Gerald Ford falling down all the time. No one ever accused Dana Carvey or Darrell Hammond or Dan Aykroyd of 'going too far' in their political impressions. You see what I'm getting at here. I am not mean and Mrs. Palin is not fragile. To imply otherwise is a disservice to us both.”

There’s a Drunk Midget in My House


  • Breastfeeding is best for babies, but formula can be used if necessary and mothers feel comfortable doing so
  • Mothers should try breastfeeding but may need to supplement with formula or pumped milk if they have difficulty
  • If a mother chooses not to breastfeed, she can pump milk using a breast pump and provide it to her baby in a bottle
  • Some women may pressure others about breastfeeding, known as "Teat Nazis," but mothers should feel empowered to make their own choices and handle confrontations with grace or humor.
  • Taking time for oneself is important for mothers to be better parents. This can include activities like reading, taking long showers, and going to the bathroom frequently.


“No other formula gives your baby a better start in life except that stuff that comes out of you for free.”

“Lesson learned? When people say, "You really, really must" do something, it means you don't really have to. No one ever says, "You really, really must deliver the baby during labor." When it's true, it doesn't need to be said.”

“Read! When your baby is finally down for the night, pick up a juicy book like Eat, Pray, Love or Pride and Prejudice or my personal favorite, Understanding Sleep Disorders: Narcolepsy and Apnea; A Clinical Study. Taking some time to read each night really taught me how to feign narcolepsy when my husband asked me what my “plan” was for taking down the Christmas tree.”

A Celebrity’s Guide to Celebrating the Birth of Jesus


  • Traveling back home for Christmas can be an arduous journey with no guarantee of a bed or modern comforts.
  • Some people prefer the traditional way of celebrating Christmas like Joseph and Mary did, despite the challenges.
  • The annual pilgrimage from one set of in-laws to another is often called "Boring Day."
  • The drive on Route 80W between Philadelphia and Youngstown is hypnotic and relaxing, even if it involves searching for a radio signal and enjoying local eateries like Roy Rogers.
  • Some people have allergies or dislike animals, making family gatherings challenging.
  • Finding the perfect balance between City and Country Folk during holidays can be difficult but necessary.
  • Meeting halfway in a neutral location can provide common ground for both parties and create a successful vacation experience.


“I have no affinity for animals. I don’t hate animals and I would never hurt an animal; I just don’t actively care about them. When a coworker shows me cute pictures of her dog, I struggle to respond correctly, like an autistic person who has been taught to recognize human emotions from flash cards. In short, I am the worst.”

Juggle This


  • Working moms face pressure to validate their choices and prove they're good mothers
  • The question "How do you juggle it all?" is perceived as accusatory and difficult to answer honestly
  • Communicating effectively with caregivers can be challenging, especially for first-time parents or those from different cultural backgrounds
  • Working mothers may experience feelings of guilt and sadness about missing out on time with their children, despite enjoying their jobs
  • It's essential to find a balance between work and family life and communicate openly with loved ones about needs and concerns.

The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter


  • Encourage daughter to avoid tattoos and dangerous substances like Crystal Meth
  • Support her in finding a career that is intellectually fulfilling, safe, and allows her to make her own hours
  • Encourage creativity during childhood but prepare her for adulthood
  • Protect her from harmful experiences and influences, such as creepy soccer coaches and online marketing campaigns for violent or explicit content
  • Empathize with her struggles and provide support when she becomes a mother
  • Be there for her in moments of exhaustion and delayed gratitude.


“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her

When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.”

What Should I Do with My Last Five Minutes?


  • The author is facing a decision between having another baby or continuing her acting career, as her fertility and movie offers are declining.
  • She feels pressure from society to have more children, but also feels that she cannot afford it financially or emotionally.
  • The author has an only child and feels guilty about not giving her a sibling.
  • Society values large families and sees having multiple children as a status symbol.
  • Women in show business are often labeled "crazy" after a certain age, which the author believes is due to their continued pursuit of careers despite being unwanted sexually.
  • The author feels obligated to stay in the business to create opportunities for other women and is concerned about her husband's desires in the decision.
  • The author's mother had her unexpectedly at an older age, which influenced her perspective on having another baby.
  • Italian rum cake is a disappointment to children and may be chosen for parties due to its expense.
  • The author is unsure if she wants another baby or simply wants to relive the experience of having a baby.
  • The author's husband wants her to stop agonizing over the decision but is unclear on what that means.
  • The author has a great gynecologist who reassured her that everything will be fine, regardless of her decision.


“[T]he definition of 'crazy' in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.”


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