Welcome to the Shitshow
Hello, Moms! Or Moms-to-Be! Or some random dad who picked up this book by mistake. (Put the book down, Dad. This isn’t for you. Unless you’re trying to figure out what’s going on with your lady so that you can better serve her, in which case: Read on, hero.)
Ladies, if you know who we are—if you’ve seen our famous YouTube videos, if you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, if you’ve been to one of our live FUN Shows—then welcome! We’re so glad you’re here with us. We are psyched to share our stories and our, um, wisdom with you.
If you have no clue who we are, well . . . where the heck to start?
We’re Cat and Nat! On the surface, it can be a little hard to tell us apart: two moms, two blondes, two extroverts (the polite term for “motormouths”). Our names rhyme, just to make things even more confusing. So let’s try to clear things up right off the bat:
A CAT & NAT CHEAT SHEET
Who the heck is who?
Long flowing hair
Constantly lost and confused
Can drink Cat (and most men) under the table
Hates to drive, and almost never drives on the highway
Great chef and picks all the best restaurants
Phone is somehow always at 2% battery
Talks a lot
Ponytail almost always
Always walks about a step ahead of Nat because Nat never knows where the hell she’s going
Gets drunk off one shot
Drives all the time because, well, someone has to
Orders McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the meat
Phone is always fully charged for maximum Instagram readiness
Talks even more
We hung out a fair bit in high school, but we weren’t BFFs. A decade later, we became the first of our group of friends to have kids, and we both found it so much to handle. We felt like failures a lot of the time. We stressed and we beat ourselves up. But we found comfort and confidence in one another.
Today, we are best friends who have seven (!) young kids between us. Nat has four and Cat has three—although to be honest, it’s usually just the nine of us together as a roaming pack of noise, mischief, and chaos. We live near each other in Toronto. We are married to guys named Mark and Marc. Yes, really. They hang out with each other, too, and we assume they spend most of their time talking about how lucky they are and how well they married. ;-)
We are not helicopter parents or Tiger Moms or whatever kind of overbearing mother is trendy right now. We are not parenting “experts” (whatever that means). We haven’t studied at some fancy school. But we have been in the Mom trenches for a decade, and here’s what we do know:
• We know what it’s like to hear your baby start wailing in the middle of the night, four minutes after you fed and changed her.
• We know how it feels to ask yourself the question “Is 4:30 p.m. too early to send the kids to bed?”
• We know the comedy of not being able to go to the bathroom without your children following along. You just want forty-five seconds to pee in peace and suddenly it’s a family meeting in there!
• We know about husbands who want sex, and children who want a seventeenth bedtime story, and the other tightly wound moms out there who want to make you feel inferior because you didn’t stay up until 2:00 a.m. baking organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, artisanal scones for the school bake sale.
In other words, we know the reality of motherhood. That’s why we’ve written a book that’s easy to pick up, easy to read—and easy to put down when you hear the sound of one thousand Rice Krispies hitting the floor in the kitchen. Come back to us whenever you can find a free minute or two. We’ll be here waiting.
We also know that being a mom can change who you are, and not always for the better. Like a lot of mothers, we went through a phase where we tried to mimic the seemingly perfect moms of the world. We became overanxious, overly controlling overanalyzers. Somehow, we managed to be incredibly self-conscious and to judge other moms at the same time! We had to let go of that nonsense, and we are here to help you do the same thing.
Lots of days, we felt like we were barely hanging on. Then we found each other--and, just as important, we found a new attitude. We started laughing at the absurdity of it all. We bonded over the hardships and the hilarity of motherhood. After a while, we kept coming back to the idea of helping other moms deal with the challenges and the stress and the isolation that motherhood can bring. That’s why we started making our little videos. That’s probably how you know us, those four-minute videos of us sitting in a car and talking--sometimes ranting . . . okay, usually ranting—about motherhood and its challenges and frustrations and its awesome moments and whatever else comes into our heads. Sometimes we dance in the car. Often there are props. It can get a little crazy. And yes, from time to time, people who are walking by on the sidewalk stop and stare and snap a few photos of the two nutcases bopping around in a parked SUV.
It all grew from there. Now we are part of a community of women--moms who celebrate who they are, how they raise their kids, and how they treat themselves. We want to share that experience with you. We want you to join us. So be sure to hit us up on Facebook or Instagram and let us know what you think of the book. We are easy to find.
Our goal is to make you laugh when you’re feeling low, inspire you when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and reassure you when you’re feeling defeated. We are not going to lecture you or make you feel bad about yourself or any of your decisions. (That’s what the Internet is for!) We want to support you. We want to build people up. We want to make motherhood a sisterhood!
As we said earlier, we’ve got seven kids between us. And here’s the ridiculous thing: We still don’t have all the answers. Not even close! We’re figuring it out in real time. We’re flailing and failing a lot of the time. So if you’re looking for some flawless, superbrainy parenting advice, you are going to want to step slowly away from this book! But we’ve got a lot of experiences to share, stories to tell, and maybe a few thousand mistakes to laugh about.
We are finally in a place where we can write the book that we desperately wanted to read when we first became mothers. An honest and candid book for mothers who don’t necessarily have a Cat or a Nat to call up—but want to know they’re not alone. Something to help moms through the hard times. A book that says: The struggle is real. It’s huge and it’s overwhelming and it’s disorienting. But you can do this. You can definitely do this.
We can do it together.
Okay, there’s one last thing we want to tell you before we get started. In this book, we are going to talk a bit about husbands because we happen to be married to guys (and not to each other, as some people assume—though we would make a hot, kick-ass couple). But when we mention our hubs, you can just sub in whatever applies to you: boyfriend, wife, life partner, girlfriend, significant other, full-size Ryan Reynolds cardboard cutout, whatever. We are down with however you live and whomever you love.
And we bow down to the single moms. Both Nat and I come from families where our parents split up and got divorced. And both of our mothers were extremely independent and self-reliant. That’s where we both learned to respect the strength of an independent woman. It’s awe-inspiring what women can accomplish without anyone’s help. If you’re on this journey without a partner, you’re amazing.
All right, here we go! We don’t have motherhood all figured out. But we are ready to get honest and real with you about the ridiculous, amazing, fulfilling, frustrating, life-altering, soul-stirring, headache-inducing gong show of being a mom--and all it brings in terms of pressures and pain and joy and frustration, fun and heartache and laundry. Don’t get us started on the damn laundry!
And remember: It’s gonna be okay. You’re gonna be okay!