Karen Alpert has never taken motherhood too seriously. This is good for her many fans, who laugh hysterically and occasionally cry at her wry observations, deep understanding, and bad language about the joys and sorrows of being a mom.
Alpert’s new book, I Want My Epidural Back: Adventures in Mediocre Parenting (Morrow, Apr.), offers more of her signature hilarity and honesty for all those moms who wonder what the heck they were thinking when they got pregnant, much less actually birthed a baby.
Alpert’s publishing journey started back in 2009, after the birth of her daughter Zoe. She had gone back to work, but soon decided to stay home with the baby instead. She also decided that, since everyone else had one, she’d start a blog. She posted once a month.
She was also posting daily on Facebook, gaining followers bit by bit. Then her post “What to F-ing Not Buy My Kids This Holiday” went viral, and she went from 170 Facebook friends to 20,000. Alpert really got serious then.
“As a writer, to have people reading my stuff was thrilling,” she says from her Chicagoland home. “I decided to self-publish a book, so I did a Kickstarter project. I had a little over $20,000 in seven days.” That book, I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy crap moments no one ever told you about parenting, hit the Top 100 on Amazon and reached bestselling status. Soon it was picked up by HarperCollins and republished in 2014.
I Want My Epidural Back is 95% new material with 54 hilarious chapters, and one serious chapter on the Newtown, Conn., shootings.
“Making people laugh or cry is always my goal. Mostly I want to entertain people in some way,” says Alpert. “Every day as a parent is awesome, but it’s also a struggle.”
She continues to blog (www.babysideburns.com) and post on Facebook, and would love to write a novel. Another book on parenting? “I swear when I finish one that I’ll never do it again. But ask me again in six months.”
Does she swear in front of her kids? “Not unless I step on a Lego; then it’s involuntary.”
Today, she sign copies of the book, 3–4 p.m., at Table 4 in the HarperCollins booth (2140, 2141).
This article appeared in the May 11, 2016 edition of PW BEA Show Daily.