Let's pretend I'm famous and you give a damn about the craziness that is my life. Let's pretend that just like Jon and Kate, Brangelina, and that perpetually-sad-eyed Kristen Stewart, you want to know what I ate for breakfast (Kashi cereal), what the label says in my clothes (Target, I think), and what my daughter's latest accomplishment was (she poo-poo'd in the potty all by herself today! So are we pretending? Are we in line at the grocery store with nothing better to do than grab the latest trashy tabloid with mystery cellulite splashed unceremoniously across the cover and getting ready to open it up to see if we can match the unidentified, highly-magnified belly pooches, thunder thighs, and fatty arm wings?
Good. Now let's pretend that before we can make it to page 6 to play the fat-celebs match game, our limited attention spans are caught by the tell-all interview with the totally famous, uber-awesome author behind the New York Times best selling "Baby Ph(f)at" series, Pauline M. Campos. (Because the line you are in at the grocery store is actually a worm hole and you've stepped a few years into the future. Just go with me on this one.)
Here's everything you never wanted to know. And then some.
Pauline M. Campos is every bit the epitomy of motherhood today. She's overworked, under appreciated, and wondering why she left the work force because even though she felt the same way there, at least a pay check was attached to the daily attack on her ego and self-esteem.
While one would expect a lit star of her status to show up for an interview covered in class, Ms. C is instead covered in what appears to be dried mac and cheese noodles on her yoga pants and a splash of what can only hope is chocolate pudding on her T-shirt.
But who are we, the Trashiest and Most Brainless of them all, to judge a mother who begged to get herself in the public eye with her tell-it-like-it-is momoir about her struggle with losing the baby weight long after it's socially acceptable? Instead, we invite you to read on and judge for yourself.
Trashy, Brainless Mag: It was hard to peg you down for an interview, Ms. Campos! Have you been busy promoting your new book?
Ms. C: Hell no. I spent my advance before the book even got on the bookshelves and can't afford a nanny to watch my toddler while I traverse the country spreading my literary wit. Instead, I'm home and dodging the meals my daughter throws at me. It's her way of saying she would have preferred Whatever I Didn't Put On Her Plate instead.
TBM: Ahhh, explains the, um, choice in apparel today.
Ms. C: Go ahead and say I look like shit. I know I do. It's a wonder I made it here with anything on at all since 90 percent of my laundry is dirty. I got this little ensemble off of the miniscule clean pile of clothes on my bedroom floor. Or, at least I think it was the clean pile.
TBM: *Clearing throat.* Okay then. So tell me about your book, "Baby Ph(f)at: Adventures in Motherhood, Weight Loss, and Trying to Stay Sane." It launched you into literary stardom, after all, and a cult classic gift for new moms.
Ms. C: It's my answer to every mother who has ever been surprised that they were in for more than they expected after giving birth. We all have that friend, that sister, or that co-worker who gained 15 pounds during pregnancy and walked out of the hospital wearing their size 4's. Before motherhood, we assumed we would become that friend; after motherhood, we secretly hate that friend.
We have to stop looking outside of ourselves for the secret that will work for us. You know, the one that will help us lose weight, find a good balance, learn how to prioritize, find the exercise program or activity that we will gladly do day after day, help us not go clinically insane the next time the kids start fighting over who looked at who first and the husband gets pissy when we ask if he can take the kids for an hour so we can go for a little walk for some much-needed alone time. We have to look inside of ourselves for our own "zen" hidden in all the craziness.
"Baby Ph(f)at" is my answer to that. Your peek into my life and my fight to beat the mom pudge and regain my MILF status. I swear, I tell it like it is, and I can laugh at myself. If that sentence didn't speak to you, then don't buy the book and then bitch about the "F-bombs" peppered throughout the book on the Amazon reviews, for Pete's Sake.
TBM: What's an average day like for a mommy lit star as yourself?
Ms. C: As you can see (gesturing at her food-splattered clothing) it's not exactly glamorous. My mom lives with me, so I sleep till 10 if I stayed up late writing the night before, and she takes care of Buttercup. Then I putz around in my mismatched old T-shirt and yoga pants I sleep in (and no, I'm not wearing what I went to bed in last night. I swear.) and get The Husband's lunch box together while cooking us all a big meal for lunch before he leaves for the afternoon shift.
If life is good and Buttercup is not teething, crabby, or thinks the moons are misaligned, then I can get dressed before he leaves and walk Buttercup out to wave her Daddy off to work. The rest of the day is a cluster-bleep of housecleaning, laundry, sweeping up enough dog hair off of the floor to put together a new one, and trying to keep an active toddler occupied before she goes to bed at 6:45 p.m.
TBM: So from 7 p.m. on then, you have time to work on your writing?
Ms. C: That's cute. No. Not exactly. Buttercup has always slept with me or a family member so bed time requires one of us, usually me, to lay down with her until she passes out. If I'm lucky, that's 15 minutes. If she wants to torture me, it's more like two hours.
TBM: So you write then?
Ms. C: Nope...then I have to sweep the floor again (living in the desert can suck sometimes) and mop, clean the kitchen, and motivate myself to work out so I can not look like hell.
TBM: So you write then?
Ms. C: Only if I have made sure I paid the bills, balanced the checkbook, showered, made sure The Husband's crap is ready for the next day, and gotten Buttercup's diaper bag ready for her morning gymnastic sessions.
TBM: I'm almost afraid to ask...
Ms. C: Yeah, i write then. And that's why I'm up till 3 a.m. It's a vicious circle. Glamorous, isn't it?
TBM: So how exactly did you have time to write the book to begin with?
Ms. C: Lots of coffee. All-nighters. And a very understanding and helpful mother.
TBM: Sounds like you barely have time to think, let alone promote yourself. How'd you land the book deal? How do you stay connected with your readers?
Ms. C: My super-awesome agent found me by way of this blog. It was luck and prayers answered and dreams coming true...for my agent, I mean. I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out, too, though. As for my readers? The women I write for are just as crazed and busy as I am. They don't have the time to drop the kid at the sitters so they can come see me wax poetic at a coffee shop 45 minutes away from them. But they do have time, between loads of laundry, husband's that can't dress themselves, and kids screeching "MAMA!" every other second, to stop by my blog, read an entry, and realize they are not the only ones who never feel like they have it all together.
TBM: So last question...what'd you spend the book advance on?
Ms. C: Shoes. And therapy. But mostly shoes.