Mother Leader: Jill Kargman, NY Times Bestselling Author

Jill Kargman (she/her) is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve books including most recently Sprinkle Glitter On My Grave. Her articles have appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Paper, Interview, GQ, InStyle, and other magazines. She’s also the creator and star of the scripted comedy Odd Mom Out and is currently writing a screenplay for a feature film. She lives in New York City with her husband and three kids. 

How postpartum are you?

It’s been almost 14 years since my last.

How have you transformed since becoming a parent?

This sounds so cheesy, but I feel like I came together as a person when I became a mom. I always wanted to have kids and played with my dolls constantly. I also made Ken and Barbie fuck to make babies and enacted the birth with a small clip-on Cabbage Patch. I was exhausted for eleven years and didn’t think my life would ever be the same but luckily as they grew up it got easier and easier and more and more fun. My kids are the funniest people I know and such awesome company.

With the little solo time you do get, what’s your favorite thing to do?

Well my kids are big now, 18, 15, and almost 14, so I have plenty of alone time. But when they were little I was NEVER alone and would sneak off for a glass of wine alone in a bar once or twice a week. Usually I had friends come over for a kiddie dinner during the witching hour of 5 to 8 when I felt like I couldn’t make it through!

If you could describe your postpartum experience in one word, what would it be and why?

Exhaustion. Pure and simple. I was so tired I would look at the clock and not be able to believe how early it was and how much time had to go by before I could sleep again!

What’s something that caught you off guard during the first 3 months of parenthood?

How much I hated nursing. I was MIZ and quit after a month and never looked back. One mom literally said “Shame on you!” You need to just tell everyone to fuck off when they offer unsolicited advice. PS all three kids are fine.

On a scale of 1-10, how supported did you feel as you navigated healing and learning how to take care of your baby? Why?

My mom helped me SO much. I would have lost my shit without her. But at the end of the day, it’s just you at 3am burping the baby and I was so lonely. I also bled like a stuck pig for 40 days and wore Depends adult diapers and didn’t feel like I was healing cause I was doing so much but at least my mom did all the laundry and bottle sterilizing. My husband is the BEST father now, but was unfortunately kiiiinda useless in the newborn phase. Also he was working so much so he was doing the best he could. 

If you could dream up the perfect postpartum journey, what would it look like and feel like?

Ok so if I could do it all over and I was in a dream world, I’d have a baby nurse. My friends who had round the clock help weren’t weepy or frustrated or worried. They were much calmer. That said, I didn’t have a big apartment with space for another person and I also didn’t want someone lurking. In the end, I have no regrets because I learned how to do everything myself and can change a diaper blindfolded. But those first two months were really hard for me.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d give a brand new parent?

Don’t listen to the noise. Follow your gut and ignore people who make pronouncements!

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