There are many things that cross over a mother’s lips which she never predicted would be necessary prior to having children. Mother and author Kersten Campbell memorializes one of those statements in the title of her second book, “Don’t Put Lipstick on the Cat-- Humorous Tales of Motherhood”. Last week, I had the opportunity to sit back on my couch and enjoy the relatable content between planned and emerging mommy duties, which was easy due to it’s format. Kersten has curated a playful collection of short stories taken from her own life and even some from her family's. I felt like I was sitting in a room with my friend listening to her entertain, delight, and frighten me all at the same time. I know every mom has lots of funny stories to tell, but this author has the talent to write them down with brave sincerity, wit, and greatly appreciated brevity.
Now, I mentioned that Kersten’s stories frighten me. I’ll explain. I have only two children-boys; one is 5 and the other is 2. (They’re still small enough to pick up and put in bed.) I’m putting on a brave face, but after reading the stories in “Don’t Put Lipstick on the Cat-- Humorous Tales of Motherhood”, inside I'm terrified for my boys to become teenagers. There’s so much more to learn...and experience. It just sounds exhausting! Her stories describe the things her five children--who span teens to toddlers-- do to each other and herself without holding back the embarrassing details. Kersten’s parenting style is loving but her fatigue is apparent when nobody listens to her…. for the hundredth time! (Who can’t relate to that?) Anyway, I decided early on in the book, that these were not stories I would read aloud to my children. Instead, I would recommend hiding the book from any children who can read. Otherwise, children could get ingenious ideas on how to irritate and torture their mother...or heaven forbid, grandmother!
I really appreciated getting to laugh while reading! I felt like I got to know another mother and felt less insane myself. Mrs. Campbell has a knack for drawing you into her stories and describing her likable characters making very funny unlikable choices. I found myself thinking, “Yes! My kids do stuff like that!” Any mother or grandmother could appreciate the lighthearted read as a gift….kind of to say….”Yeah, I might not get what you’re going through, but i support you even though you are totally showing signs of crazy!”
In the Afterword of “Don’t Put Lipstick on the Cat”, Kersten explained that prior to writing the book, a woman had told Kersten that she wished she was more like her. Kersten considered writing a book would show that woman what it was really like to have a “perfect” home.
Even though I’m not the person whom Kersten is literally describing, I know so many women who have struggled with being “perfect”. In fact, as a teenager, I started looking for good motherhood examples when my own mother couldn't be my example anymore. In my search for what a mom could be, I found that my favorite examples had toys all over the front yard, overflowing kitchen trash cans, and toddlers without clothes on running up to the dinner table in diapers. They were real moms. They loved hard. They lived and experiences so much without quitting and pushing away their kiddos. I can tell Kersten is one of those awesome moms who loves hard.
So, for a light, fast, enjoyably funny read, I’d recommend Kersten Campbell’s new book, “Don’t Put Lipstick on the Cat-- Humorous Tales of Motherhood”. It’s like listening to your playful mom friend!
It’s available for sale on Amazon in paperback or for Kindle!