December 11, 2015

Situation Momedy: The Perfect Book to Laugh Through Pregnancy

There is definitely more than one book out there to educate both soon to be mom and dad about becoming a parent. Books that have all the best tips and guides for what to buy and what to be ready for, but what about what all those books leave out? Meet Jenna von Oy. Now mother of two, she wrote her first book, Situation Momedy: A First-Time Mom’s Guide to Laughing Your Way Through Pregnancy & Year One to shed light on the experiences that no one else wants to talk about.  You may recognize Jenna from her role as Six LeMeure on Blossom or as Stevie Van Lowe on The Parkers. She decided to take her comedic wit from television to pen and paper to produce the book you’ve been waiting for, a guide on how to laugh in the face of some of the tough situations you’re experiencing and about to go through.
Crane: Can you tell us a little about the book and what motivated you to write it?

Jenna: Well, first I want to say – in case anyone mistakes my book for a “how-to” guide – by no means is it meant to be a set of instructions for raising children!  I’m a work in progress and I always will be, so I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel or dictate strict advice.  Being a television actress certainly doesn’t make me a master of motherhood… I think we all grow with our children and learn as we go.  Instead, my book is sort of a tongue-in-cheek, best friend’s “guide” to pregnancy and year one, that encourages moms to laugh in the midst of their maternity and parenting challenges.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Gray (who’s nearly four) I had a hard time finding parenting books that really resonated with me;  I found a lot of clinical guides.  They have their merits too, and I read a few, but I wanted something that offered honestly and vulnerability mixed with a little comedy to take the edge off.  I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for out there, so I wrote it myself!

Crane: Was there any specific experience you went through you wanted to include in your book because it wasn’t covered in other books you’ve found?

Jenna: Yes, that was really the reason I wanted to write the book– to cover some of the “taboo” things people don’t talk about, and bring comic relief to a few of the awkward or embarrassing topics no one had prepared me for. For instance, with my first daughter I hoped for a natural delivery. Instead, complications led to an unexpected C-section. Even though it wasn’t how I’d pictured her birth, I look back on the delivery as a profoundly beautiful experience—because it’s the beginning of our story together. When I left the hospital after my surgery, they gave me this giant adult diaper to go home in… no one had warned me about granny panties! Who knew I had to have diapers for my new baby and myself? So when I went in to give birth to my second daughter, Marlowe, I BYOD’d (Bring Your Own Diapers.) I wrote funny notes on the back of each one so I could keep my husband chuckling while I shuffled around in my post-surgery delirium. That’s just one of the confessions I make in my book. I’m all about being open and vulnerable about my experiences, with the hope it helps other new moms to be more prepared and less nervous

Crane: Besides Crane of course, what is a must have product you’d recommend either for newborns or for parents?

Jenna: The 4moms MamaRoo. The bouncers that were around when my first daughter was born were like “go-go gadget ejector seat meets rollercoaster ride,” and took up a ton of space. The 4moms MamaRoo has a swivel base, an iPod attachment so you can play your own music, and 8 settings that are gentle and subtle. I’m eternally grateful to 4moms for this product! It changed the way I think of “swings.

Crane: What are 3 pieces of advice you have for expecting or new parents?

Jenna: Number 1: I always try to remind new moms (and myself!) to lead with love and not perfection– that pertains to both our children and ourselves. You don’t have to be a ‘perfect’ parent to be a good parent. You also can’t be everything to everyone at all times. It’s just not feasible, and putting that kind of expectation on yourself is a lot of pressure. Number 2: You don’t have to know everything before your baby comes home from the hospital. None of us do! Memorizing every page of What To Expect When You’re Expecting doesn’t necessarily equate to practical application; parenting requires hands-on experience. You can get advice from every mom you know, read every parenting book out there, and have the nursery fully stocked and ready to go, and you still may not be totally ready when the baby arrives. That’s totally normal. Number 3: Trust your instincts. Every mom wants to offer advice to help you through. I’m no different—heck, I wrote whole book about it (laughs)! Some of their guidance might be worth filing away for future use, but sift through it, figure out what applies and what doesn’t, and then go with your gut. I’ve found my biggest parenting break-throughs have stemmed from trusting my own instincts.

Crane: What do you hope readers get out of the book?

Jenna: Most women go into parenting with a lot of fear and high expectations of themselves… I hope Situation Momedy takes the edge off. I take my parenting responsibilities very seriously, but I also think laughter is the best medicine.I also want to encourage and empower my fellow moms. My book includes a lot of hilarious personal and career-related anecdotes, but it also contains very honest and raw stories from my own pregnancy experiences. The new mommy learning curve can be steep, but we’re all in this together!

Crane: What’s next for you and for Situation Momedy?

Jenna: My publisher, Medallion Press, has already ordered the Situation Momedy sequel, Situation Momedy: A Very Special Episode in Toddlerdom. It’s slated to be released in February of 2017. I’m already in the middle of writing it… when my kids let me sit down, which isn’t often! I’m also still touring for the first book, and my next set of signings take place in Chicago on Saturday, January 9thand Sunday, January 10th. Additional dates and locations are currently being scheduled, so I post everything on social media as new signings are added.

Huge thank you to Jenna for taking some time to talk to us about her book, she is just as much fun to talk to as she is to read so if you can make one of her book signings- do it! This would be a great holiday gift or winter read for a family or friend expecting. Follow Jenna on Twitter and be sure to stay tune for book number two!