The lack of bathroom breaks—ever—is one of the awful truths about parenting that inspired I Just Want to Pee Alone and two sequels, including the just-released I STILL Just Want to Pee Alone. Edited by Kansas City writer Jen Mann, these self-published anthologies feature the work of 40 respected mom bloggers and delve deep in to such fraught topics as tween conflicts (“An Open Letter to My Daughter: My Mother Was Right and You Should Think I Am Too,”) and meal-time madness ( “Flames, Knives and Fear: A Family Dinner”).
Turning momdom into a laughing matter has struck a really big chord. Since its release in 2013, the first edition of I Just Want… has become such a word-of-mouth success that it managed to crack The New York Times best seller list—an incredible feat for a self-published collection.
While recognition by the publishing community is meaningful, Kim Bongiorno, a contributor to The Mid who writes the blog Let Me Start by Saying, believes the book’s success underscores what makes blogging so gratifying in the first place. “Every mom has a story,” she says. “But not all of them know how to tell it. There is nothing more satisfying than sharing a story online or in a book, and having a woman comment or come up to me in person to say I expressed exactly how she felt, and now she feels less alone.”
Even in the bathroom. Mann’s hope for both books? A place on a shelf in every restroom: “A woman can lock the bathroom door and read a quick essay,” she suggests. “No need to keep up with intricate plot or which character died in the last chapter. Just some laughter.” What else could a mom want?