Excerpt: 'If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother,' by Julia Sweeney

  • Updated: March 30, 2013 - 4:19 PM

Julia Sweeney, author of "If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother."

Comedian Julia Sweeney, creator of the androgynous “Saturday Night Live” character Pat, is also the author of the memoir, “God Said, ‘Ha!’ ” Her new book is a collection of essays about motherhood. Here’s how it begins:

I want to be alone. I really need to be alone.

I took so long to assemble my lovely family. I did it all a bit backward: first, a delightful daughter, then a beloved husband. I went after creating family, like a golden retriever running after a ball — how much does the dog think about what he’s doing? He doesn’t think. He does. He is a doer. That’s me, too. I did it. I do it. I am doing it.

Every morning I get up and hustle. I’m sure this is true for most mothers. It’s true for me, too. This is what I wanted, after all. This was my dream. I’m always on task. I never go up the stairs of our house without looking around for what needs to be taken up. I never buy just one meal’s worth of food at the grocery store. I drive the carpools. I volunteer at the school cafeteria. I wait patiently outside the dance classes. I iron. I clean up the cat vomit. Make dinner. Walk the dog. I work (write) at home and then really work, at home. I quell the rising ire in my roommates. I try to install harmony, efficiency, and a calm, enabling environment for my fellow family members. I often set the table two hours before dinner. I live by lists. I pick up things in our house and put them where they go. Chiefly, I’m the protector against the chaos that threatens us. I am a good soldier.

I love my job.

Secretly I hate my job.

I love my family.

If only they would disappear.





  • related content

  • "If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother," by Julia Sweeney.

  • IF IT’S NOT ONE THING, IT’S YOUR MOTHER

    By: Julia Sweeney.

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 243 pages, $26.

    On sale: Tuesday.

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