Review: Mother, Can You Not?

A couple months ago, the topic for The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday was “Books That Make Us Laugh”. I could think of funny books and ones that made me smile, maybe a little “ha!” but I could only think of three that literally made me laugh out loud.

  1. Tina Fey’s Bossypants made me laugh out loud on a very crowded bus. I was listening to the audiobook and my earbuds were covered by my long hair and scarf so I probably looked a little crazy.
  2. Go the F–ck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. It’s a picture book for sleep deprived parents. I read this when my daughter was a year old and not sleeping. I laughed because it’s so true. I might have cried a little too because I was so f–cking tired.
  3. Wildflower by Drew Barrymore. Memoirs are best in audiobook form if read by the author. And this was no exception. She laughs at herself throughout and it’s impossible not to laugh with her.

The fact that I could only think of these three was so depressing I didn’t publish that post. But I’m coming back to it because I have a book to add!



Title: Mother, Can You Not?
Author: Kate Siegel
Genre: Humor/Memoir
Rating: ★★★★★

Based on the wildly popular Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom, Kate Siegel’s essay collection about life with the woman who redefined the term “helicopter mom”

There is nothing more wonderful than a mother’s love. There is also nothing more annoying. Who else can proudly insist that you’re perfect while simultaneously making you question every career, fashion, and relationship decision you have ever made?

No one understands the delicate mother-daughter dynamic better than Kate Siegel—her own mother drove her so crazy that she decided to broadcast their hilarious conversations on Instagram. Soon, hundreds of thousands of people were following their daily text exchanges, eager to see what outrageous thing Kate’s mom would do next. Now, in Mother, Can You NOT?, Kate pays tribute to the woman who invented the concept of drone parenting.

From embarrassing moments (like crashing Kate’s gynecological exams) to outrageous stories (like the time she made Kate steal a cat from the pound) to hilarious celebrations (including but not limited to parties for Kate’s menstrual cycles), Mother, Can you NOT? lovingly lampoons the lengths to which our mothers will go to better our lives (even if it feels like they’re ruining them in the process).


I hadn’t seen the Instagram account and I knew nothing about Kate Siegel or her mother and I can’t even remember how this ended up on my TBR but it was a very happy surprise. I was laughing just reading the Introduction! If I knew nothing about these women before, I already knew too much. But it’s not just that it’s funny or the oversharing, over-the-top texts that kept me reading. It was the genuine, loving relationship Kate has with her mother. Sure, her mom drives her crazy but from my experience, all the good ones do. My mom does. That’s why I can’t live with her. But I can’t live without her so I just call her twice a day. It works for me and my mom. Kate Siegel and her #crazyjewishmom have certainly found what works for them and I can see why people are drawn to them. If you need a laugh, do yourself a favor and watch this clip of them on Steve Harvey.

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