Meet the Meanest Mom

By Kathyrn Lynard

Jana Mathews made her debut blogging as
The Meanest Mom in the summer of 2008, and has since received national recognition for her blogging, including being voted Parent & Child Magazine’s Best Mommy Blogger of 2009. “Every mom has moments with her children that she would just as soon forget,” she says. “This blog reclaims the feelings of desperation, frustration, anger, and humiliation that we experience on a daily basis. In doing so, it reminds us that what doesn’t seem funny at the time, really is.” Segullah is pleased to spotlight Jana in the following get-to-know-you interview.

You have a PhD in Medieval Literature, which totally intimidates me because I barely made it through Beowulf. How did you come to choose this path in your academic training?

I totally understand why you are intimated by Beowulf: he is HOT!  I wanted to date him too the first time I read the poem.  What’s not to like?  He’s ripped, he’s rich, he slays monsters for a living, and he speaks in alliterative verse.

In all seriousness, I fell into medieval literature by chance. I started grad school as a Victorianist (Jane Austen and friends).  In my first semester, I took a required Chaucer course simply to get it out of the way. Within a week, I switched my focus to medieval studies.  I fell in love instantly with the literature, the culture, the languages, the history, everything. Of course, it helped that I had an incredible professor.

How has your education enriched your current life as a mom and a writer?

I think what I’m supposed to say here is something about how my degree gives me an enlightened perspective on life that I’ve instilled somehow in my children.  In truth, it’s quite the opposite.  My kids are very diligent about reminding me of the fact that on the playground, a Ph.D. is equal in value to a pile of poop.  In other words, no one cares.

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So, why are there pictures of your kid on the internet?

By Johnna Ferguson

Seriously. This is what I always think, as I’m reading the funny things your kids say. And I do mean the stories, as well as the actual pictures, since there’s something so immediate about blogging. And something so universal about the concrete details of a child’s life. And something so political about the fact you write about it parenting like it matters. And yes, you have the cutest, most adorable kid(s) in the world. And you write so cleverly about it. And it’s charming how you do so repeatedly and we get a peek at how this child is growing up.

uh, what if you develop a fanbase?

I’ve got one of those adorable kids. One of those kids that can hear her name mentioned three blocks away, or hear any word with a long A in it. “What are you saying about me?!!”

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