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Mother, Can You Not?
Cover of Mother, Can You Not?
Mother, Can You Not?
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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).
— Goodreads Choice Award finalist, Humor category
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).
— Goodreads Choice Award finalist, Humor category
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  • From the cover It’s Kate Elinore Friedman-Siegel, Bitch

    Here are a few bullet points from my mother’s highly detailed vision of how my life should look:

    • Career: Rich entertainment attorney with a degree from Harvard Law.

    • Procreation: Two to four “grandspawn” to leave in her care, freeing me up to HAVE IT ALL! (She’s fine with a sperm donor.)

    • Love: Marry Mark Zuckerberg or Oprah Winfrey.

    Judging by this, I’m a huge disappointment with my creative writing aspirations, empty womb, and failure to even meet, let alone marry, Mark or Oprah. Fortunately, my mother recognizes that her meticulously constructed idea of my ideal life is not necessarily what I want or even biologically realistic. For instance, while I’m sure Oprah Winfrey is a lovely woman, I have never looked at a clitoris and thought, Yep. This is for me.

    Like all good parents, my mother ultimately supports my dreams. Unlike most parents, she will do everything short of murdering someone to make sure they come true. And, honestly? Capital offenses might be on the table, given the right circumstance. If you come out of Kim Friedman’s uterus, you’d better be absolutely positive that whatever dream you share with her is something you actually want.

    When I was a teenager, what I wanted was to be a pop star. On reflection, pop stardom was probably not a good fit for someone whose idea of a good time was attending AP English class and writing Law & Order: SVU fan fiction. Nonetheless, I penned and recorded two (truly terrible) songs on my computer, and I was convinced I would be the next Britney Spears. An actual lyric I wrote: “If I was the sun, you would be the moon.” Subjunctive grammatical error aside, I think we can all agree that this was some pretty groundbreaking songwriting.

    Thank God YouTube hadn’t taken off yet, because I most definitely would have uploaded those shameful songs to the Internet. Just think, I could have been the first Rebecca “Friday” Black! Though my song probably would have been called “Monday” and celebrated the end of the weekend and my excitement about going to AP US History class. Because all the greatest pop songs are inspired by Franco-American relations in the post–WWII era.

    So yeah, my pop-star fantasy was a fairly aggressive delusion. Though I could definitely sing the crap out of a show tune, I couldn’t really read music, and I danced like a newborn calf trying to stand for the first time. My signature move was “The Sprinkler,” choreography that can literally be done while seated, but I wasn’t about to let a pesky little thing like lack of talent get in my way! Neither was my mother, so Project Pop Star was born . . .

    Two weeks into my “recording career,” I came home from school one night and found her in the living room, dancing around with enthusiasm.

    “You are not going to believe what I pulled off.”

    “I mean, are you going to tell me?” Teenage sass for days!

    She rolled her eyes and stood up, too thrilled to be annoyed with me. “I just got off the phone with Atticus Clark-Williamson.” She paused dramatically and waited for me to hug her or at least well up with tears of sweet gratitude.

    “. . . Okay, who’s that?”

    She threw her hands up in the air. “Honestly, Kate, you say you want to be a musician and you know nothing about the recording industry! Atticus is the rock star photographer to the gods!” Not true. “My friend Amy told me...
About the Author-
  • KATE SIEGEL is a writer and a social media guru who started the hit Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom. She has been featured on BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, The Huffington Post,Cosmo, Today.com, Vogue.com, in People Magazine, and on Nightline and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She previously served as an associate producer for Condé Nast Entertainment, overseeing digital video for Teen Vogue, Bon Appétit, The New Yorker Festival, Condé Nast Traveler, and Self. Prior to joining Condé Nast, Kate studied English, creative writing, and theater at Princeton University.
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Kate Siegel
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