Jackie Hennessey’s New Book Offers Comic Relief (and Recipes) for Moms

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


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All she wants is whine and cheese: author Jackie Hennessey.

With Mother's Day around the corner, Barrington mother, PR professional, and former journalist Jackie Hennessey knows just what she wants: "whine and cheese."

The mother of two is deep in the trenches of modern motherhood and has a new book that combines her love of cheese dips with the deep need to share those desperate moments of childrearing with her fellow mothers. How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker: Mom-to-mom whines, cheese, rants and recipes is a light-hearted mash-up of anecdotes from Hennessey herself and other moms, plus fun and easy recipes for pop-up cheese dips.

Hennessey, who will be reading and signing the new book at Barrington Books on April 26 from 7-9pm, took a moment to talk with GoLocal about moms, whines, and of course, cheese.

1. You've put it all out on the line in Sanity: the good, the bad, and the hilarious of being a mother. What compelled you to bare all?

As a mother of two, I have found that the more mistakes I make, and the more I laugh at myself, the more willing I am to share my experiences with other moms. I share a lot in my blog (www.ventingsessions.com) and in this book, How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker. This book is not a how-to-be-a-perfect mom book, rather it’s intended to be a short, laugh-out-loud gift book that allows moms to giggle at themselves. To giggle at me. Motherhood is the most rewarding experience, but it can also be insane at times. I enjoy swapping funny stories with other moms all the time. And I experience a much deeper connection with moms when I’m not afraid to admit my imperfections.

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I was the first out of my friends to become a mother. The moment my husband and I brought our first child home from the hospital, we realized we didn’t really know what the heck we were doing. (Beginning in the hospital parking lot where we failed to adjust the infant car seat properly.) A few years and another child later, I realized not many parents know what they’re doing either. And I find this to be extremely comforting. It honestly helps me feel a little less insane as a mom. Hence the inspiration for the title of my book.

2.  What gave you the inspiration to combine recipes with confessionals?

I wanted to create a book for moms on the go that allows them to consume quick funny stories and make easy cheese dips in real mommy time. This is a book moms can enjoy in short spurts in between all the mommy insanity. And it’s the perfect size for a diaper bag.

3. Is this a book that expecting moms should read? Or will it scare them off?

I promise, expecting moms can read this book. After a few months of traditional baby books, they will be begging to hear how imperfect mothers cope! Being a new mother can be an exhausting and isolating experience. Reading this book can help new mothers feel a little less alone. (Although I can’t guarantee that they may postpone trying for a second after hearing about my personal horrors of shopping with two kids.)

4. Do you think social networks like Facebook are replacing moms finding each other at the playground to share war stories?

There is no easy way to answer this question because it’s all about balancing the two. If you can’t leave your house, then Facebook can be a comforting place for moms who need to feel a deeper connection. I have become friends with a lot of mom bloggers and the connections I’ve made have been meaningful. I laugh a lot with bloggers from Barrington to San Diego, thanks to social media. I have to leave my house every day because I’m a human taxi for my active kids and I work as a pr consultant. And nothing replaces those in-person venting sessions where you can swap stories together. I enjoy venting with other moms everywhere I go – from the lacrosse field to waiting in line at the grocery store!

5. What's your all-time favorite cheese?

It’s a tie between Texas Queso dip and sharp imported cheddar. I’m originally from Texas so Queso dip is in my genes. The hotter the peppers, the better. This is one of the recipes in my book.

6. If you could get anything, anything at all, for Mother's Day this year, what would it be?

Of course, after spending time with my husband and two adorable kids, I’d love to have a whine and cheese party with women friends and family members where we can spread that mommy sanity on a cracker together.

Jackie Hennessey will be appearing April 26 at Barrington Books, 7-9pm; May 9 at The Savory Grape in East Greenwich, 6:30-8:30pm; May 17 at Hollies on the Ave. in Barrington, 7-9pm; and June 7 at Give and Glam event at NYLO with author Raina Smith, 6:30pm. For more information on all events, go to www.ventingsessions.com. How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker is available at Barrington Books, Hollies, and online via Amazon, here.

For more Lifestyle coverage, don't miss GoLocalTV, fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.


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