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Julie Donner Andersen

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Parentally Insane: Insights From The Edge of Midlife
by Julie Donner Andersen  Derek & Joy Steele, Illustrators 

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Books by Julie Donner Andersen
· Past: Perfect! Present: Tense! Insights From One Woman's Journey As The Wife Of A Widower
                >> View all



Publisher:  Publish America ISBN-10:  1413731848 Type: 


Copyright:  Mar 1 2003

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Recently nominated as a finalist in ForeWord Magazine's distinguished "Book of the Year 2004 Awards"!!


"Wear your girdle over your straight jacket with pride".

Laugh along with tired, middle aged mom Julie Donner Andersen as she highlights the perks and problems faced by women over 40 whose kids are forcing her into the Funny Farm.

Fantastically illustrated by Derek Steele of Steele Studios, Winnipeg, MB (, this new humor book is a rip roaring, laugh-a-minute funfest that will have you shouting "Hey, that's MY life she's talking about!"




Attack of The Morning People

I am not a Morning Person. Listening to the sound of songbirds at sunrise just makes me want to hone my skills with my son’s BB gun. Show me a cheerful, perky, sunshiny smiling face at 6:00 a.m., and I’ll show you how quickly a tired, middle-aged woman can commit murder. But they are persistent, these chirpy, quirky, annoying “Let’s do some aerobics after coffee, ‘kay?” pests.

Morning People just don’t understand how non-morning people can lie in bed until noon, wasting valuable hours of each day doing nothing but catching up on sleep. Their confusion as well as their inability to grasp concepts alien to their own propel them to try everything in their power to save you from yourself and your slovenly habit.

Instead of just letting sleeping dog-tireds lie, they insist on prostheletizing their Gospel According To Morning People by attempting to convert you. They do this by waking non-morning people in a stealth fashion so you will not blame them personally. That way, they avoid being victims of homicide.

If you are married to a Morning Person as I am, he will start by galloping out of bed at the crack of dawn with as much gentleness as a bucking bronco, shaking the bed like some spastic vibrating mattress in a cheap motel. He will then yawn loudly like some wild boar coming out of hibernation, hoping his call of the wild will “accidentally” rouse you from sweet slumber.

Non-morning people have resorted to faking sleep so as not to give Morning People the satisfaction, so when his best bedroom efforts fail, Morning Man will simply move his revival into another room. He will don his leather slippers and shuffle them across the bathroom linoleum an inch at a time, forming the sound of sandpaper rubbing together. Knowing that a non-electric razor lacks volume, he will then fire up the Black & Decker Shaver 2000 with its 2,000 amps of power and serene sound of a giant retarded gnat.

Since man has never been able to grasp the concept of doing Number 1 AND Number 2 during the same squat, Morning Man must not only do them separately but flush them individually, twice rattling the pipes from the house’s 1950’s plumbing until plaster falls from the bathroom ceiling.

Upon peeking into the bedroom and accepting his failure to wake the dead, Morning Man will scurry into yet another room of the house to unleash his havoc on his non-morning wife. The kitchen, with its acoustical tiled ceiling, is the perfect room in which to sing off key at the top of his lungs while accompanying himself with a percolating coffee pot, an aluminium frying pan full of sizzling bacon, a beeping microwave, and a tinkling spoon in a ceramic mug.

Eating breakfast alone is no fun, so Morning Man enlists his offspring to help spread the gospel of Morning People with a promise of pancakes should said fruit of his loins make it downstairs in five minutes, all by shouting their individual names with the voice of James Earl Jones up the echoing stairwell.

Children in a hurry are about as quiet as a set of bagpipes. They keep the rhythm of Morning Man’s kitchen serenade by walking in step to an imaginary marching band. Hampers slam open and shut as they search for yesterday’s jeans. Fighting over bathroom time turns from nasty insults to violence as preteens and teenagers accuse and accost each other over who left the seat up and who stole who’s lip gloss.

Thundering down the wooden stairs and over each other’s wounded bodies, Morning Man’s accomplices open and bang close the refrigerator an average of 152 times for assorted breakfast necessities as the wine bottles and condiments in the fridge door rattle and clank together like Jacob Marley’s chains.

The Toddler decides she wants in on the act, too, so she selects her favorite Barney video, pops it into the family room VCR, and cranks up the volume so she can sing along with the purple dinosaur’s overacting child co-stars. Her older siblings, knowing how uncool Barney is, tease her by mocking said child actors unmercifully until The Toddler cries. Morning Man then temporarily abandons his mission to convert his sloth-like wife and becomes Disciplinarian Man, insisting in a voice that could break glass that his brood “take it outside”.

Closet doors screech open as the offspring scramble to find their lost sneakers and coats. Their last ditch effort to stay in cahoots with Morning Man consists of three front door slams and a thoughtful and hardy “SEE YA AT LUNCHTIME, MOM!” from underneath non-morning wife’s bedroom window.

Noticing the shadowy figure of non-morning wife approaching from the hallway in her bathrobe and carrying a weapon, Morning Man sheepishly grins and sweetly says, “Good morning, Sleepy Head,” followed by the innocent eyelash-batting “Did we wake you?”

I’m quite sure that facing Morning Manslaughter charges will be a piece of cake, especially if the judge is a wife and mother. You get to sleep in on Saturdays in prison, right?

Until then, leave me alone. There’s a reason why I have room-darkening shades on my windows…and on my eyelids. Since necessity is the mother of invention, God bless the mother who invented earplugs, even if she’ll never be paroled.

~From the upcoming illustrated humor book "Parentally Insane: Insights From The Edge of Midlife" by Julie Donner Andersen. Copyright 2003 Julie Donner Andersen. All rights reserved. Reprints by written consent of author only.





Postpartum baby weight gain: “I had to get rid of this new addition to our family. No, not the baby – my rear end!”

Men giving birth: “Baby showers for pregnant men would closely resemble bachelor parties, complete with lap dances, cigars, and the guest of honor being blindfolded and left on a brothel doorstep the day before his water broke.”

Kids: “I think kids are born electro-magnetically charged since dirt, dust, grease, and mud seem to be attracted to them like gnats to a bug zapper.”

Excrement: “I naively thought my experiences with this odiferous fertilizer would end once the baby was potty-trained. I should have realized by the never-ending Spray-And-Washing of Hubs’ skid marked underwear that I still had more time on my life sentence before I could be paroled from Poop Prison.”

Sleep deprivation: “Toddlers cannot accept that big people actually sleep. They truly believe that it’s a parent’s job to remain awake 24 hours a day, if only to be at their beck and call. They also believe it is their job to pry your eyes open with urine-scented fingers, place their face nose-to-nose with yours, and ask, “Mommy? Are you dead in there?” hoping the dead shall rise and make them breakfast.”

Sibling rivalry: “Ever fantasize about locking your kids out of the house and buying a one-way ticket to Aruba after enduring hours of their intense sibling rivalry? Sibling rivalry has been known to open up new wards in psychiatric hospitals for the parentally insane. Since possession is nine-tenths of the law, especially when it comes to the privacy of one’s own bedroom sanctuary, invasions by siblings are grounds for bloody war. Squatter’s rights prevail, and the offending trespasser will suffer the consequences.”

Sick kids: “Who said that a sneeze, expelled at a speed of over 200 miles per hour, is the fastest bodily function that humans can create? Obviously, this nincompoop has never studied the phenomena of projectile barf from a toddler’s Oreos and Hawaiian Punch binge.”

Pet funerals: “I feel for my grief-stricken child, but I am somewhat relieved that Happy The Hamster died of natural causes. Upon viewing their “prey” for the first time, the cats pulled out blueprints and maps and started plotting graphs for their plan of attack. I had nightmares about the possibility of finding Happy in bite-sized nuggets all over the house while the cats smiled and licked “Happy Meal” fur off their paws.”

Finding babysitters: “To a parent, potential applicants for the job of babysitting resemble either Charles Manson on an I-Forgot-My-Prozac day, or Hannibal Lechter on an I-Have-A-Taste-For-Fava-Beans-And-Baby-For-Dinner day, regardless of the applicant’s gender. Better to never step foot outside your front door again for the next 10 years without your kids than to risk having your precious ones served up with a light Chianti.”

Mom’s privacy: “I haven’t peed alone in 15 years. My son, having never really grasped the concept of privacy, often barges in to excitedly show me his newest cool and awesome possessions recently acquired from a dumpster. Besides a regular sex life, privacy must be the second-most often sacrificed luxury of motherhood.”

Teenager bathrooms: “The mirror is spotted with toothpaste splatter, and there is so much hairspray in the room that gnats can be seen suspended in midair.”

Teenagers: “I think a hormone is just a microscopic demon implanted in a pre-pubescent’s brain by some government-ordered, brainwashed Neo Nazi scout troop leader at one of the camping jamborees without parental knowledge or consent. It whispers devilish suggestions to Teen Girl’s body and mind, urging her to become defiant, self-centered, and self-absorbed. It kidnaps the sweet, obedient, generous, playful child of yesteryear and replaces her with a twisted alien who thinks every planet in the solar system revolves around her. (In fact, I’d be willing to wager that NASA stands for “Not Another Selfish Adolescent”!)”

Grandparents: “I am convinced that something happens to these mind-warped parents on the day of their first grandchild’s birth. Immediately upon hearing the baby’s first cry, their brains are sucked into oblivion by some unknown force and are replaced with the common sense of a frog on a dark, rainy highway. They then become The Grandspoilers.”


Husbands: “Marriage is a wonderful institution, designed as a way to really get to know a man’s odd routines and rituals so you can then spend the rest of your married life resenting the hell out of him for them.”

Life insurance: “Hubs is of the illusion that getting his life insured means: A.) The required physical will turn up some kind of painful and/or terminal illness, like the bubonic plague or polio. B.) He will have a heart attack and die one minute after he signs on the dotted line. C.) The bozo who remarries his wife and stands to get rich from the policy’s payout will be dancing on his grave and toasting his demise with me, the merry widow. D.) I will hire a hit man to rub him out so I can abscond with the life insurance moola and run away to France with the cable guy.”

Midlife sex: “Experts say that men think about sex every three minutes of every waking hour. Women in midlife not only think about it every minute of every day but also fantasize that the 350-lbs.-of-beer-gut garbage man might look good in a Speedo.”

Vacationing with family: “Hubs and I, ignoring the intense war zone in the back seat, simply concentrate on using our inner ids and kinetic powers to mentally will the gas gauge off of “E” before we run out of octane in a town where the total IQ of its population equals the total number of nails I have bitten off since we started this family fiasco.”

Snoring husbands: “By all calculations, I should be Zombie Mommy, Queen of The Sleepless Walking Dead. I haven’t slept through the night in 15 years. This has little to do with the sleep deprivation that accompanies breastfeeding, or with the endless nights of bumping into dark hallway walls while fetching cold remedies, barf buckets, and vaporizers for occasionally sick children. However, it has everything to do with sharing a bed night after night with the human trombone.”


Midlife bloat: “If I were to be seen with my postnatal flab stuffed into a stretchy rubber bodysuit called a Spandex leotard, rolling the baby down the street and waving enthusiastically at everyone I passed, I’m sure someone would notify Sea World that Shamu had escaped and was spotted working undercover as a nanny.”
Midlife health: “Experts say to drink 10 eight-ounce glasses of water each day. No problem. But just how do they expect me to squeeze 100 bathroom visits (to expel this ocean of health) into my busy daily schedule? After three healthy, full-term pregnancies that resulted in 10-pound babies who each took turns tap dancing on my bladder, it’s all I can do to keep from piddling every time I sneeze.”

Eating well: “There is no way for a mother to diet when her house is crammed with enough junk food to open a bowling alley snack bar.”

Aging: “My only consolation is that my husband is aging right along with me. Funny how resembling Grandpa Walton can lower a man’s personal standard of female beauty. I mean, the man truly thinks I am beautiful. However, Hubs sometimes jokingly threatens to trade in his 40-something-year-old wife for two 20s. I respond – respectfully, of course – that my gravity-prone pair of breasts isn’t the only extremity around here to suffer from ‘get up and go’.”

Clothes shopping: “I imagine that behind each and every two-way dressing room mirror there exists a pervert whose weird fetish in life is to ogle the jellyrolls of stretch-marked flab being squeezed into a pair of jeans marked “size 18” when they’re really a size 2. Clothing designers claim that they mark clothes this way to make the shopper feel better about her size. I’ll feel better when they start designing real clothes for real women and not just for the Osbournes.”

Visiting the doctor: “The fact that my GYN has personal carnal knowledge of my nether regions (plus the fact that I’m always in his presence wearing a paper dress that covers no more body acreage than a square of perforated toilet tissue) is why I call Dr. Igot Bighands, M.D. just plain “Igot.” You know, there’s really no sense standing on ceremony when a guy’s up to his shoulder blades in your primary female orifice.
And what about the inventor of that medieval device, the speculum? Now there’s a guy who, instead of going out on dates every Saturday night, played with dolls and Erector sets well into his 30s.”

Body image: “If Barbie were a real woman, scientists say her body measurements would border on the abnormal, something along the lines of 56-18-32. If Barbie were a real woman, say I, she would have three bratty kids and a butt the size of her Dream House. She’d also have nipples and a boyfriend who was anatomically correct.”

Midlife crises: “I really can’t see Hubs ever carrying on with another woman. After all, what woman in her right mind would have him? This is a man who eats so much that he requires a backhoe instead of utensils. This is a male who thinks beer bellies are fashion statements and has stretched to the breaking point every pair of suspenders he’s ever worn. This is a fellow who can signal UFOs and nod the Morse code to overhead planes with his shiny noggin.”

Funerals: “Delivering food to the bereaved is such a strange tradition. Just how many meatloaves and casseroles can one mourner endure before he/she would rather jump into the freshly dug grave of his/her dearly departed rather than ingest another? It’s so odd – like saying, “My sympathies to you on the loss of your wife, Mr. Bereaved. Here’s some Hamburger Helper to ease your pain.”

Professional Reviews

Rusty Fischer
“From the first page to the last, “Parentally Insane: Insights From The Edge Of Midlife” is a winner! Readers of Andersen’s first book, “Past: Perfect! Present: Tense! Insights from One Woman’s Journey as the Wife of a Widower “ (iUniverse, Inc.), know that her keen eye for detail and refusal to let controversy stand in her way make her one of the few new writers of note who actual have something original and unique to say.

Equal parts Erma Bombeck and Gloria Steinem, Andersen has collected here an anthology of essays, musings, and anecdotes that read more like a gathering of old friends than the printed word. You’ll hear yourself in every line…that is, in between phone calls to your fellow members of the Midlife Moms Club to read entire passages - if not chapters - aloud!”

~ Rusty Fischer, contributing author/writer; Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul (Health Communications 2003) and God Allows U-turns: A Woman’s Journey (Promise Press 2002).

Kristi Sayles
“In all my 40-something years I have never read anything that made me actually giggle out loud as often as I did while reading “Parentally Insane: Insights From The Edge of Midlife”! It is a masterpiece of daring truths and family hilarity. Once I started reading, I just couldn't stop! I read the whole thing with ridiculous tears of laughter streaming down my cheeks-or maybe they were tears of relief that my family wasn't the ONLY weird one in the world! What an absolutely delightful book! This should be a mandatory gift on Mother's Day!”

~Kristi Sayles, author of The Day I Woke Up As An Ostrich - An Odd Collection for Christians (SynergEbooks, 2001) and creator of "Instant Query Letter" software

Terri Mauro
“Beware of the midlife mom who’s also an author: She's armed with a sharp tongue, blunt honesty, barbed humor and rapid-fire wit. Whether she's dissecting the motives of spoiling grandparents, examining the politics of sibling rivalry, or tiptoeing through the minefield that is a teenager's bedroom, Julie Donner Andersen takes no prisoners and spares no sarcasm. If you've ever withstood the scorn of a Stepford-ish PTO zealot, felt like the world's most experienced soccer mom, or had someone chirpily assume your kids are your grandkids, you too may be a midlife mom. This hilarious book should convince you you're in good company.”

~Terri Mauro, former Hallmark ™ editor; former First For Women magazine editor; present editor of "Mothers with Attitude" ezine (

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Reader Reviews for "Parentally Insane: Insights From The Edge of Midlife"

Reviewed by Sandra Ferrara Gentry 6/12/2007
Oh Wow! Did you hit the nail on the head? Whoa! Where can I get the book?
Reviewed by Joyce Hale 4/22/2004
Jules, you are one in a million!! Surely your writing will hit the very top of the list!! You take anything about all of us and turn it into a barrel of laughs! I have to read your writing a little at a time so that I do not hurt myself laughing. It looks as though this book should be required reading for all who reach the age of 21; and all those 20 and under. <grin>

BTW, although I am a morning person, I can well relate as the creature to whom I married IS a morning person and has tried many of the *tricks* you regale. I will not let him read your book and discover more. (:D

Best of luck!! Peace.
Reviewed by Laurie Anthony 10/5/2003
I kept reading on! Julie's honestly and her way of capturing the essence of what we all experience makes for delightful reading! I'm looking forward to purchasing the book!

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