Later Mom Features
I’m a writer, storyteller, mom, rock-wife, and Los Angeleno, by way of Jersey. I’m the author of the memoir EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED, as well as the New York Times bestselling memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and the novel Pretty. I write a lot of essays and articles, some of which have been in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Elle and Salon, among others. I speak and tell live stories, often with The Moth. I’m married to the musician Scott Shriner, and together we adopted our son Tariku from Ethiopia in 2009. I blog at www.jillianlauren.com.
What was your road to parenthood like? I had a pretty wild pre-baby life, including drug addiction and my infamous years in the harem of the prince of Brunei (see my first memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem). On paper, I might not be considered the best candidate for motherhood. My husband Scott and I had a long and circuitous road to parenting, including the whole painful infertility thing. We eventually found the right path for us and adopted our son from Ethiopia.
In our early years of parenting, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be very, very good, in order to make up for my scandalous past. This was supposed to be my redemption story. What I found instead is that being a good mother wasn’t so much about transcending my past but rather about drawing from my entire range of experiences and learning to embrace the imperfections.
You wear many creative hats. Is there one project in your career thus far that you are most proud of, and why? That’s like making a mother choose between her children! That said, this memoir is so precious to me, because it’s about my family. It’s a love letter to my child and it’s the work closest to my heart.