As Christie Cuthbert and her four little boys—including triplets—sat down in church one day two years ago and prepared for the service to begin, one of the boys proclaimed something so loudly that it would make any mother go flush in the face, palms sweaty, and wish she was anywhere but there.
After making his statement that everyone in the church heard, the boy looked up at his mother with a big smile on his face, awaiting an answer.
It was at that moment when the proverbial light bulb moment struck Cuthbert. Instead of letting the moment crush her with embarrassment, she realized that a little boy was just having some harmless fun, and it didn’t matter what others may have thought.
To her relief, she saw that the other people in the church weren’t laughing at her, they were laughing with her, all because of a few words:
“Mom! I farted in church. Do you think God heard it?”
Sounds like the perfect title for a book, right?
Speaking to mothers
The proud mother now has something else to be proud of: The Gilroy native celebrated the launch of her first book on Jan. 9, “Mom! I Farted in Church” One Type A Mama’s Journey Learning to Laugh and Let Go.
“This book will make you laugh and make you cry,” Cuthbert said. “It’s about all the shenanigans when you are raising boys.”
While the book contains many laugh-out-loud scenarios involving her boys, it also touches on a number of serious topics; namely, failed pregnancies and the anxiety many mothers face with the day-to-day stress.
Cuthbert herself went through seven rounds of In Vitro Fertilization procedures. Her seven-year struggle included failed attempts, ectopic pregnancies, miscarriage, and the help of a reproductive immunologist, which she shares in the book to give advice to those currently trying to start a family.
A self-proclaimed “Type A control freak,” Cuthbert discusses her own anxiety, seeking treatment and how her stress played a role in an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
“To write nonfiction and to put yourself out there comes with a certain level of vulnerability,” she said. “I put it all out there. I did not hold anything back.”
She said the main audience for the book is young mothers, who find themselves overwhelmingly stressed with the difficult job of raising their child. Cuthbert advises mothers to filter social media to avoid comparison, develop a support system and remind themselves that children, like all human beings, are not expected to be perfect. Finding humor in situations is also key.
“I think this book gives moms a chance to give themselves permission to be OK with how their lives are going at the moment,” she said. “They are not alone in their struggles.”
Born and raised in Gilroy, Cuthbert graduated from Gilroy High School in 1999 and went on to earn a journalism degree from California State University, Chico, in 2003.
After graduation, Cuthbert returned home and interned at the Gilroy Dispatch and Hollister Free Lance, when she was known by her maiden name, Christie Tognetti. That internship eventually led to her employment at the publications where she covered education, agriculture and other topics. She recalled one of her first assignments, which required her to gather historical information on the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which was turning 25 that year.
In 2004, she met her future husband Mark, a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force at the time, and they moved to Tennessee for his pending deployment to Iraq. After his time at war, the couple moved to Boston while he attended Harvard Business School, then settled into Chicago for nine years where they welcomed their four sons and stars of her book: John, 9, Tommy, Teddy and Nate, all 6.
While in Chicago, Cuthbert was the assistant editor of The Hinsdalean newspaper and received a Northern Illinois Newspaper Association Award for Best Columnist.
In 2017, her family moved to San Antonio, Texas, where they currently reside. Cuthbert writes for the Today Show Parenting Team, Scary Mommy, San Antonio Woman Magazine, 78209 Magazine and Alamo City Moms. She is also a guest speaker for various mother groups.
“So many moms suffer with stress and anxiety, and I hope this book offers optimism and strength for the New Year to those deep in the trenches of motherhood,” Cuthbert said. “Just the sense of knowing you aren’t alone in the journey and that being ‘Supermom’ doesn’t mean perfection can be freeing.”
John, Tommy, Teddy and Nate all want to read their mother’s newest work, but they are too young to understand many of the topics discussed in the book.
Instead, she reads them humorous snippets from the book, such as when their neighbor caught the triplets dancing naked on his lawn.
“They love to look back at stories of themselves,” Cuthbert said.
At a book launch event in Texas, the boys were having the time of their lives, taking pictures with attendees and signing copies of the book.
“They think they are little celebrities right now,” she said.
“Mom! I Farted in Church:” One Type A Mama’s Journey Learning to Laugh and Let Go is available on Amazon. For information, visit christiecuthbert.com.