And here we were thinking Martha Stewart was the epitome of all things homemaker and mother.
Her only daughter Alexis, who once hosted a show that was about nothing more than making fun of Martha, is releasing a tell-all and putting her mom’s lackluster parenting on full blast.
In Whateverland: Learning to Live Here, the mother-of-one, 46, who is a TV and radio host, paints a grim picture of her childhood.
‘Martha does everything better! You can’t win!’ Alexis Stewart says of her world-famous mother, 70.
‘If I didn’t do something perfectly, I had to do it again… I grew up with a glue gun pointed at my head.’
She admits Martha was not a maternal figure, and had an unromantic approach to holidays like Halloween and Christmas.
‘Martha was not interested in being kid friendly,’ Alexis continues.
‘She used to make me wrap my own presents. She would hand me things right before Christmas and say, “Now wrap these but don’t look inside.”‘
Halloween was also a grim affair: ‘There were no costumes. There was no anything. We turned off all the lights and pretended we weren’t home,’ she recalls.
Also at odds with Martha’s image as the ultimate hostess, was a bizarre habit of using the bathroom with the door wide open.
‘Mother always peed with the door open,’ Alexis says. ‘I remember saying, “You know, now I have friends over! You can’t do that anymore! It’s gotta stop! My friends’ parents don’t do it! Give me a break here! I don’t feel like being embarrassed! It’s exhausting! I’m a kid! Stop!”‘
And for a woman who made her name with a recipe book, the refrigerator was always curiously empty: ‘There was never anything to eat at my house. Other people had food. I had no food … There were ingredients but no prepared food of any kind.’
Remember how you felt when you found out Santa wasn’t real? That’s the feeling you’re feeling right now.
Even today, Martha’s habits rile her daughter.
‘My mother has a sign on all of her doors to take your shoes off,’ Alexis reveals in the book. ‘For god’s sake! My mother’s dogs p*** and s*** on her rugs and she’s telling people to take their shoes off?’
She is worse still as a guest: ‘My mother will occasionally complain that I don’t invite her over for dinner,’ Alexis says. ‘But can you blame me? Because, sometimes this is what will happen: whatever I serve, she’ll sip it, taste it, make a face, and push it away.’
Martha also had some unusual dating advice for her only daughter.
Alexis, who is divorced, writes: ‘A woman lived near us when I was little had married someone very wealthy and very unattractive, and my mother actually told me when I was a small child, “Now Alexis, if this ever happens, you make sure you have sex with somebody else to have their baby. Don’t have his baby.”
‘She was very practical about it. It was a survival skill – you have someone rich and ugly who takes care of you, and you have someone who’s hot and makes attractive babies.’
Dayum! Who tells their daughter that??? (That was funny as hell though.)