We popped on the phone with the Brooklyn mom last week and heard about all sorts of plans, including the parenting book she's been penning with hubby, and more to come on the Huff Po front.
I think I need clarity about the book. Do you have a publisher lined up?
We have a confirmed offer and we're just nailing down the details. We'll probably be signing the contract within the next week.
It's a little unusual to start writing without one. Did you at least do a proposal?
We did, and then rapidly expanded that. We're at about 60 pages. This is a subject that's very easy for me to write about. So it began when we were on vacation last summer.
So is it aimed at show watchers, or are you hoping for a larger audience?
It's for anyone who wants to know what it's like to raise kids in an urban area. Before I gave birth, I read everything I could get my hands on. And the books that resonated with me most were stories from the trenches: the good things, the bad things, the wonderful, the horrible, the absurd, the sublime. I don't find it particularly helpful to read a book by a child psychologist about what you should be doing in order to raise the perfect child. Of all the how-to-raise-a-child books by experts the only one we have in the house that I can even remember the name of is The New Basics by Michel Cohen.
Had you guys just put a cat to sleep or something?
No. He had some friends over and they were getting a little raucous. You know how little boys are.
I'm impressed you had two drug-free births.
I didn't intend to do that from the get-go. But I've never been happy with our existing health care system, and I don't like the idea that people try to hit conditions with drugs or invasive procedures rather than preventing them. I also wanted to control my experience. So I viewed childbirth as an athletic event. Yes, it was painful, but after both births, I experienced a kind of runner's high. I think the most important thing is to have an advocate. A third party. Someone who isn't the medical provider and isn't you. A lot of women hire a doula for that, but Simon functioned as the best doula. He was willing to burn down the hospital to get me what I needed.
How did the Huffington Post blog come about? Did you approach them or vice versa?
Simon and I met someone from the Huffington Post at a party several months ago. And we talked about doing something. We were writing the book at that time, and weren't really sure what the best angle was. Then after my layoff happened, and the economy declined, it really made sense to do a series about someone who is affected by the economy and also has all these other things going on in her life. I'm currently going through a lot of what other laid-off employees are going through, but all the while writing a book and having the experience of being on a reality show.
Was being on the show a factor in getting laid-off?
No. One had nothing to do with the other.
Still, it must have been hard to have maintained such a big job at the same time.
We filmed weekends and evenings, but certainly it was a big juggle. It was really difficult to balance filming a show, working 40 to 50 hours a week, traveling for business and raising two young kids. Oh, and renovating our home.
How's that going?
I'm sure as the season progresses, you'll see us both looking more and more stressed-out.
Thanks to David Gilmore of Pretty On The Outside for use of his artwork. Photos courtesy of NBC Universal.