Who’s your dream play-date mom?
In our teen years we fantasized about the hunky dream date, but now it’s all about the mom friends. Which celebrity mom do you want to kick back with while you watch your kids destroy your living room? Angelina Jolie? Kate Hudson? “Teen Mom” Amber Portwood? (In which case, remind me to bring protective headgear to your playgroup.)
For me, it’s Tina Fey. How can you not love the creator of “Mom Jeans”? She takes the hard truths of motherhood and makes them hilarious. And somehow, despite her celebrity, she manages to seem like one of us – frequently flustered, often overworked, but just trying to do the best she can. In her new book, “Bossypants,” she offers the following advice for ways moms can carve out some of that “me time” we’re always hearing about:
_Go to the bathroom a lot
_Take 90-minute showers. (If you only shower every three or four days, it will be easier to get away with this.)
_Say you’re going to look for the diaper crème, then go into your child’s room and just stand there until your spouse comes in and curtly says, ‘What are you doing?’
_‘Sleep when your baby sleeps.’ Everyone knows this classic tip, but I say why stop there? Scream when your baby screams. Take Benadryl when your baby takes Benadryl. And walk around pantless when your baby walks around pantless.
Elsewhere in the book, concern about her nanny cutting her daughter’s fingernails too short segues into a confession that most working moms will recognize:
I would think of Midge’s little fingers in the middle of a busy workday. I would tell myself, ‘Once I have the baby full-time to myself, everything will be easier.’ And then it hit me; that day was not coming. This ‘work’ thing was not going away. There was no prolonged stretch of time in sight when it would just be the baby and me. And then I sobbed in my office for ten minutes. The same ten minutes that magazines urge me to use for sit-ups and tricep dips, I used for sobbing. Of course I’m not supposed to admit that there is triannual torrential sobbing in my office, because it’s bad for the feminist cause. It makes it harder for women to be taken seriously in the workplace. It makes it hard for other working moms to justify their choice. But I have friends who stay home with their kids and they also have a triannual sob, so I think we should call it even. I think we should be kind to one another about it. I think we should agree to blame the children. Also, my crying three times a year doesn’t distract me from my job any more than my male coworkers get distracted watching March Madness or shooting one another with Nerf guns.
I can relate -- and, like many women, I already think of Tina as my imaginary best friend. We laugh at the same jokes (hers)! We share a fondness for sarcasm and baked goods! We’re both moms! Thanks to TODAY.com, I even work at 30 Rock – the very title of her hit TV show! Isn’t it obvious we’re destined to be best friends?
I pondered this as I lurked backstage at TODAY, waiting to snag her for a web-extra interview. Of course, it’s a little hard to tell someone “we’re destined to be best friends” without coming off a wee bit stalker-ish. I’d have to play it cool. What if I made a creepy fool of myself? What if I snarted in front of her, and instead of recognizing my homage to her Liz Lemon character, she was just grossed out? (A snart, according to Liz Lemon, is a combination sneeze and... well, just click the link.)
Or worse, what if she was a jerk? What if I met my idol, comedy goddess Tina Fey, and she demanded a Fiji water and then sneered at my shoes? What if she rolled her eyes at the questions we asked her?
As you can probably guess, neither the fantasy nor the fear came true. We didn’t make an instant best-friend connection. On the keeping-my-cool front, when she politely declined a handshake because she’d just been coughing into her hands, I resisted the impulse to shout, “That’s OK, it would be awesome to get your cold!” (Seriously, Tina Fey’s germs – it would be the most hilarious upper respiratory congestion ever, right?)
And Tina was charming, funny and totally down-to-earth as she answered our questions about motherhood and pregnancy. She looks really pretty in person, and she has the cutest little baby bump (she recently announced she’s five months pregnant with her second child).
And it turns out, Tina has already put my star-struck fears into words, as I discovered when I flipped over “Bossypants” to read the back copy: “Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her.”
Full circle, Tina. We may not be BFFs in real life – yet – but as imaginary friends go, you still rock.
And seriously, call me for that play date!