Jaime Pressly Creates a Happy Home for Dezi

03/24/2009 at 06:00 PM ET
Courtesy Redbook for use on CBB

Splitting up with ex-fiancé Eric Calvo while their 22-month-old son Dezi James is still just a baby was the best thing for all involved, says Jaime Pressly in the April issue of Redbook. “The parents stay together for the kids, but the kids know that you don’t want to be together,” she explains. “The kids would rather you be happy — and separate — than together and miserable.” She speaks from experience; Jaime’s own parents parted ways while she was a teenager, and she is hopeful that Dezi will know less strife than she did as a child.

“I don’t want my kid to grow up around two parents who just don’t work. Eric and I take him to the park, we take him to eat. We do things together so he’s with us as a family, so he knows Mommy and Daddy still love each other, that it just didn’t work out.”

Timing was also a concern for the former couple. “I didn’t want to wait until he was older and it affected him more,” Jaime, 31, explains. “I was 14, in hormone hell, and in my first year of high school — and I knew my parents were going to separate before they did…They weren’t happy.” Although she has full custody Jaime is quick to clarify: She is not a single parent. “Eric is involved — if I need him to take care of Dezi, he’s there at the drop of a dime.” While Dezi is still too young for overnight visits, he sees his dad every day that Eric is in town. Adds Jaime,

“Eric’s very much a part of his life; he’s a great father. We make sure that no matter what happens, Dezi is okay and protected and knows that Mom and Daddy love him.”

Courtesy Redbook for use on CBB

Click below to read about Jaime’s labor and delivery with Dezi.

Described by her own dad as a “prissy tomboy,” Jaime feels that her personality provides a unique advantage when it comes to raising a son. Noting that she and Dezi wrestle, play ball, and get down and dirty in the sandbox, Jaime points out that “as a mom, you get bruises, scrapes on your knee.”  She adds,

“He bit me the other day..Not a mean bite, more like, ‘Oh I love you so much!’ Chomp! He’ll play sports, and his dad and I will both be involved in that.”

At the same time, Jaime makes it a priority to keep Dezi in touch with his softer side — and in touch with his mom’s southern sensibilities. “I’ll also teach him how to open a door for a lady, how to cook. I want him to know give and take,” she says. “I come from a place where men are gentlemen. My father still says, ‘Yes, ma’am’ and ‘No, ma’am’ and ‘Yes, sir’ and ‘No, sir.’ My son will say ma’am and sir.” He might even say it in multiple languages! Eric’s Cuban roots are equally important to Jaime, who reveals that for a time Dezi spoke more Spanish than English.

“There’s lots of ‘aqui, aqui’ and ‘comida, Mami,’ when he wants to eat. He can count to 10 in English. In Spanish, though, he really likes the word cinco. He’ll say, ‘Uno, dos, tres, quatro,’ then ‘cinco, cinco, cinco.’ He’s a really smart kid, really animated, lots of personality.”

Dezi is every bit as enamored with Jaime, who says she now knows how it feels to be unconditionally loved. “I have somebody who is always excited to see me when I get home, who can’t wait to give me a hug and a kiss, who doesn’t judge me and loves me no matter what I look like.” In return, Jaime says that Dezi’s unwavering affection makes her strive to be the best person she can be. “Now I think before I speak. I think before I dress. I want to do and be the way any son would want his mother to do and be. I want to give him somebody to be proud of.” Still, Jaime says that the guilt of working motherhood caught her off-guard.

“I was so ready for him and just couldn’t wait to be a mother. I could have waited for the guilt I feel. I never said I wanted to be an at-home mom, and I don’t think I could be with my child 24 hours a day, but I don’t enjoy the guilt I feel when I leave him to go to work.”

When she needs a shoulder to cry on, Jaime need look no further than her girlfriends from high school — most of whom have gone on to become moms, themselves. “It’s nice to have girls’ night every so often, where you can vent about how you were driving in traffic and your child threw up all over the back seat and there was no way of pulling over and there was screaming and crying,” Jaime says. “It’s nice to be able to vent to the people who understand and relate to you.” Her friends were no doubt a big source of inspiration and comfort during Dezi’s protracted labor and delivery. “My water broke on a Wednesday, but I didn’t have him until Friday,” Jaime recalls. “I was listening to Motown the whole time and had a wonderful delivery — 51 minutes.”

“It was like me and my son were getting ready to meet. I had this relationship with him before he came: Every night I played music on the earphones, and I’d go on walks and talk to him. I was so excited and ready for him…My amazing little boy is the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”

Jaime’s new memoir It’s Not Necessarily Not The Truth: Dreaming Bigger Than the Town You’re From is in stores now.

Source: Redbook

Click here for yesterday’s cutie!

FILED UNDER: Babies , News , Parenting

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Showing 41 comments

JC on

Could not agree with her more on the splitting up thing. I have never understood when people said “they stayed together for the kids.” Kids know when their parents aren’t happy and that just leads them to enter relationships that are unhealthy and the whole cycle continues on and on.

Mari on

A very together mother and it sounds as if Dezi has two devoted parents. 😀

g!na on

aaw, what an adorable pic! I love his cute hat!

Alice on

Why is Dezi too young for overnight visits with his father?

Deb on

What does she mean by-“He’s still too young for overnight visits”? It’s not like he’d be with a stranger or somewhere unsafe;he’d be with his father!!

KF on

I have no idea if Jaime nursed Dezi or not, but if she did/is, maybe she feels he’s too young for overnight visits because he’s still nursing before bed or at night? Just a thought… it’s the first thing that came to mind when I read that.

Alice on

To Deb–

She probably means that he still looks for her at night and therefore too young/attached to her for overnight visits.

She seems to have a good head on her shoulders!

bell on

It may just be that he suffers to much separation anxiety to be without his mommy overnight. Sometimes the best of fathers don’t cut it when they want mommy at night. It may be that they already tried it and he was just too upset being away from her overnight.

Kelly on

I agree the too young for overnight visits thing seems odd, but maybe he finds it hard to be away from his Mom?

g!na on

I was wondering the same about that same comment about him being too young to sleep over his dad’s! He’s almost 2 yrs old. Maybe she’s still breast-feeding or maybe she doesn’t feel secure about it! I don’t what do others think about their children spending the night over their ex’s? I would have no problem with it!

jaja on

The ‘too young for overnight visits’ is totally weird. He’s his father, and it’s not like he’s a newborn! I know several children who were staying with all sorts of relatives by that age, for whatever reason.

meghan on

Maybe Jaime and Eric are on the same page with the overnight visit issue.

The Nanny on

Whoever wrote the article said that Dezi was too young for overnight visits, not Jaime!


That’s untrue. It’s on page 2 of the Redbook link as part of Jaime’s answer to a question.

– CBB Staff

watzabatza on

That kid is cute.. Whatta awesome pic.

The Nanny on

Oh, I’m sorry!!! I didn’t click the Redbook link — and I apologize for discrediting the writer. Sorry!!!

michelle on

I thought for sure this was a great article from a sensible actress that no one would be able to pick apart in the least. Apparently, I was wrong.

gianna on

Such a cute boy, looks like jaime. I love his hat and jeans. She sounds like a good caring mom, who is attached to her son.

Dawn9476 on

I think she means that he is too young for overnight visits out of town. I read another excerpt of the article that says that the reason why she and Eric broke up was because the job he got during her pregnancy takes him out of town a lot. I think that’s what she means. He is too young to go visit his dad in other place where he is working for an extended period.

Lexus on

Isn’t the ex’s last name Cubiche? Whatever😉 Cute kid, though. Separation at any age is difficult on a child, so I’m glad they’re genial and working together as parents for Dezi! Seems like they’ve made him priority.


His DJ name is Cubiche, but his last name is Calvo.

– CBB Staff

Lexus on

And to add…I think that at that age a child needs a stable environment. I know my child never slept well in a different bed at that age…just wasn’t the same and she didn’t do well. I think kids like routine at such a young age.

Michelle Z. on

I agree that her comment about Eric seeing Dezi “every day that he’s in town” might have a lot to do with the overnight visitation schedule. Maybe Eric doesn’t live near enough to Jaime and Dezi that an overnight visit is possible? And if he (Eric) is staying in a hotel or with friends when he is “in town”, it might not be ideal right now.

allison on

In other interviews she seemed to into herself, but this is a great interview. She just went up a few notches in my book.

Sarah K. on

Michelle, I would usually agree with you about posters on this site, but no one here seems to be criticizing. I think everyone is honestly confused as to what she meant by saying that Dezi was “too young for overnights,” since normally that wouldn’t be the case for a child Dezi’s age. I didn’t get the sense that people were criticizing her choices.

Stephany on

I totally, completely, 100% agree that parents should NOT “stay together for the kids” because it makes for a very miserable home life for those kids when you know Mom and Dad aren’t happy to be together — this happened to me! Luckily, my mom left him when I was in 5th grade but it was rough.

I really like Jaime and I think she and Eric are doing a fabulous job raising their son.

Ellen Smith on

Is it possible, for the sake of argument, that the child will be confused anyway about his parents’ relationship? They never married, only got engaged after she found out she was pregnant, and then not so surprisingly broke up. Let’s not assume that a two year old has the intellectual capacity to be happy because his parents aren’t together and because being apart “is what’s best for them.” I think Jamie is projecting the feelings she experienced as a teenager witnessing her own parents’ breakup.

jessica on

I completely agree with her overnight visits rule. My daughter is at the age where she doesn’t understand why she’s suddenly leaving her home and routine. Her father and I aren’t together either, and he’s not as involved as Dezi’s father seems to be, and I can’t justify letting her spend the night with a man who is essentially a stranger, even though he is her father. Once she’s able to understand why I’m not there and is comfortable with him, I have no problem letting him keep her over night. I think Jaime is setting a great example for co parenting. Unfortunately lots of couples are in situations like this one, think I’ll forward this article to my daughter’s father:)

Lis on

Ellen Smith – well said🙂

While I think Jaime seems like a very devoted mom, I cannot help but wonder how children feel about their parents who seem to be together, but aren’t techinically together.

Di on

I did find the comment about the boy not being ready for overnight visits bizarre considering that the child is almost 2 years old. There are plenty of children who are that age who go back and forth between parents.

I think the real issue is that Jamie is not ready for overnight visits. She is not ready to relinquish power and control over her son. I’m pretty sure that she has never spent a night away from her son so the idea of him spending the night with his father might bother her but it is important to remember that Eric is the father and not some stranger. Eric is just as important as Jamie and if Dezi is not allowed to spend the night with his father then that child is missing out so many things such as his father reading him a bedtime story and the whole process of waking him and getting him ready for the day.

Dawn9476 on

The reason why overnight visits may be out when Eric is in town is because he doesn’t have a place of his own in LA. He and Jamie just broke in November. Between being out of town for work and spending time with his son when he is in town, he probably doesn’t have time to find a place. He probably either stays in a hotel or with friends when he is in town. Hotels are not ideal to bring a 23 month old for bonding time with a parent.

kris on

I just wanted to throw my 2 cents into the overnight visit comment. My brother never lived with his daughters mother. He has been involved with his daughters life since the moment she came into this world. Once her Mom stopped nursing (she was still a young baby) by brother started having her overnight. When she hit the toddler/preschool years there were some “bumps in the road” with this arrangement. There were times when she wanted to be with Mommy at night. So, that is what they did. While my brother loved having her he also knew that easing her anxiety (or whatever is was) was more important. Period end of story. Now, often times just the knowledge that she could go back to Mom’s at the end of the day was enough for her. This long winded post is basically to say that at 22 months Dezi may not sleep well away from Mommy. It is not all that uncommon. At least in my opinion.

Sam on

“While Dezi is still too young for overnight visits, he sees his dad every day that Eric is in town.”

This kid is almost 2. Why can’t he stay overnight with his dad? Are dads not capable of taking care of little kids by themselves?

I guess I’m just wondering what was meant by that line.

Dawn9476 on

Sam: Like I said before, I think she is talking about overnight night visits when Eric is working out of town. Like if Eric is going to be working somewhere else for a few weeks, I think Jamie is saying that Dezi is too young to send him on those kind of overnight visits to to see his dad wherever he is working. It has nothing to do with Eric not being capable of taking him overnight. It has to do with Dezi being too young to travel alone to see his father in another city.

MiB on

I think Kris is right about the over night visits, children go through periods where they need mommy or daddy more than other times. One of my friends son hit a period like this when he was five, his dad had to take him to his mom’s at night since he was crying so much for her that he couldn’t sleep. After a couple of tries they skipped night visits for half a year or so, and after that it was fine. Sure, it upset the dad in the beginning, but being a good dad, he did what was best for his son during that point.

MiB on

To Ellen Smith and others who wondered if he wouldn’t be confused about his parents relationship; Kids don’t get confused about unusual family structures, they are used to them. Dezi may not be at an age where he has “intellectual capacity to be happy because his parents aren’t together and because being apart “is what’s best for them.”” But even an infant feels and responds to emotional tension, that is why many infants will get upset or scared when their carer is upset or scared. I also taught a preschooler who’s behaviour deteriourated correspondingly to her parents marriage, to a point where people (including the parents) actually worried about her having a behavioral problem. Forward to a couple of months after they separated and filed for divorce and you wouldn’t believe that it was the same little girl. Trust me, she did know that her parents were miserable at the end of theri marriage and that made her miserable too. She is a wonderful, polite and happy child who splits her time between her mothers and her fathers place. They are good parents, and they realized that staying together for their much longed for and very loved daughter wasn’t doing her any good.

ShoneZ on

My son is 5 years old and even though I am sure his “dad” might be capable of having him stay over, he is just not ready yet.
He still looks to sleep in my bed every so often at some stage through the night which he has done so since being a baby.
If I ask him if he would like to sleep at dads he says no – just a play. I am not about to force him!
I totally agree with Jaime… for keeping him from overnight visits. I think establishing children in a seperation is a gradual thing – not something you throw them in overnight for the sake of each parent. Obviously his home is with Jaime. Good on her for standing her ground!
My son’s dad and i amicably split when DS was 18 months old. It was the best decision I ever made and I made it FOR my little man. The last 3 years have been our happiest by far.

peedoff on

here we are again…. people on here are way to fast to jump on the “lets bash jaime” train ……… what is up with that? go bash on someone that deserves it because no matter what jaime does or says people here are way to quick to turn it into something neg. Its sad really.

Emma on

Too young for overnight visits with his own father? No!!!

ShoneZ on

Emma you are so not in the position to say what you think is best for someone elses child.

FC on

As long as they’re agreeable on visits/custody/schedules and Dezi is happy and loved and well-cared for, I think that’s all that should matter.

But I think Dezi seems like a little delight, and his love of Spanish (words) is adorable, among other things. I love how he can’t stop saying, “…cinco, cinco, cinco!” whenever he’s counting.

Nice interview with Jaime.

Judith on

What a sweet little boy who loves his Mommy!!

Kewky on

He’s so cute and she seems sooo down to earth. Actually in Spanish quatro is spelled cuatro

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