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Jenna Elfman Envisions Her Life As a Stay-At-Home Mom

09/17/2009 at 04:00 PM ET
Alexandra Wyman/WireImage

It’s all in a name and while some parents agonize over the endless options for baby-on-the-way, Jenna Elfman and her husband Bodhi can count themselves among the lucky ones: the couple chose their son’s name before they discovered they were expecting!

“Frankly, we knew we were going to try and conceive and a month before we even started — it took, like, one time — Bodhi turned to me and said, ‘Story Elias Elfman.’ I said, ‘Done, love it,’” Jenna tells the Los Angeles Times.

“We have an Elias in the great-grandfather territory on my husband’s side. It was also Walt Disney’s middle name, which my husband is a huge fan of. And stories — nothing better than a great story.”

The name game wasn’t completely smooth sailing for Jenna and Bodhi — the actress laughs that before settling on the moniker, she crossed quite a few suggestions off the list!

“He did come up with a few names before that made me go, ‘What are you smoking? Absolutely not.’”

Relishing her role as mom, Jenna cites spending time with her baby boy as her greatest joy. “It’s my most favorite thing in the whole world,” she reveals. “Not that spending time with your kid is an indulgence, it’s a responsibility, but it’s like indulgence in terms of shirking other responsibilities.”

To that end, despite her successful acting career, Jenna occasionally finds herself yearning for a life as a stay-at-home mom. “Back in the day, that was a woman’s job: to maintain the house and raise kids, and raise them well,” she says.

“That’s actually a real duty because you’re preparing a human being to live a life. You can’t not be there. Feminists are going to hate me, but I get a little wistful wishing I could do that.”

Next up for Jenna is the season premiere of her CBS show Accidentally on Purpose on September 21st at 8:30 p.m. She and Bodhi expect baby no. 2 in March.

Source: Los Angeles Times

– Anya

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Showing 19 comments

Jill on

I totally agree with her. I know it sounds bad but I think women had it easier in a sense in the 50′s & 60′s when it was expected that you stay home. Luckily I only work part-time, but feel guilty even with that, and would like to be able to stay home full time. I think no matter what you feel like you are losing out, if you stay home you think you could contribute more to the bills and work and if you work you want to stay home. I think it is the choice, even though now days it is almost a necessity for both parents to work, you feel you are choosing to work instead of being home. jmo

Eve on

Elias Story Elfman sounds better. Except I really dislike the nickname Eli. Story is such a cute name though and it is extra cute with the name Elfman. When I hear his name, I think of Christmas. :)

Elizabeth on

I agree that kids and homes are important and the work of caring for them should be respected and supported, and I consider myself a feminist as well.

Maddy on

after working long, overnight hours of grueling work as a RN, I too dream of being a stay at home mom someday!

Ella on

I feel extremely fortunate that I’ve been able to be a stay at home mom. I work part time now, but only while the kids are in school. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything in the world. They’ve been the best!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not knocking working mothers. Some women have to and some women want to. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I think everyone has to do what is best for them and their family. But for me personally I was thrilled to be able to stay home with them. :)

Ella on

Oh – I forgot to add I think Story is an adorable little boy! :) His name is not something I would personally go for, but I think it’s cute. Can’t wait to see what they name the new baby. :)

fuzibuni on

I’m not sure why she thinks feminists would hate her for wishing she could stay home with her children.
Being a feminist doesn’t mean you can’t be a housewife… It’s about supporting things that empower women with whatever they want to do.

and I would love to hear what her husband’s other name suggestions were if Story was the most normal of the bunch.

Unknown on

I want to say that I have the utmost respect for working mothers. I am a stay at home mother and enjoy taking care of the house and raising my daughter. I just want to say something to all the mothers that either stay home or work outside of the home, even though I don’t know you personally I want to say that you are a wonderful mother and role model for your children. I believe that you are doing what is best for your family. Thank you for all that you do- from one mom to another.

kai on

of course it’s “easier” when you have no choice?! no need for wistful thinking as far as I’m concerned and, um, does Jenna really need to work?

anyway, am looking forward to hear the name! I like Story Elias.

Cathy on

Actually, a true feminist, not just one in name, would have no problem with this. Feminism is about a woman having the choice — it doesn’t mean she has to leave her kids at daycare while she works outside of the home.

Kudos to Ms. Elfman for hitting the nail on the head when she said this:

“That’s actually a real duty because you’re preparing a human being to live a life. You can’t not be there.”

If only more people thought this way, and saw beyond having the cute little baby. Think about the toddler, the school-aged child, the dreaded teenager. Understand that you’re raising a person who will live the majority of his/her life as an adult. Help them to be kind, confident, productive; to become good spouses & parents themselves. That’s what it’s all about! :)

Sheri on

Cant wait to hear the name either, I like Story, Elias or Eli!! All 3 are cute to me. I really hope its a girl this time, just to see what she names her

acidstars9 on

I don’t understand why there are so many misconceptions about feminism out there. People think feminism = wanting to fulfill only men’s traditional roles and rejecting women’s traditional roles? Feminism is valuing both men and women for what they do, whether that’s being a stay at home parent or having an outside job. The only problem with being a stay at home mom (or dad) is that like other traditionally female jobs, it is undervalued in society.

Gracie on

I am a feminist; have worked in feminist organisations and will return to this work once our 2 boys are in grade 1 –at the least, (and even then I will seek work hours where my boys can avoid ‘after school’ care).

I understand that we all do what we can with what circumstances we are in–it is just a shame that institutionalised day care from such a young age is so widespread and even advocated. I am concerned about our future gens…

I can’t see daycare’s justification beyond necessity.

I for one, think feminism is generally misrepresented and misunderstood–in many instances feminism is actually played out as a veiled form of masculinism.

Motherhood has been, in large part, ignored by many tenets of feminism. I believe there is a growing reaction to this where proud feminist women are embracing their femaleness, motherhood, their choices in general, and not jumping on the band wagon where staying at home to raise your children is attributed less value and worth than working in the paid work force.

In short, I do not feel less of a feminist or sell out for sequencing out of the work force for a good long while, or for putting my family before my career. Or for those women who never return to the work force b/c of their family–power to you.

We are more than our vocations, or even social status. On my death bed, I won’t be thinking I should have returned to the work force sooner. My thoughts will be on my loved ones. Life is short.

My 15c worth :-)

Feminism is a about choices and for the choice to stay at home and do one of the most important jobs in the world(to raise our future gens rather than institutions doing most of the raising), this shouldn’t be poo-pooed by anyone.

Anna on

I haven’t seen her in anything in ages so I don’t think she works that much. Also, if she wants to stay at home I’m sure she could. I don’t know why people with millions of dollars always want to pretend that they would love to stay at home but need to work.

cait5 on

every word gracie – spot. on.

Cathy on

I concur with cait5 – way to go, Gracie :)

ecl on

Actually, there are many strands of feminism so to say that feminism= choice is incorrect. That is one version of feminism, one that is particularly popular in the US since it is such an individualist country. Other forms of feminism might ask why it is that people are drawn to particular choices, how much choice women really have (for example, the work world and the home world tend to remain incompatible) and what kind of messages certain choices make. Feminism as choice really means “do what you want and call it feminism”, but feminism is a philosophy that should relate to the group as a whole. I do wish that parenting was valued more, though, by BOTH parents and that the work world would compromise for a change.

momof3 on

Well said ecl…

momof3 on

Sheri: her older son’s name is Story Elias…. :)

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