Marissa Jaret Winokur’s Blog: What Balancing Act?!

10/22/2010 at 09:00 AM ET

Meet our newest celebrity blogger, Marissa Jaret Winokur! The actress, who co-hosts the new CBS daytime chat show, The Talk, is mom to 2-year-old Zev Isaac with her husband, comedy writer Judah Miller. Winokur, 37, who won a Tony for her role in Hairspray on Broadway, was diagnosed with cervical cancer 10 years ago, had a hysterectomy and later welcomed her son with the help of a surrogate. Though her road to motherhood had a few twists and turns, she faces the same joys — and challenges – as any working mom. Let’s welcome her onboard!

Zev and Marissa – Courtesy Marissa Jaret Winokur

 

As I sit to start my first mommy blog (not to be confused with my dieting blog … that didn’t work, I never lost weight!) you have to know that I have had a hard time finding the time and place to even type this.

Then I realized that is exactly what I need to blog about: We talk about the “balancing act of motherhood,” but has anyone really figured it out yet?! If so, please comment down below. (Please, only say nice things because I read the comments…)  :)

Here’s my situation: I have now started a new job as a co-host on The Talk! This will really be my first full-time job since my son Zev was born in July 2008. As most of you know, “the road to Zev” was not an easy one.

If you don’t know my story, Google “cancer + Broadway + Hairspray,” “starring on Broadway in Hairspray while beating cancer,” “surrogate + Dancing With the Stars + semi-finalist,” or “surrogate pregnant while becoming a semi-finalist on DWTS.” Or who cares, and just start fresh with this blog.

All you need to know is that I’ve been a full-time mom for the past year-and-a-half, and now I am starting a full-time job — and I am totally freaking out!!!

I find that I am being pulled in so many directions. I call it the 25 percent club. It’s like I am only 25 percent available for everything I do. My husband gets 25 percent. My son gets 25 percent. My job gets 25 perfect. And I get 25 percent. THAT IS NOT GOOD!!!

Marissa and co-host Leah Remini – Courtesy Marissa Jaret Winokur

 

The other day, I was at work with Sharon Osbourne and I had to decide if I should run home for 40 minutes and eat lunch with my son or stay and get some work done for the show. She wisely advised me to go home, saying, “You have your whole life to work, but you can only be a mom to that 2-year-old right now.” She was right. I went home and after Zev went to sleep I got my work done.

So what do we women do?! How can we be strong working women, loving mothers, take care of ourselves mentally and physically (I am seriously gaining a pound a day!) and there was one more thing … um what was it? … Oh well it must not be that important. OH YEAH, a wife! How can we be good wives or loving partners?

Seriously, I now sleep in my son’s racecar bed at night with him because he cries and well, I feel so guilty not spending the whole day with him that I try to make up for it at night with cuddles and snuggles. Yes, I am aware my husband would appreciate it too, but…

I am hoping that as I blog, I’ll find tricks and learn things that I can do to make the balancing act easier for me and for you! Just so you know, I am actually sitting in my car on a little BlackBerry blogging because I have no place in my house that’s quiet.

I guess that should be our first task this week: Let’s all try to find a place that is quiet — and the bathroom does not count! How many times have you said, “I’ll be right back. I have to go to the bathroom,” and left your child and spouse for at least 20 minutes just to sneak away for quiet time? ADMIT IT, YOU DO!!!

Zev paints! – Courtesy Marissa Jaret Winokur

 

– Marissa Jaret Winokur

A warm welcome to Marissa! What questions do you have for her? What topics would you like to hear from her about in the future? You can also follow her on Twitter @MarissaJWinokur.

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Erin on

Love your blog and I think you are GREAT. I too am a mommy to a 19 month boy, named Cooper and it is hard juggling mommy, wife, career women and own time. I hope this blog helps you figure it all out, cause I know I will keep reading and reading other comments from others for support and help too. Cant wait to watch The Talk. :)

Carole on

I have a five month old daughter, my first child, and I feel the same way. Nobody gets 100%, not her, not my husband, not my dog, not my job, not my never-ending amount of housework.

With my husband, we try to have at least two nights a week where after the baby goes to bed, we turn off the cell phones, stay off the laptops, and just eat and watch TV together and talk. We have to make a mutual effort. Other days there are times where I realize the only conversations I have with my husband are, “When did she eat last?” “Did she poop today?”

Mom-in-training on

Best advice I ever received…

“The most important thing to being a good mom is being a happy mom. Women who stay home full-time and can’t get off the couch or are yelling at their kids while running 100 errands are not happy. Women who work all the time, come home exhausted, and over-indulge children to get rid of their guilt are not happy. Figure out what balance will make you happy, and spread that happiness to your child.” :-)

Halley on

Hi Marissa! First off, let me say I love love love you and always have. If ever there were a celebrity that I think I would want to be friends with in real life, its you! We’re broadway lovers in my house, and my 7 year old son, though he probably wont admit it, has know the entire score to Hairspray since he was very small!

I dont have any advice on your sleeping arrangement struggles, because we still have them and Lucas is 7! I work from 8-5, which means he goes to both before and afterschool care, and our time together is all too short at night. My hubby finally put his foot down on the co-sleeping and I am so sad about it :( We encourage Lucas to sleep in his own room, but some nights he is still in our room, on the floor in his sleeping bag. I just wanted you to know that whether you are a talk show host, or work for an insurance company and live in Kansas, mommy struggles are the same for us all!

Tifanee on

I have a 3 year old little girl and I’ve realized that it is not a balancing act we need to achieve but presence. Be in the moment. When you are at work…be at work. When you are with your son/daughter…be with them. You can multi-task work commitments and even housework but don’t multi-task your time. When you have 30 minutes with your spouse/partner, give them your undivided attention. This simple, yet challenging, act will make your family life more rewarding and you will feel like you’ve been a good mom, wife, friend, employee, and individual.

Liz on

I’m trying to figure out the balancing act as well. I have two beautiful babies; Chloe who is 29 months and Cooper who is 9 months (he was a bit of a surprise :)). I work full time (plus alot of overtime), part time seasonal, and I run my own small business. It is a juggling act and I don’t get alot of time with my kids and hubby and I do truly hate it. Sometimes I just want to call into work so that I can spend some time with my babies. But I know I have to work, so I do the best I can everyday and make the most of the time I get with them.

Miranda on

You’re right…there is no perfect balance. If someone has found it, IMHO, it’s because they have the help/financial ability to hire a nanny/babysitter/housekeeper with some regularity. More power to them, but don’t “gripe” when you “don’t have time” to get your hair done, grocery shop, etc. I have 2 small boys (4 & 6), an older step-son (17) and a husband (works in law enforcement) and some how I stumble through the day. I have days where the laundry is done/folded/put away but there are still clean dishes in the dishwasher. There are days when everyone gets off to school/work on time, but I rely on the auto-off feature on the coffee pot. If my children get to bed with a meal in their tummies, clean hair on their heads, and I have 15 minutes to talk to my husband before bed, then it’s a good day.

The “balancing act” is how will you consider yourself successful. If you have a loving family that has some sense of stability, a supportive relationship with a partner (hetero-, same-sex, or otherwise), and a plan for everyone to grow (emotionally, mentally, & physically), then you’ve found the balance for you. Though it’s a cliche, “don’t sweat the small stuff”. Prioritize what’s important to you, and stick with it. Enjoy the small quiet moments when your child falls asleep with you while reading a bedtime story, but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen every time. :-) You’ve worked hard to get where you are, personally AND professionally…enjoy the moments when they happen. :-)

Amy on

I have a nine month old baby boy and another on the way due in APRIL!! I Love being a Mom and I was considering staying home after the next baby until my work promoted me!! The nerve of them!!

I feel the same way as you ladies, its so hard to do it all. I want to spend all my time with my baby boy. So when I do get to spend time with him I try to really make it count. My husband and I do things like date night on the weekends after the baby is in bed so we don’t miss another second of seeing him. As long as he is happy I am happy and I know he loves to be around other kids and if I pulled him out of daycare to hang out with me all day, he would be bored QUICK!

I look forward to following your blog :)

tina on

I saw you on the first episode of The Talk and haven’t seen you since. Why is that?

Monica on

My kids are almost 16 and 14 and I still feel guilty about taking time for myself. I have been lucky enough to be home, but there is still not enough time for everything. Don’t feel guilty! I, like you couldn’t take my children for granted as I had fertility issues and we made the decision to put our kids first too. But sometimes mamas need time to themselves and need to get some work done. You will have his entire life Marissa! I almost think that they need us more when they are tweens and teens than when they are toddlers. Some how it all works out! Good luck!

Josie on

Aw…he’s such a cutie-pie!

Meisha on

First off, your start to blogging was wonderful! I have an 8 year old daughter and have come to realize no matter what you do and how much time you spend with your children, you’re always going to worry and wonder if you’re doing the right thing. I think if you’re worried and wondering if you’re doing the right thing, then you’re a Mom.

Also, I believe in order to be a good Mom you need to have time to yourself, find it when and where you can. You also need to have a good relationship with your spouse so you’re both good parents and good spouses to each other. So, as much as you miss your son during the day, STOP sleeping in his racecar bed. That can become damaging for all 3 of you! Nothing gets easier as they get older, the challenges just change. But, being a Mom is FUN and the most rewarding thing most of us will ever do! But, as Moms, we can’t lose ourselves in the process either.

Good luck! And, I look forward to your next blog when you have time to squeeze it in!

Mia on

I’m not a mommy but I just wanted to let you know your little boy is adorable!

julie on

Hi there..I agree with you..it is a constant struggle..but I have decided to work part time b/c that works best for me…then I feel like I can manage the responsibilities at home and still have a work life…I have a 4 yr old boy and a 3 yr old little girl…good luck…you will find your balance…

normal mom on

I was so hoping this blog would be realistic and entertaining but come on now…

BOOHOO… at least you were able to stay home with him as long as you were… a few questions, do you wonder how you will pay your mortgage since you lost your full time half way decently paying job? do you have to decide if its food on the table or gas in your car? Does your husband have to work 50 hours a week to pay bills? and you have to work away from the home for 35 to pay the grocery bill? and not even have the option of going home for your lunch to see your son?

Blog about that when it happens… until then stop whining please some of us have real concerns…

Tina on

My babies are now 28 and 25 but I still remember how I felt when I had to drop them off at daycare while I worked. My youngest used to cry when I left him and I would cry all the way to work and have a lump in my throat and I’d call the babysitter and she would say, “he’s fine, he quit crying as soon as you pulled out of the driveway”. Its a hard job but you adjust and your kids adjust and everything works out. Hang in there, you’re a great mom.

Linda on

I am on people all the time and always read the comments and this is the first time I have commented!!

First of all, Marissa, I think you look fantastic, motherhood really suits you!! I am now a mother of two: three year old and a five month old. I always thought it was hard to juggle one especially when I went back to work full time but juggling two is beyond words! I give so much of myself to my kids and my husband, I often wonder when my time comes. Sometimes I worry about what I am going to do when I go back to work full time and then I will have to juggle two kids, job, husband and me!! But I love my kids and my time with them is so precious and fleeting and although it is important to have me time ( I do try to go out to dinner with girlfriends), I just want to enjoy the with my kids. They grow up so fast!!

Good luck with the balancing act, Marissa! I wish there was a magical formula but there isn’t!!

Anali on

In my case it’s a little different. It took us 7 years and 7 fertility treatments to get pregnant, we now have a beautiful 11 month old baby girl and during all those 7 years of waiting all I wanted was to be a mommy so now that I have been blessed with her going back to work is not an option. I’m a happy stay at home mom :) Once she goes to kindergarden I will go back to work but only part time. Good luck!

Karra Torres on

Marissa I feel you pain!!! I have been struggling with this same issues for a while now. I’m a first time mom to a wonderful 14 month old little girl. I work full time and my commute is a bear to say the least. After a long day and a longer (it feels) drive home I only get about 2 hours with my daughter before she goes to bed. I try to spend as much time with her as I can but it never feels like enough! I joke that I am a full time worker and a part time mom (not a very funny joke huh?).

I am lucky to have an amazing husband and and equally amazing support team. I am thankful that when she isn’t with me she is being cared for by people who love her and want the best for her as much as I do. It is the only way that I can get my butt out of bed in the morning and do what I have to do… Hang in there momma and keep blogging!!!! We love it : )

ileana on

I love her. It is nice to know that she is real. I am a mother to a 17 and 14 years old and they still require alot of my time but they are so worth it. Enjoy do your best and hug and kiss them alot. I also suggest date night once a week or once a month because dad’s need love too.

Tara on

I struggled a bit after my first born. I always worked full time and then had a baby and a husband and 2 dogs to take care of. The thing that got cut out for me then was house work. My house was usually a pretty big mess and we finally hired a cleaning lady to come in every other week to clean up after us. We don’t make a ton of money so that was a real splurge. But you do what you have to do to make time for what’s important.

When my first was 10 months I got pregnant again. We had a hard time the first time around and thought the second would take a while to happen too. Obviously it did not. So now I am struggling yet again b/c now I have 2. I feel lost b/c the oldest who is only 2 does not get the time from Me I think she needs b/c I do so much with the youngest. Luckily she has daddy but I find myself getting jealous of him b/c I don’t get to do that much with her now. I”m waiting for that point were it all gets back to normal. We’ll see if that happens. You’ll get there too. It just takes adjusting and seeing what you can and can not give up :)

Erin on

Love your blog and best of luck with it as well as your new co-host job! I am a mom to a 6 month old as well as a two and 1/2 year old and also trying to find the balance. I work full time and feel the Mommy guilt when I am away from my boys.

When I am home my attention is devoted solely to them and my husband is, as you can imagine, not thrilled. When we do get time for ourselves, I am exhausted. I am trying to remember that I need to make time for him as well. I will be reading your blog for tips and ideas to making it work as a mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and employee because there are days I am not sure I am able to give enough to any of these many hats we women wear!

Meg on

I just adore her! She is so real and such an inspiration. I still can’t believe she’s 37, she looks 15 years younger!! I thought her age was a typo!!

candace on

I have to agree with Normal Mom. Celebrity women have no clue what the real world is like!

J. Medina-Lopez on

Love your blog! We just need to take things “one day at a time” and sometimes even “one hour at a time.” When I feel the guilt about being a working mom, I watch the following clip: http://www.dolcevitawoman.com/blog/videos/ It’s a tribute to working moms everywhere! Take care! Good Luck and many Blessings!

MS on

I had two sons 22 months apart and was a stay at home mom. Sorry but if she feels “that guilty” about not being at home then STAY HOME. She has more of an opportunity than most and then she won’t have to feel guilty. If you have to work because of financial reasons then that is what you have to do. I don’t think that is the situation here.

And it can be done on one income; my ex-husband didn’t make a tremendous amount of money and even lost a job during the time my boys had diapers and formula to buy; you do without things you WANT and don’t necessarily need just because the Jones’ have it! My choice to stay home and now that they are 26 and 24 I can look back and be very happy with my decision.

Erin on

I am unsure why there are negative comments regarding Marissa’s blog. Nowhere in her blog does she complain about money or her mortgage. The blog is about raising a child while working and the Mommy guilt she feels. At the end of the day, she is a working mom and is facing a similar struggle that all working mothers have, trying to balance time with our children, our spouses, time for ourself while working.

I find it disheartening that people feel they have to try to tear her down because she is a “celebrity”. Yes, she is a celebrity but she is also a human being who is writing about her experience and struggles hoping maybe she will reach people and vice versa. I look forward to reading her next blog!

Cristin on

Marissa, a very smart woman told me that there is no such thing as balance when our children are young. Something always has to give. You can waste even more time you don’t have feeling guilty, or make the best of the time you do have.

I blog about my life as a mom and my daily struggles and thoughts. I appreciate what you are writing about and know that no matter what our status, celebrity or not, that does not change our love for our kids and our desire to always do what is best for our families. You are doing a great job!

Halley on

Money doesnt mean that you dont still have problems and worries. Just because she isnt in danger of losing her house doesnt mean she doesnt miss her son when she’s at work or wish she had more time with her family! Yes, she’s lucky to be able to even have the choice to go home and see her son at lunch time, but that doesnt mean everything is perfect for her all the time. I am sure she is quite aware of how blessed she is, but that doesnt mean her life is perfect, no one’s is.

Marissa, there’s always a few on here with something mean to say, dont let ‘em get you down, mama!

Ginger on

I have read through most of these posts and am concerned with “Normal Mom” and with “Candice” and their comments that Marissa is not a normal Mom or normal person because she is a celebrity. Not a fair statement when none of us walk in her shoes hourly, daily or monthly. We all have a path in this life and some are better than others, some have more struggle and some have just a steady life….regardless, we all have life.

After 5 years of infertility (which takes even the most normal of a person and tears them apart) I finally became a Mother in 2006 and then was blissfully surprised by another child in 2008. Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING in this world and life is easy. If it is, most times, you should run as far as you can away from it. All good things take hard work and it comes with lots of bumps, bruises, ups and downs. I struggle trying to make sure everything and everyone is taken care of from the kids, the Husband, the dogs and often times forget myself.

Just remember that you must realize that you will NEVER please everyone all the time and most important of all, treasure every moment you can with your child. The time streaks by, you blink and they are ready to go to kindergarten. We all have our “stuff” but its what we do with it and the choices we make and the strive to be a good, happy, wholesome parent that counts in the long run, celebrity or not. Hugs!!!

Marcie on

Candace,

This is her real world. Just because her experience doesn’t mirror yours doesn’t make hers less valid.

Karen on

Oh, my gosh! Your little boy is adorable! Love the curls!

Heather on

My first advise to you is to STOP SLEEPING IN YOUR SONS BED. Bad idea….it will only make a bad siutation worse. Your son will expect you to sleep with him every night! (My son is 9 now and STILL asks me to sleep with him at night!) Then your husband will wonder what happened to the “wife” part of the deal. He’s deserving too. Unless you WANT him to find someone else to fill in that part of the deal. (I’m not trying to be negative I’m NOT).

It seems you have a nice life and don’t really have to work at this point in your childs life…if you want to stay home then do. If you need to work then like the rest of the working moms you’ll go and your child will be in some sort of day care (like millions of others) and you’ll run crazy with the rest of us moms.

Last but not least, DO NOT SPOIL YOUR CHILD WITH MATERIAL THINGS! To many of today’s kids have cell phones at the age of 7 & 8 (CRAZY)and to many electronic gagets, keep it simple, read to them, cut tv out as much as possible! and just spend what little time you have with them make it QUALITY.

Molly on

This is the first time I’ve EVER commented on People’s site…and you know how hard that is to do w/all the crazy celebrity stuff on here. But I love and appreciate your honesty. I’m not saying I’m glad you also struggle with being a working mom, I’d love to see someone truly figure this out, but its still refreshing. I think back to Virginia Woolf’s bourgeoisie concept of a “room of one’s own”…obviously she never had children. As a single mom to two boys, I’ve yet to find the solution, but you know, I wake up every day (exhausted) and fight the good fight again.

One thing I’ve learned that as hard as it is to fit in, if I don’t take time for ME (even 30 minutes in a hot bath, a 10 minute walk alone), my kids also pay the price.

Good luck in finding your own balance!

Ps…love the photo with Leah Remini, another tough woman I love!

Carolyn (temysmom) on

I’m so glad you said you slept in your son’s bed with him. I slept with my daughter on a futon in her bedroom because she NEVER slept in her crib and my husband couldn’t get any sleep with her in our bed. So, the only way I could get any rest was to sleep with her. It worked… we were all well rested and happy and to be honest, it was only for a few weeks. She’s now 10 and completely well-adjusted and sleeps in her own room just fine.

And yes… I still run to the bathroom for 20 minutes of peace and quiet.

Stephanie on

I am a working mom and have a 19 month old (Sam). He is truly the most amazing little boy (okay, I am his mom, I have to say that). I work full time and have a small part time job on the side because of the times we live in. I feel pulled by my job, my family, my hubby and my son and know that I need to give something to everyone (including me – thank goodness for manis and pedis!). It’s a daily struggle, but I look forward to taking your journey with you!!

I think your blog is great!

shannon on

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Zev needs to learn how to soothe himself to sleep, and he is not going to do that if his mommy sleeps in his bed with him. Yes, it is difficult to hear a child scream and cry at night, but it’s really the only way he can be learn to be independent at night. Maybe let him cry for about 10 minutes before checking on him. But he’s not really a baby anymore.

Jennifer on

Marissa, just you wait until the ‘stay home Mommy vs the working Mommy’ part starts for you! My son is 7, and I have been struggling with this since I went back to work when he was almost 2.

People don’t want to talk about it, but it does exist, and you will be amazed by how your playgroup/pre-school/elementary school parent friends suddenly divide into these teams. School parties? Don’t even bother showing up with a store bought cake if you are a working Mom, you will need to count on staying up way late the night before to bake something homemade. I feel for you girl, this is not a fun club to belong to!

Megan on

I’ve been a stay at home mom for three years to a one year old, a three year old, and a four year old. I could never work full-time, but I decided to go back and get a graduate degree part-time this year- I consider myself a mostly-stay-at-home-mom.

I feel, most days, that I have a good balance. I am away Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings and with them 24 hours a day the other five days of the week. We don’t make much money (>40k) but school makes me happy when I’m there and a better, more engaged, more attentive mother when I am home.

My mom also said working half-time (as a teacher) was the perfect balance for her while the kids were at home. It’s not an option for everyone, but if you can make it work you may find you have more than 100% to give, theoretically speaking- I feel that I give everyone 85%, and sometimes manage more than that.

Lisa on

I think everyone needs to remember that first and foremost, we are all moms just trying to do our best for our families. It’s really sad when moms feel the need to criticize other moms for their choices in how they try to raise their families. We are all doing the best we can with the lives we have, and we would all do better to build each other up instead of cutting each other down.

Alexa Moody on

WOW! You actually are left alone in the bathroom Marissa? My two kids, 7 yr old girl and 12 yr old boy still to this day do not leave me alone in the bathroom. Privacy…what is that?!

You will somehow manage all of this the best way Marissa knows how. You will have good day and bad days and will learn a lot through out the years… we all do. It is just wonderful to find an outlet like your blog that we can share ideas on how to make more better days than bad. PRAISE THE HEAVENS ABOVE FOR THE TALK!!!! I love this show!!!!!

Amanda on

I love your blog! I am also a mom with a full time job. I stayed at home with my 19 month old daughter until she was twelve months old and going to work was the hardest thing for me to do. But, the best thing that I’ve found to cope with the everyday struggles is for 10-20 minutes I take a “mommie break” and leave my little girl with my husband while I go sit outside in the peace and quiet and just relax or either lock myself in the bathroom and take a hot bubble bath. Mommie Breaks are the best :) Can’t wait to read more of your blogs!

Ashley on

Loved your comments about juggling mommyhood, wifehood and being a working mom. I try to run home at lunch every day to spend some time with our 3 month old son and sometimes feel like I am just rushing around all the time trying to squeeze it all it, but never feeling like I am 100% doing anything. Looking forward to more stuff from you! :-)

Sonya Wolf on

First of all let me just say, Marissa… You go girl! I’m proud of you for being open and honest and for laying it all out there for everyone to read and criticize.

To “Normal Mom” and “Candice” and others who feel the same way…

have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t judge until you have walked a mile in their shoes?”

It vehemently applies to this situation.

When you go to work, do you get stopped 43 times on the way by people asking you for an autograph? Do you feel obligated to sign each and every one because these are the people that make it possible for you to have a job? Do you have to leave for work an hour or more early in order to take this time consuming task into account or risk being late to work because you don’t want to be a “jerk”?

When you go grocery shopping, are you able to shop in peace? Are there people stalking you in the produce section, trying to get a shot of you buying cantaloupe or in the frozen section, ready to snap a shot of you buying Rocky road so they can put it in a magazine with a distorted photo and say you’re binge eating? have you ever had to wonder if the friends you have are your friends because they truly love you or because they are hanging out with you for your fame/money/status? have you ever tried to blog your true, legitimate feelings about the things you go through, just to have some anonymous internet bully try to “take you down a few pegs” in order to make themselves feel better?

Celebrities aren’t just a photo in a magazine. They aren’t just a movie or a TV show. That’s their JOB. You have a job, too. Does it make you a better or more real person because your job pays low wages and you haven’t advanced enough to be able to pay for the house that you and your husband bought that was just a little bit out of your price range? Would you walk up to the CEO of your company and say these hateful things to them? They’re rich, they can afford whatever.

Don’t be a cyber bully just because you’re jealous. You’re a mom, you should know better. Is this the way you teach your children to treat others? If so, maybe we were all wearing purple on Wednesday because of people like you who teach hatred and bullying to their children. Because make no mistake, honey. You’re not a victim here. Like it or not, you are living the life you live because of choices you made. How dare you attack Marissa or anyone for that matter because they made different choices in their life than you did in yours.

Walk a mile in her shoes or else Shut up.

Sorry, Marissa. It had to be said.
Sonya

P.s. That’s my real name, I didn’t hide behind some fake tag name.

Happy Mommy on

Hi Marissa,

Love your blog, DVR your show and watch it at night once everyone is alseep and LOVE IT!

I have 2 kids when my son was 3 months – 20 months he was in full time daycare as me and my husband worked full time jobs. it was SO hard to balance everything especially working for a money hungry idiot boss whose wife stayed home with his four kids and didn’t know a thing about parenting LOL. He made me wake up in the middle of the night for meetings with our Asia office and needless to say, waking up for calls and with my son was NOT FUN! it actually drove me to quit my job when my daughter was born and stay home full time with them. Financially we were lucky to be able to do that and it’s been great but even being home full time still leaves alot of guilt for not having enough time to do everything.

My advice is to do everything you can for your kids during their waking hours and do your own personal things when they are sleeping. I multi task during the day but set them up with playdough or arts and crafts while I sit at the computer and do whatever I need to do.

As for sleeping in the bed with Zev, please… I slept with my son until he was 3 and never thought anything of it. I just figured he won’t want me there forever and would learn to fall asleep happy on his own at some point. what is 3 years of my life snuggling and cuddling with my child who I love :)

Anita on

Hi Marissa!

Your son is so adorable and the joy that he brings you is written all over your face — which is so sweet & heart-warming to see!

I’m a working mom of a 13-month old son and I know it feels to be so busy that you feel guilty for being away from your son and feeling like you don’t have enough time for him. I also know how badly we as moms need our own time as well. In order for us to be the best moms possible, I think we each need a moment to ourselves every so often. It is our chance to re-group and breathe before we head back to our busy lives. Although I do feel guilty for taking time for myself, in the end I realize that it is actually going to benefit my whole family in the end because I’ll be a happier and more relaxed mom (and wife) for them. :)

donna glover on

I am a 47 year old, mother of two wonderful daughters who have given me 3 very active grandsons ages 9 Andy, 5 Cody, and last 1 1/2 Jack.

I realize my motherhood days are over per say, but, grandmother days have just begun. I still find all your advise as wonderful words of wisdom….Thank you!! I love The Talk!!

lawyerjen on

Ok, I have an 18 month old. My advice for handling working, mommyhood, being a wife and being me – TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ANY MOMENT YOU CAN TO BE ONE OF THOSE THINGS.

Try not to multi-task too much. I know we have multi-task to survive but if your son is being silly and goofy while you are trying to work/cook/whatever. Drop what you are doing and live in the moment with your son. Same with your husband. Work will always be there and is of course important but work doesn’t remember the time he and mommy ran around the house playing peek a boo, but your son will.

As for husband time and you time- SCHEDULE it!

Get out of your son’s bed and back into your own. Don’t feel guilty for not being there during the day, he won’t remember the times you are gone. No one sleeps well when they have to share their space. Think of not sleeping in your son’s room as a gift (for all three of you)- the ability to sleep on his own, the ability to spend some you time, and the ability to spend some hubby time. For help with this transition- I’d highly recommend Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child!

Good luck!

Karen on

I am a stay at home mom like one of the moms who wrote before. I too am very happy with my decision and have no regrets. I haven’t worked in 15 years. The thing that bothers me is when moms take shots at other moms. She obviously loves her son. Let’s don’t beat each other up about what choices we’ve made. My mother-in-law has made remarks over the years about me not working or wasting my college education and not helping out my husband financially by not working outside of the home. It HURTS to have my choice maligned. Can we just move on?

Jenn Gaston on

Hi Marissa!

I know exactly where you are at and how you feel. I went back to work when my son was four and it was sooo hard! I work in a hospital and the only shift available was 3-11 pm so I didn’t get to tuck him in four nights a week. I felt so bad and guilty.

What I did was make the time we had together very special. Anytime I had a chance to take him with me somewhere I did. I even had my husband bring him by to say “HI” if I was working on the weekend. I told him every day how special he was and what a big boy he was. He is such a terrific kid. He adapted and I think it even brought him and his Dad closer. (He was such a Mommy’s boy!).

Hang in there, everyone will adapt. Good luck, I look forward to your next blog.

Jenn Gaston

Danielle on

I understand your troubles Marissa! I was a stay at home mom for 2 1/2 yrs (I have 3 yr old triplets and a 7 yr son)and then had to start working. It was a big adjustment for everyone. On top of that now, the little ones go to headstart which is like a pre-pre-K program for 2-4 yr olds. So now when I’m done my first full time job I get to go home and do 4 different sets of hw, laundry, and cook dinner, showers and then bed! By the time I have quiet time with my husband I just want to pass out. To make all of this even worse, I have insomnia pretty bad so I don’t get the rest I need. I am constantly running off of 1-2hrs of sleep, one word to describe my life….HECTIC!! Did I mention both me and my oldest have ADD? Lol, it just gets better and better lol.

sandrah on

Marissa, I was so excited when I opened the website today and saw your guest blog! Ever since Zev was born, I’ve been watching out for pics – he is such a beautiful child, and I love seeing the two of you together! I’m not a mom yet, but I think everyone has their own maternal instincts and following them is the best you can do! No one can do everything right, and what works for one person may not work for another! Enjoy your time with Zev – time flies way too quickly!

sHER on

I have recently found myself with another “mommy” dilemma. My son is now 12 and more independent, so I find myself with a little more “free time”. The problem is, where did all my friends go….The last ten years I was so busy with work, family and just trying to keep my head above water, that somehow I lost my close girlfriends. I have been trying to find some sort of “group” like Sara has been talking about, but there does not seem to be any in my area. I love your new show and wish I had a group of women like that to hang out with. I am almost 40 (next week) and want to place an ad in the paper for “new best friend wanted”. The friends I do have, we seem to be in difference places at different times. What do you suggest???

Amy on

What a stinking cute kid!! I voted for you on DWTS!!

cj on

HA! That’s funny I have a 9 month old daughter and a husband and I say I’m going to the bathroom I’ll be right back and I stay in there 20 or 30 mins or so just so that I can have a moment love them to death :) but then I think seriously I’m in the bathroom of all places to clear my head really? who does that? glad to see I’m not the only one.

my problem is I want to give 100 percent at work,to my baby,and my husband oh and work too :) but its just impossible to make everybody happy well like I said my daughter she’s happy for the most part unless you don’t give her your undivided attention I stop what I’m doing to play with her or put her down for a nap (which for the most part I fall asleep with her sometimes I sleep and she’s still awake) and the house work isn’t done and I say well…I’ll catch up on my day off even on my day off I’m working but I wouldn’t change being a mommy for the world its so amazing

Maegan on

I wasn’t sure where to post this but today on The Talk you spoke about flying with your child. You said the one question you didn’t get answered was having your childs ear’s hurt during the flight. I used to be a flight attendant. I don’t suggest nose plug and blow because you can damage your ears.

I suggest asking the flight attendant for a cup filled 1/4 of the way with hot water. Put a paper towel in the bottom of the cup to absorb the water. Have your child tilt his head so his ear is over the cup (do not tilt the cup because the water could burn your child). The steam from the hot water will open his ear and help ease the pain. Hope this helps!

Luna on

It’s hard. I had my first, a son, nine years ago. I was a teacher and, at the time, my husband didn’t make enough money for me to stay home. Daycare was expensive, but it worked out financially better than if I were to not work and stay home. Three years later, I had twin girls. The way things worked out, daycare for three little ones was more expensive than me staying home and watching them. Then my husband got promoted. Eventually as my next daughter and finally my last son were born, I made the decision to stay home because before and after school, plus daycare, plus not being there to watch my kids grow wasn’t worth the money I brought in.

My husband now makes enough that we are doing well financially and I get to spend every day with my three and a half year old and fourteen month old. Every day I get to pick my kids up from the bus. I’m the first one they tell about their day. It’s a decision and it’s hard. But if you do what works for you, things work out better. Being at peace with your decision leads to the outcome you want.

As for the 25% club, well we’re all there. But I was told once to throw yourself 100% into what you’re doing at the time and it makes it easier to deal with the fact that you aren’t there 100% of the time. If you focus solely on your kids when you’re with them, put the cell phone, laptop, laundry, dishes, and everything down, and really spend time with them, you won’t feel so bad when you go out with friends or spend time with your man or whatever. Zev is precious Marissa. Good luck on your adventures :)

Annie on

I had something else written but deleted it when I saw Ms. W stated she reads her comments and to write only nice things.

I wish you well. I hope you are okay.

And I do love my alone time in the bathroom – although I had to learn to lock the door because even that wasn’t sacred.

Tee on

Marissa, I’m so happy you agreed to blog for People/celebrity babies! I adore seeeing photos of you with your son because your love for him shines through your eyes in a way unlike most people. (Same reason I love seeing Marcia Cross and her girls.) I’m really looking forward to reading more about your life!

Yes, there are always people on here that have something negative to say but you strike me as the type of person to be able to tune that nonesense out. Either way, know that I’m looking forward to reading your blog posts!

meghan on

Marissa, I had to smile when you mentioned taking twenty minutes in the bathroom for yourself. I know plenty of Mom’s who have admitted to that! Other the other side of that, my poor Mom couldn’t even get THAT much privacy! Poor thing got hounded so much by her four kids, she started calling the bathroom her office.

I know striking the balance is never easy, but don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for working. It is such a divisive issue and no one answer is right for all families. You have to do what is best for your family without being made to feel bad about it.

Also, your son is SO handsome!

sher on

um, “normal mom” – why are you reading people’s CELEBRITY baby blog if you want to hear about “real” 9-5 women who are struggling financially? get a life.

you know what else i’ve noticed lately? i’ve realized for some time now that a lot of little girls (much more so than little boys) are absolutely cruel, vicious little things. i’m beginning to think that they learn it from their mommies… so ladies, think about the kind of woman you are because your kids will follow your example!

Lilybett on

Ignore Normal Mom. There’s no such thing as a normal mum. That’s like saying there are generic children. Each child is unique, therefore each parent has to be as well. No-one’s an expert on your child except you and you figure it out as you go.

P.S. That was a low blow complaining that celebrities don’t have real worries because: a, not all celebrities are rolling in it; b, money or celebrity don’t cure all ills (nor do they nullify your original value system); and c, they have concerns non-celebrities don’t have to worry about (how many times have you had paps chasing you in your car or people shoving cameras in your kids’ faces, Normal Mom?).

mommytoane on

Love the post. :) Thank you!! I have to admit, I’m a bathroom sneakin away mommy/wife. Lets face it. Its the one place in the house, where you know you are left alone. But…my secret place is also my *library* aka, my walk in closet transformed into a library via shelves, a lamp and a comfy chair.

Parenthood/marriage/life is a huge balancing act. But knowing which items can be placed to the side of the scale, and which are to be kept on it, is the hardest part. Dishes can wait, cleaning can wait, as can laundry. Children wanting to show you their pretty new picture…can’t. Spending time with your spouse is also very important. Having a good family structure for your children is good. Weather its your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, boyfriend, husband, or you are a single parent. No matter what your family looks like, its important.

Thank you for your blog. :) Loved reading it and your lil guy is absolutely a doll! Definately a mini-me of you!

marissa jaret winokur on

Thank you so much for your comments! I told you I would read every one and i have!

I know in theory I am not alone . BUT reading that we all basically feel the same way does indeed make me feel better! I do have moments where I feel like the world’s worst mom, if I am away from Zev I have a non stop feeling of guilt.

lawyerjen wrote that I need to get out of my sons bed! I KNOW I KNOW I feel like 2 years will go by and I will wake up and notice that i hadn’t spent a night in bed with my husband! I will try I really will!!! :)

Luna wrote that i need to be 100 percent where ever i am! you’re sooooo right i actually need to put my cell phone down when playing with zev.. and while at work stop texting husband about Zev…… thank you

You guys are so amazing for commenting such positive thoughts and advice to me and each other! keep it up!

sHER wrote about needing a new best friend! OMG we all feel like that .. that’s why we are writing on this board! and I love what you said about being nice woman and raising nice girls! I always say to Zev when he’s being mean… ” Zevi don’t be mean, you can get away with it now but when you grow up people dont like mean big boys”

thank you so much for your support ,and love and you all made me feel like a better mom and not so alone I hope you feel better too!

oxooxoxoxox

Maria on

My kids are 19, 21 and 23. The one mom had it right. They need you more when they get older than when they are babies. Little ones have much simpler needs. It just gets more complicated and involved the older they get and when they are out in the world at school. Enjoy every minute of his babyhood. Sharon was right when she told you that you have your whole life to work and your son is only 2 for now. You will turn around in the blink of an eye and he will be 23!

You work to live, don’t ever live to work. Enjoy what you are doing it while you are doing it. Don’t look too far ahead, it will overwhelm you. Just deal with where you are today :) It will turn out fine.

Romy on

you are the only one making this a big deal. many moms work and still love their children and play with them and everyone is fine. it’s ridiculous to go sleep in his bed. don’t forget about your husband. you are doing everyone a disservice here. your son is cute, great, and he is fine. he can handle mommy sleeping in a grown up bed with daddy. in fact, later he will appreciate that sort of thing. keep your relationship with your husband alive and normal. that really doesn’t take more time.

blessedwithboys on

Loved you on DWTS and omg do you ever look beautiful in your pics here, but esp the one on the top of the page. Zev has a perfect little angel face! :)

WRT co-sleeping…it’s a practice as old as time. Totally normal. Everyone I know has slept with their kids either full or part time. Your hubz is an adult and should be able to patiently wait his turn. :)

Looking fwd to your next blog!

Kris on

I think Zev is just a teeny bit older than my little guy (he turned 2 at the end of August), so I feel your pain.

The thing is, you have to find what works for *YOU*. If sleeping with Zev comforts him and brings peace in your house, so freaking be it. EMBRACE your situation, and don’t let others try to make you feel bad or guilty or whatever because you do things your own way.

Honestly, I really don’t think of it as a balancing act. My husband travels for work all. the. time., so my “me” time is pretty much non-existent. I’m home with him during the day, so those 24/7 parenting marathons take their toll sometimes. But. I try to remember that the good days (usually) outnumber the bad ones, and that’s all we can do.

Love to you & yours . . .

Stacy Mom of two on

I too am a working mother of two. I have two jobs. And than I have to find the time to spend a little with each of my daughters.

one is 14 and the other is 3. And add on top of that a husband and step-son who lives in a home for handicapped children. So I also have to fit in visits with him. There are some day I am just not sure how to do it all. But some how I manage. Like at this moment my baby should be in bed but she is sitting on my lap while I type this, just because she wants my attention. I love being a mother and wouldn’t change any of it…You will be great just keep doing what you are doing and make sure to make time for yourself…

Stacy Mom of two on

In response to those that have the option to stay home with their kids..Unfortunately that is not an option for all of us. sometimes by the time I get home from work I have 1 hour before bed time. how do you squeeze a whole day into one hour for children? if anyone can figure that out let me know. To those of you who can stay lucky you : )

marissa jaret winokur on

stacy mom of two… I soooooo get it. when i have been working all day I feel like i can’t say no to him about anything! I dont want to say no when I only have an hour or two! I agree !!!!! how can we smush a full day of love into one hour at night!

LeighAnn on

Marissa, It seems like I’ve been a mom forever I should have this down pat, but I don’t. I have a 16, 14, 8 and 4-year old. Unfortunately I work full time days, and my husband owns his own business and works overnights. So we literally pass each other in the morning when I’m leaving and he’s coming home, and in the evening when he’s leaving and I’m coming home. Sometimes the kids are out of control because they feel the sadness of the family not always getting to be together, but there is so much to do! homework, dinner, showers, bedtime stories, lots of cuddles and snuggles, kissing of boo boos. These are my favorite jobs yes, but finding time for me? not happening! :(

Danyell on

Hi guys,

First, I just want to say congrats to all of you mothers out there but most importantly, I want to let you know how much you guys should cherish and appreciate your children and your family although you may face many many obtacles on a daily basis just be thankful you were blessed with the beautiful childern you have.. I have been married for almost 10 years, I am a healthy 29 year old woman, college educated and so is my hubby, we decided we would do things the right way and then have a child unfortunately, I have had two second trimester pregnancy losses my first chid was a girl born a 4 months Jan 2009 and my second was a boy born at 5 /12 months in Dec, 2009 he lived for an hour and passed away shortly after.

Sometimes the pain I feel is unbearable, whenever I see a pregnant woman who is happy and glowing, or women with their childern I get a huge lump in my throat and have to fight my back my tears. I just hope and pray that my husband and I will ge to experience parenthood and the joy of birth that all of you have experienced..Wish you all the best! hope to join you guys one day:)

Evelyn on

I work fulltime and have two children. I have always believed it is the quality of the time you spend with your children not the quantity. Regardless of whether you stay at home or choose/need to work you can be the best mom for your children. Just like someone said before me live in the moment.

Gina on

I raised two boys alone and often worked multiple jobs to support our household. I never allowed the co-sleeping simply because I needed as much rest as I could get! Someone above mentioned being in the moment and I agree. Juggling jobs, kids, their extra activities, etc., there is no balance to it. One day someone or something gets more than an another, the next it changes.

When you are with your family, leave work behind, turn off your cell phone even. If it’s important enough they will leave a message or call back. Being accessible to work issues is the downfall of families.

When you and your hubby are out for a little romantic couple time, leave work and child talk at the door. Don’t become a couple that only talks about what’s going on with the kids. Keep that romantic time special by just focusing on each other. There will be plenty of time for work and kid conversations.

As for yourself, remember, that better you feel about yourself the better lesson you will teach your children. They learn by what they see, not by what they hear. You can preach veggies and exercise and healthy living but if Mom is sneaking off to the pantry for her sugar fix your children will know it. They can sniff out a sugary snack a mile away! Instead practice yoga together, there are plenty of mommy and me dvd’s for it. And he’s plenty old enough to help you in the kitchen, rinsing veggies and such. Make it fun and family oriented, he’ll never think he’s missing out and neither will you!

Ana on

I first want to welcome you and i look forward to reading your future blogs. i definitely understand the whole balancing act…it’s hard and i”m one that tries to separate my time between my two kids and my husband.

My husband and I lucked out because we basically have the same schedule, we are both at home by 4pm, yet we barely talk to each other. So, after realizing that this was ruining our relationship, we came up with a plan. He will start accompaning me to pick up the kids from the babysitter and that would give us at least 20 minutes to catch up and let me tell you that it works. those 20 minutes has made a difference and instead of talking about the kids, we talk about us or about what went on at work…anything we want, except the kids. it may not be as much time as we both hoped, but we have to deal with what we have.

Eliz on

Finding balance is an individual thing and I think that is why it is so hard to nail down a solution to the issue.

I am a single mom to a 2yr old little girl, and I have been back working full time (sometimes OT too) since she was 6 months, we get up at 530am every day so that we have a couple hours in the evening together. I get me time after she goes to bed or on my lunch break, weekends are for spending time with my little girl and we try to do as much together/fun time as we can, and sometimes that means we just stay home and hang out. The only thing I don’t have to fit in is time for a husband/boyfriend so that gives me lots of time to find quiet time.

I think if at the end of the day your child/children are happy and you have done your best then you have succeeded and today is the only day you should worry about. Tomorrow is a new battle.

Mary on

Hi Marissa…….. You are a beautiful wonderful women. I am just wondering if you have ever lived in Utah for a short period of time.

xo Mary

Kat on

Finding time is definitely a challenge. I became a full time step parent to four children 11 1/2 years ago and it was difficult adjusting to my new life. I enjoyed every moment of it though! I managed my life (and still do) with lists and would use any spare time to get stuff done. I enjoyed the information from a reader that said “be in the moment”. I completely agree. Balance is difficult but doable. The hardest part is actually finding time for me. Good luck! Love you on DWTS!

Autumn on

Marissa, I do so enjoy your new show. Its fun. my sons are grown and married but I still remember the sleepless nights and all of it.

On sleeping in your sons bed with him, I did it sometimes but they became used to their beds early and it wasn’t a real issue. I was a night owl and liked to stay up late, some nights they would go ” lay down with daddy” that was a special time for them. My friends daughter died suddenly at 19. There was never a reason found, she simply just died. SO, cherish every second with your son. Don’t let anyone tell you what is wrong or right, follow your heart. Love u much.

CAM on

To all the moms who feel that you dont give everyone 100%, DONT BEAT YOURSELVES UP! As long as you are giving your son, husband, job and self 100% during the 25% you are giving them, then you are doing good (does that make sense????)!

I guess what I’m saying is when you set aside the time for them, don’t let the other things interrupt. It’s so easy to get distracted and feel like you can be doing something else that needs to be done. It’s important to remember that they dont need you 100% of the time, you just need to make sure that the time you give them is special and it counts! And definetly take the time for yourself…if you dont, you will BURN OUT.

As a stay at home mom to a 4 year old and a 1 year old, I dont always have the financial means to do the things I would like to do (dinner with the girls, mani/pedi’s, etc…) but I sometimes just get in my car with a cup of tea and sit in a parking lot and read my book! I don’t think about the 2 loads of laundry waiting to be folded and the dishwasher that needs to be emptied! At the end of the day, I have peice of mind that I read my son that extra story that he loves, played blocks with my daughter and cuddled with my hubby for an extra 10 minutes! So what if all of our clothes are a bit wrinkled because I didnt ever get to that 2 loads of laundry???

Sandra on

First let me say to Marissa – congrats on your new job and your son is absolutely adorable! Second, finding “me” time is a challenge for every mom I think. It gets difficult to do so some days too! I even find myself looking forward to doing dishes and cleaning up after dinner because I get some version of peace when doing so! :D Hopefully you find an even balance soon. Please keep up the good work on your blog! It’s a great read!

And finally – some of you “ladies” really need to take a step back and look at yourselves and what you are putting in your comments. You are very judgmental and immature, as well as, plain rude as hell! You have no idea what Marissa is going through or what her situation is. Just because her struggles are different from yours, and in your opinion less worrisome (ahem Normal Mom), does not give you the right to chastise her or anyone else. If you really don’t care to read what she writes, no one is forcing you to read it – just stay off her blog and quit posting rude comments. You look like an immature, jealous idiot who sounds very similar to a high school cyber bully. Grow up!

Again congrats Marissa! And great job!

Melissa on

Marissa-OMG can you say NORMAL. I may have grown up in Fargo, ND and moved to “the big city” but seriously, you sound like all of the moms I know and work with. The best advice I ever received from a mom was this: “No one can make you feel inferior”. DO NOT LET THOSE MOMS BULLY YOU…and they are!! The only thing that matters is happiness and health. If we all realized that, the world would be a better place!

This is coming from a single mom of a 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old who’s father left in July and hasn’t seen his children since-optimism is the only thing besides faith that keeps you going. Keep wiping your son’s boogies with your shirt. WHO CARES, better than him eating it…Keep a smile on your face, your chin up and the only person who should judge your son is YOU. Live a blessed day Marissa!

Holly F. on

HI Marissa,

Your new show, The Talk, rocks! I love all you ladies, and the honesty you each bring to all of us. Look, motherhood is still a mystery in so many ways to me, even with a daughter, who is a senior, away at college and a son, who is a freshman, also away and living on campus. The BEST, MOST DIFFICULT, AMAZING, and CRAZY journey is being called MOM! Still trying to figure it all out, but I do know one thing for sure…it is definitely worth all the sleepless nights, when they are little and now when they are big! I can only PRAY (as I did over their cribs!) as they drive away to their schools now…well, and cry a little bit too. W

hether a mom is home full-time, as I was for 16 years because dad travels so much, or works full-time or mixes in work and being home, she will make it work because of so much love for these precious little people God has entrusted us to raise. Hopefully, women can just support each other, whatever the decision they need to make about working and motherhood.

And remember, when your little guy leaves for college or just goes out into the world one day, you can always have 3 dogs waiting at the bathroom door-as I do! Congrats on the great show and looking forward to the rest of this season. You are all funny, intelligent, and compassionate women who makes us all laugh a lot about being moms!

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