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January Jones: My Parenting’s Nothing Like Betty’s!

03/16/2012 at 11:00 AM ET
Jordan Strauss/WireImage

New motherhood hasn’t made January Jones‘s cold and unhappy Mad Men character any more relatable to the audience — or to the actress that plays her.

In fact, welcoming son Xander Dane last September has allowed Jones to realize that her role onscreen couldn’t be more different than life off.

“If anything, I understand her even less. But in terms of mothering, I don’t carry anything ‘Betty’ home,” the actress — who was sporting new light pink streaks in her hair – tells Hollyscoop Wednesday at the show’s season five Hollywood premiere.

The first-time mom began filming the latest season when she was already eight months pregnant and credits her strong support system with her ability to manage the day-to-day balance.

“It was difficult just to be [a] working mom, and juggling all that, but everyone made it work,” she says. “[The show's creator] Matthew Weiner was great about it, the show was great about it.”

But even the best accommodations don’t completely erase all the pain of leaving her baby boy behind when she heads to the set.

“You just miss your child when you’re at work, but I think it’s really important to have something for yourself,” Jones, 34, reasons. “It keeps you sane and it makes you a better parent. It makes you not take it for granted.”

Allowing herself to enjoy each moment with Xander, Jones reveals her 6-month-old is meeting his milestones — and learning how to melt his mama’s heart.

“He’s eating solids, and jabbering away, and rolling over,” she shares. “He’s becoming more of a little person. He’s quite the charmer!”

– Anya Leon

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Showing 19 comments

JM on

aw, i think she’s a great actress. mad men is astoundingly good. good to hear she’s not following betty’s parenting style though :)

Becky on

I have never seen Man Men, but i agree with her. When you work you work you do not take anything for granted, you make every moment count. Now i work because i have no choice but as soon as i come home from work to see my little man, it is the best time of day.

Jennifer on

January, YOU might be fine leaving your baby in the care of someone else while you work. But I bet YOUR CHILD isn’t.

L.G. on

Wow, the first comment is a negative one from a SAHM. Shocking! If you can stay at home, great! Most women cannot. Get over it. It’s like you can’t be happy about your choice without smugly lording it over other people. Gee, I bet that’s a super healthy emotional environment to grow up in. Your kid is so lucky.

jessica on

Jennifer…she doesn’t say she’s fine. But she has to work to support herself and her child. Who are YOU to judge the way millions of mothers raise their children or to speak for a child about whom you know nothing? Go be a troll somewhere else.

Anna on

Wow Jennifer, pretty strong statement there. Children do very well in the care of others. Im sure you make all of the working mothers feel really good about themselves.

ruby on

Jennifer, go jump off a bridge. Seriously. SHUT UP. Not everyone can stay-at-home, and even those of us who can still have to earn some sort of income. If you haven’t noticed, gas is over $4/gal in most cities and is supposed to go up another $1/gal over the summer!

Jeanne on

And it begins again, the endless fight between SAHMs and working moms.

January is raising Xander as a single mother, and she’s working to support him. And would you have her demand to be written out of one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time? Not that it’d even be possible to do so, as I’m fairly certain she’s under contract.

Lara on

This is such a touchy subject and there is no room for any mother to judge another mother. We are all just trying to do our best to raise our children and support our families. I am a stay at home Mom until my daughter goes to preschool and then I will have to go back to teaching. That is a choice my husband and I made, just as other parents (or a single parent) must make. Parenting has got to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but having someone standing there shaking their finger at me while I do it (be it society, strangers, family members, whatever) does not make things better for anyone.

Sweet on

So any guesses on who the daddy is? I’m betting on the Married X-men director hence the name Xander….

Anna on

It’s ridiculous that women point angry fingers at mothers who don’t stay at home with their baby until they move out, or who stop breast feeding before they can drive.

Also, it’s very anti-feministic for you to say that women should have to stay home with their kids like a “good mother”, instead of getting a job and earning money to support her family.

Thirdly, the baby is 6 months old, I know that when my mother had kids, she had to go back to work after 4 month. It’s not as if she’s doing anything terrible, or out of the ordinary.

completewoman on

Jennifer, unless you’ve walked in January Jones’ shoes, I’d suggest you show some empathy. Even Steve Jobs widow who was married to a billionaire needed help raising her children.

Melisa on

Jennifer, get off your high horse. I don’t know if you looked around lately, but there are a great deal of people with their children in daycare. And as a Daycare Provider myself, I can assure you, I offer some of the children in my care a better situation than they have at home. Please don’t hate on any working parent. When gas is $5 bucks a gallon and families have no health insurance, many many families have absolutely no choice but to have two working parents just to get by. This doesn’t mean that their children are any less loved or happy.

Taylor on

I’m a SAHM. . .but that’s mine and my husband’s choice. Some people don’t have that option, some people couldn’t handle being home all the time, whatever. Not my place to judge. As long as a mom or dad is there for their child, is supportive and tries to be the best parent they can be, then rock on. Daycare, especially when the child is a toddler, is great for helping the child socialize. . .so there’s no need to hate.

Dee on

Hey Jennifer. Should you be on here? I’m sure YOUR CHILD wouldn’t like knowing YOU’RE ON HERE instead of doing something with him or her.

Josy on

Jennifer , who are you to judge? That’s great that you can stay at home with your child.. Not everyone has that opportunity but it sure as heck does not make you a better mother. Get off your high horse and stop judging people! Worry about your own life and what works for your family and others will do what works for them.

Kit on

My mom worked, and I went to someone else’s house while she worked, and I didn’t suffer one bit. I am now an adult and a well-adjusted human being, I promise. Every mother and every child is different, you cannot generalize that way.

rafiki on

Jennifer’s an idiot. Don’t waste your time on her. I’ve stayed home with my kids and I’ve worked on and off. Neither one is easy. As a stay at home mom I felt my brain was turning to mash but I sacrificed my own needs for the kids. As a working mom I feel guilty having to jet off sometimes for days and not always be there to hear their every detail of each day. We can’t win! We punish ourselves either way. You just do the best you can…

Rosey on

I’ve known great SAHMs. Jennifer gives them all a bad name. Feminism is about knowing your choices and any one of them can be good for your family. I want to work. That is fine too.

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