I've been doing some serious writing now for several months, so it was refreshing to have a fun conversation with Tammy Pescatelli recently. She's mom to a preschooler, star (and producer) of her own TV show, and hardworking stand-up comedienne. With credits like Leno, Carson Daly, and Last Comic Standing to her name, plus winner of Comedy Central's Standup Showdown, she's a force to be reckoned with in entertainment.
But I was more interested in her approach to motherhood. She's a hard-working lady in a family that values family -- so much, in fact, that they're full of advice. We're talking enmeshed Italian family here. (As a member of an enmeshed Jewish family, I feel I can say it -- Jewish, Italian -- same thing.) And like many of us, Tammy is an older mother has had enough life experience to have more confidence in her decisions and in her parenting. She tells me that being in the public eye has reinforced the notion that you can't make everybody happy all the time.
For instance, Tammy revealed to me that she didn't breastfeed her son. Despite her valid (and personal) reasons, she was judged and criticized for it. Long-time BabyShrink readers know this is a pet peeve of mine. So many moms suffer rude (at best) commentary from others who feel somehow justified in crossing over this very personal boundary -- involving our babies and our bodies. And Tammy's story is actually worse than most I've heard -- she received a phone call from a "lactivist" organization, saying that they had "heard" she wasn't breastfeeding her child, and could they send a lactating mother right over as a wet-nurse? SERIOUSLY!
But Tammy has strength and confidence in her convictions. She's focused on her son and her family -- and she knows that balaning their needs with the needs of her demanding career may be difficult -- but ultimately worth it. She's nurtured her internal voice of what's best -- her "Mother's Intuition" -- plus she does her research and consults with experts. And she doesn't apologize or get depressed when others criticize her -- she laughs about it. And she's as pleasant, funny, happy, confident, and centered as she seems on TV.
After all, if we've lost our sense of humor in this kooky journey of parenting, we're in trouble. So thanks for the reminder, Tammy, and good luck with your new show! I can't wait to watch the first episode, this Tuesday, January 25 on WeTV, at 10 pm Eastern.
Dr. Heather The BabyShrink