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Moms Like Us: An Interview with Ali Wentworth

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Celebrity Moms and Dads: they’re just like us. Aren’t they?

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell that when tabloids and entertainment magazines splash picture perfect photos of them at gala events looking like they’ve never had a night with a sleepless baby or gone to the store with spit-up on their shoulder.

I recently had my own up close and personal encounter with one famous mom who I’m happy to report really is just like the rest of us. Ali Wentworth, writer, entertainer (remember her from the 1990s TV show “In Living Color?”), mother to two daughters and wife of ABC News anchor George Stephanopolous spoke with me at the recent Baby Buggy Bedtime Bash sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. She and I got to be fast friends during a frank conversation about some of the unexpected challenges of being a mom.

I started off the conversation with a pretty standard parenting question, “What’s been your most challenging, unexpected, or difficult experience as a mom?”

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Ali didn’t hesitate, “I didn’t expect to be so attached. I didn’t expect to turn down a lot of work if I was going to be away. When I was expecting [my first child] and even before that, I saw the mommy world in a very cerebral, detached way.”

In fact, she admitted that she didn’t stop parents who had cute kids in the street longing for a baby of her own. Until she had one.

“I had my own kids and now I go away for one night and I call my husband from the hotel room crying,” she says, while adding, “and they’re fine.” But she still won’t let them go to sleepaway camp. She prefers to keep them close to home.

She admits what moms like myself often feel, “I still have a hard time separating from them. I guess I’m so glad that I have them. I also know people say ‘Cherish these moments. They’re over in a second.’ [I feel like] I was just breastfeeding and now they’re running off not caring that I’m here.”

She also jokes about how she’s a helicopter mom in reverse, “I pull them into my bed. I don’t let them go to sleepaway camp. Why have a playdate when I’m home?”

Feeling like she had many of the same experiences I did as a mother, I ventured into the territory of age, promptly putting my foot in my mouth when I asked, “Forgive me for saying this, but you were an older mom?”

Apparently, “older” is not a term that is generally embraced by moms of any age. I explained that I was considered “of advanced maternal age” when I got pregnant with my son at the age of 36.

Ali had her first child when she was 36 and agreed that she also had experienced a whole adult life before settling down to have children.

The benefit, she claims, of waiting is that “when you have the kids you’re ready to do the time.”

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She has plenty of friends who had children when they were younger and were okay with going to shoot a movie, as they were still very much in the throes of their career and didn’t want to give any of that up.

She went on to further push my foot in my mouth by revealing, “As an ‘older’ mom, a GERIATRIC mother, I’ve been there and I’ve done that. I don’t want to go out at night. I’d much rather be home with my kids and there’s no ‘I wonder what that’s like’ because I already did it.”

With her role as a mother so fulfilling, I asked her why she got involved with Baby Buggy. (She’s currently a member of the Board of Directors.)

She was living in Washington after the birth of her first child and found that she had so much stuff (clothes from in-laws, outfits worn once). She tried unsuccessfully to find a place willing to take all of the “stuff.”

Being friends with Jessica Seinfeld, who had just started Baby Buggy, she would send boxes to New York. She went on to start something similar in DC called Baby Love DC because organizations like that simply didn’t exist.

What she enjoys the most about helping organizations like Baby Buggy and Baby Love DC is that she sees women who can’t necessarily write a check to help but can still feel good about donating to families in need.

While I originally was thrilled to talk to Ali because I’ve been a fan of hers for years, I ended our conversation as a fan of her take on motherhood and her attitude towards giving back.

And apparently, the foot in my mouth wasn’t as bad as I thought when Ali tweeted to me the next day!

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Fadra Nally is a Communications Specialist for Johnson & Johnson. When she’s not working, she’s mothering a precocious 6 year old in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD. In her spare time, she writes all.things.fadra, one of the Top 100 Mom Blogs for 2012 according to She’s also the co-founder of Charitable Influence.

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