being a mom

Tina Fey Is The Mom Friend We All Would Kill To Have

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Tina-Fey-Amy-Poehler-Rachel-DratchThis statement is so ten years ago, but here I go: Everyone loves Tina Fey. (And if you don’t, you at least have to respect her. And if you don’t, you probably have a personal beef with her and I’m super intrigued – private message me later with details.) But I love her now more than ever for a reason that has nothing to do with SNL or 30 Rock.

Fey has earned her place as a comedy icon and a boss – literally, figuratively – and she makes jokes about things that acknowledge our universal but often unspoken truths; the ones about how we all love to eat garbage snack foods and think sex can be a chore sometimes. (Note to self: Write separate post devoted to that subject. Don’t tell my DH. LOLOL. Ugh.)  But what I like most about Tina Fey is the way she is as a mom. I have never seen the woman up close with her kids so I can’t speak to the example she is setting for her two daughters, but I can speak to the one she sets for me, another over-30 woman with a job as a writer who doesn’t need another stereotypical, harried sitcom mom as a representation of what work-life balance is. My life is busy and can be stressful but I’m trying to remain fun and not-always-tired and not become a Patricia Heaton character (no shade, I actually love The Middle).

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3tR5n-trj8]

I watched this recent clip of her on Late Night With Seth Meyers in which Tina told a story about working on a film called The Nest with Amy Poehler this summer, and one weekend they were visited by Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, and all of their combined children. My perspective was not “What a cute and hilarious bunch of kids that must be!” (Although, c’mon, it totally must be.) It was “I love that these women who once worked together – In the entertainment industry! Where people can be crazy and competitive! – are all still close, supportive friends, and they all seem to love being moms.”

No doubt they have help in the childcare department, I’m not saying they are those unicorns of society who “have it all”. (That in itself is a phrase I find so bogus because it’s entirely subjective and I don’t even want to make it a part of this.) I’m saying that they inspire me because just by all hanging out together for one weekend with all their kids, they’re at least balancing something I’m aspiring to balance too – time spent with my family, my friends, and my work.

That the four of them comprise my own comedy fan fiction ideal of the Sex and the City foursome probably slants things in their favor. But the point is, I love hearing stories like these that paint a picture of motherhood as something fun and delightful and goofy and not taking away from who we were pre-kids, but adding to that person. Tina, Amy, Rachel and Maya are not the only women in show business (or, you know, in life) who balance work and kids, but I’m a comedy nerd so I feel a particular a sense of admiration.

I appreciated this story, too, for one additional subtlety – forgive me for getting heavy, but this is coming after several years working at a cable network whose bread and butter are shows about groups of women united by some kind of “sisterhood” but who then proceed to beat the shit out of each other for twelve episodes and two reunion specials. Anyway, this story was amazing to me for the way it depicted female friendship as it should be, as it is, and as I know it. TV doesn’t represent that very often and maybe it’s sad that watching so many women fight has made me thirsty for even the tiniest representation of positive friendship, like a three minute late-night talk show interview. But alas. I’d totally watch a show based on 30 minutes of the security camera footage Fey references in the clip.

I don’t look up to celebrities for advice on how to live my life or what to name my kid (but for reals, my next son will be named Jaden because it has to be) but sometimes it’s nice to hear a relatively normal story about their normal lives. I’m sure Tina’s PR team wasn’t like “Sell this whole ‘mom’ role hard on Late Night! It’ll do wonders for your image!”  but I’m sure they’d be pleased to know that that’s what this particular fan took away from that interview. Mom friends FTW.