For us Canadian moms, we dearly miss Laurie Gelman on The Mom Show! With over 20 years of national broadcast experience, Laurie has also appeared on shows such as Good Morning America and CBS The Early Show. Laurie is married to executive producer of Live! With Regis and Kelly, Michael Gelman.
The proud mom of two girls – Jamie, 10, and Misha, 7 – opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about blogging about personal experiences and parenting trends of 2012 on BabyCenter, playdates with her good pal Kelly Ripa, and rising above the smoke and mirrors of the ‘perfect’ celebrity mom: “You have to remember that these celebrities have an entire team supporting them.”
CBS: I’m from Canada and love The Mom Show! Is it off the air for good?
LG: “We haven’t done it in two years. It’s too bad. They really should come back because I get so many questions about it.”
CBS: You’re still in touch with Catherine Marion (co-host of the show), Nanny Robina, Dr. Dave and the whole gang?
LG: “Definitely! In fact I’m having lunch with Karyn soon. She had twins and she’s doing great. Dr. Dave is doing great as well – I think he’s doing CityLine on a regular basis now.”
CBS: How are your girls doing? How old are they now?
LG: “Jamie is 10 and Misha is 7. They’re doing great. They’re just growing so beautifully and they’re just loving school. Jamie’s really into hip hop dancing which is so funny. They’re all terrible at it, but they think they’re good! But that’s half the battle – thinking you’re good at it.
Mischa’s into gymnastics and reading. She’d love to do get into hip hop, but I’m waiting for a bit. But they’re both really good girls and we have a really great time with them. For the mostpart they get along. Yesterday we were on a plane without TV…ahhhh! And they played together so beautifully! They played hand games, hangman and all that stuff. It was just great!”
CBS: Tell us about blogging for BabyCenter.
LG: “I’ve been writing for them for the past year and a half. BabyCenter blogs are fantastic, they’re called MomFormation. If you have any concerns about anything, you just go to them. They’re always talking about something so relevant. I have just loved working for them.
A lot of times I’m writing about experiences I’ve had in my own life. I just posted about parenting trends of 2012. One of them that I notice is a switch toward a stricter parenting style. What I’ve noticed is we’ve let our kids run rampant over us over the past few years. I think that because of the Tiger Mom, people don’t want to be that strict, but they are realizing that there is a wisdom to not applauding every little thing that your child does. And maybe we are taking a look at trying it one more time and getting better at it. I think that’s a trend we might see a bit more of in 2012.”
CBS: For our readers who aren’t familiar, please tell us more about Tiger Mom.
LG: “Tiger Mom is an Asian mom named Amy Chua who wrote a book about her parenting style and how much stricter it is versus the western, basically the American, parenting style. She tells great and sometimes horrifying stories about how she made her child sit for 12 hours learning one piece on the piano and wouldn’t let her get up to go to the bathroom or take a drink of water. The girl was sitting there crying and the mom said, ‘You will sit there and you will learn it.’ The piano piece was very difficult for a 7-year-old, but apparently she did master it and everybody was happy. Even the girl was so proud of herself because she worked really hard. There were hugs and kisses all around. But in the moment, it wasn’t nurturing. It was more like pushing, pushing. It’s a great book to read just to even get a different perspective on parenting.”
CBS: Do you think there’s a happy medium between the western parent and the Tiger Mom parent?
LG: “I think so. And I think that’s the trend you’re going to see this year. We’re not going the other way, but we really coddle our kids. We really don’t want them to hurt or bleed in any way. And if you don’t hurt, you don’t grow. They need to experience the disappointments, and not hear that absolutely everything that they do is perfect and wonderful. I think that what we’re going to see more of is that parents need to be a little more tougher.”
CBS: What are some of the other trends you’re seeing?
LG: “Right now we’re looking at the year of the dad. Dads are going to be taking on a little bit more of the armchair and what has been considered ‘mom work.’ They’re going to be picking up kids from school and taking them to playgroups. A lot of dads have lost their jobs and the moms are in the workplace and they’ve got to pick up the slack. They don’t have the two incomes anymore and they can’t hired babysitters. I’ve seen a lot of dads doing the pick-up and the drop-off at my kids’ school and attending recitals and things like that. I’d like my husband to take a little bit more of the armchair! They say that 26% of dads are now doing the grocery shopping, which I love!”
CBS: And maybe naming your baby after a color like Beyoncé and Jay-Z could be a new trend?
LG: “Who the heck knows! When Gwyneth Paltrow named her baby Apple, we didn’t see Pineapple and Grapes for the next names! I think everyone just tries to be unique.”
CBS: How’s your husband (executive producer of Live! Michael Gelman) making out without Regis?
LG: “We all miss Regis so much! I think he went before his time. A lot of people don’t know when to go, but I think we would’ve loved Regis for another year or so. We’re good friends and actually we’re going for dinner with Regis and Joy tonight. They have not found a replacement and they don’t even have a front-runner at this point.”
CBS: So Kelly Ripa is just making out with guest co-hosts at this point?
LG: “Well she’ not literally ‘making out’ with the co-hosts [laughs]. Although I think she did with Rob Lowe [more laughs]. But other than that, no she’s just hanging out with them.”
CBS: You and Kelly are friends? Do your girls have playdates?
LG: “She’s fantastic. The girls still do have playdates, it’s so great. We used to when they were little all the time. Kelly and I go to spinning class together.”
CBS: Is she that great in real life?
LG: “She really is that great in real life!”
CBS: How do you feel about baby websites like ours? Too intrusive? Or a fun resource for moms?
LG: “Websites like yours I think have one great purpose: All moms want to relate to someone like them. And if they see that Gwen Stefani is using this stroller, or if Gwyneth Paltrow is doing this, or if Beyoncé has this kind of baby food in her house, I think that that is a great thing.
But I don’t think that moms should beat themselves up because they’re not in their skinny jeans 3 weeks after they give birth. Or if they’re not completely and utterly together all the time because you have to remember that these celebrities have an entire team supporting them. They’ve got nannies, they’ve got hair and makeup people, they’ve got personal trainers. They really lead a different life from us.
Just look at a celebrity mom’s hands! If she’s got perfect nails, you know she’s not bathing her kid! Look at a real-life mom and you’ll see our nails are completely broken. So keep it in perspective and don’t give them too much credit because they’re not just like us.”
CBS: Who are some of your fav celebrity moms? Angelina Jolie?
LG: “I don’t know what kind of a mother she is, but I really love what she does for kids. Both she and Brad Pitt do so much for people in general, and I think they’re fantastic.
You know who I admire is Kelly Ripa! She’s the real deal. She’s a real mom – she’s in the trenches just like everybody else.”
CBS: Why don’t we see Kelly out and about too much with the kids? Maybe she doesn’t go to the hot spots?
LG: “No she goes and they catch her every once in awhile. That’s a good question and I’m not really sure why, but when she’s out and about with the kids I don’t think she’s as mysterious anymore. She’s Kelly. Everybody knows her and everybody loves her. I think it’s getting the ungettable-get like Beyoncé or somebody else who doesn’t really get their pictures taken with their kids so often.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
LG: “Who knows what’s next, but I just love blogging for BabyCenter! I love writing about my life experiences.”