Mommy Track Pays For Bethenny Frankel And Jessica Simpson, But Maybe Not For You
In an article in the Sunday Styles section of today’s New York Times, Jacob Bernstein chronicles the trend of celebrities cashing in on their pregnancies. Even for Hollywood headliners whose careers have stalled, “motherhood is proving a lucrative Plan B,” Bernstein writes in his story, “The Baby Bump.”
Here are some of the boldfaced moms and the payoffs they’ve reaped by what Bernstein refers to as leveraging their spawn.
Bethenny Frankel. One of the biggest stars on Bravo (“The Real Housewives of New York City”) got her own show, “Bethenny Getting Married?”
Tori Spelling. Donna from “Beverly Hills, 90210,” moved to reality TV, with “Tori Dean: Inn Love,” “Tori Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood” and forthcoming “Craft Wars.”
Jessica Simpson. Forget her top 10 hit, “I Wanna Love You Forever”–that’s old news. She’s now a judge on the new NBC reality show, “Fashion Star,” along with Nicole Ritchie.
Nicole Ritchie. Pre-pregnancy, she was Paris Hilton’s sidekick. Having a bun in the oven qualified her to design a maternity-wear collection for the brand, Pea in the Pod.
Kendra Wilkinson. The former star on “The Girls Next Door,” an E! reality series about Hugh Hefner’s Playmates, shifted to a more family-oriented theme with a spinoff series about motherhood.
Nicole Polizzi. Known as “Snooki” to Jersey Shore fans, she’s doing a spinoff series on MTV, “Snooki and Jwoww vs. the World,” and a line of children’s shoes. “I definitely want to do like diaper bags and stuff like that,” she told The Times.
Hmm. When I was pregnant, no one asked me to sell my baby pics, start a clothing line or be on reality TV. This was my reality: I was self-employed and working on a book. I didn’t tell my editors that I was pregnant because I didn’t want that to influence their reaction to my first draft, which was due three months after my baby was. So (rightly or wrongly) I turned down their invitations for lunches and in-person meetings and hid my growing belly behind e-mail and the telephone. By the seventh month my father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died a week after I delivered the book manuscript.
Since I was self-employed there was no paid maternity leave. (For more about my work life at this stage, see my post, “How To Make Money Without A Job.”) I hired a babysitter and went back to work two weeks after giving birth. At the time my husband and I were living in a one-bedroom New York City co-op apartment that we owned and renting another one four flights up that we used as our office. For most of the first year of our son’s life, he spent the day downstairs with our babysitter, who brought him up at noon and at 3 o’clock so I could feed him.
The work-family juggle continued for 14 years until I joined the staff of Forbes in July. I am comfortable with my choices and consider myself extremely fortunate. But it was certainly not a case of leveraging my pregnancy or my spawn.
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