Listen up mamas! I’m starting a new feature here on TheFabMom. Allow me to introduce our FIRST (drumroll) *Real Fab Mom.*
MEET COURTNEY FRIEL. She’s fabulous. She’s fun. She’s focused. And yes… she’s super foxy. As in, an Entertainment Reporter for both Fox News Channel and KTTV Fox 11 in Los Angeles (weekdays, on the 10pm news). This is a woman who works her butt off in a full-time, fast-paced, high-stress job… and now she’s gonna do it with TWO babies.
Courtney just had her second baby (a girl… named Cameron!) about a week ago, making her a brand new mommy of two under 2. (I should add that Courtney and I share the ‘surprise-baby’ phenomenon.) So I thought it’d be fun to introduce her and give all of you the dish about this Real Fab Mom’s recent pregnancy and new mommyhood tips.
Watching you on TV, your energy seemed unaffected by pregnancy… how were you REALLY feeling? Yes… I was faking that energy because I barely had any! The past four months of my life (and pregnancy) were incredibly stressful. I moved from New York to Los Angeles, started a new job [transferring from Fox News Channel to do more with Fox 11 Los Angeles], we bought and renovated a house that was barely ready to move into before the baby came, plus every second I wasn’t working I had to take care of my son Cash, a very energetic 33-pound 15 month old. I had constant excruciating pain in my right rib from the baby, and always carried around ice packs with me…in editorial meetings, on the red carpet, in live trucks. Plus I work the nightside shift, [the 10pm news] so I could never go to bed early, and Cash was waking up at 6 am everyday. But I survived, baby Cameron is here, the house is almost set up, and now I’m on maternity leave and taking work out of the equation for two months…sigh…
You worked almost every red carpet during awards season… at 7 & 8 months pregnant! Your tips for keeping your style, focus and energy up? My beauty secret to dealing with a puffy face is wearing a ton of medium fake eyelashes to make my eyes look bigger and less tired. Also, use a lot of bronzer to re-create your cheekbones. I stopped wearing heels at 6-7 months and went to flats/flip flops/Uggs. Comfort over beauty with baby #2- even on red carpets! Designer David Meister loaned me 4 dresses for the Golden Globes, Grammys, SAG Awards and Oscars, then for the less fancy shows I wore all black with sequin-type jackets/sparkly cardigans. I also stocked up on inexpensive costume jewelry to dress up my boring maternity outfits.
Working in TV is a rat-race… and often based on image. Even though it is illegal to discriminate against pregnancy, were you nervous to tell your bosses you were expecting a baby for the second time in 2 years? Uh…Yes! Especially because I was in the process of transferring to LA when I found out I was pregnant. Luckily my new bosses didn’t change their minds about me joining the team with a baby bump. Fox News Channel is a VERY family-friendly place and management is used to its anchors/reporters popping out lots of kids, so they were happy for me. (When I was pregnant with Cash there were like 8 of us with buns in the oven at the same time!)
Fill in the blank: Knowing that I’ll have two babies under the age of 2 makes me feel like ____. A “supermom!” And a productive person in society (or at least in my household). I wasted soooo much time before I had kids doing absolutely nothing: watching TV, lounging, reading magazines, online shopping, etc. Now I accomplish a lot in my day, only I do it with chipped nails in desperate need of a mani/pedi. (Heads up moms to be: all that superficial crap you used to do for yourself like tanning, shopping, grooming, and exercises classes goes away or is drastically cut back!)
Did you get advice from celebrity moms? During my first pregnancy I asked every celeb mama I interviewed for advice and made a segment out of it. Second time around I really didn’t need it, or care frankly- they all say the same thing: “sleep while the baby sleeps” and “pamper yourself before baby arrives”. You can’t really do those things w/baby #2 when baby #1 is in the equation, but it’s true for #1’s arrival.
Your advice to new moms about how to keep their head on straight and stay happy during the first few months of what I call ‘newborn lockdown?’ I really don’t want to touch on the controversial subject of breastfeeding, but I will say that I did it with my son and made the decision not to with my daughter (for dozens of reasons)… and it has been so much easier this time. I’m bonding with her more and I’m way happier. Breastfeeding creates a lot more stress and work for the mom, and now Dad can help out more. (Courtney, I SUPPORT you on this one!)
And needless to say… you inspire me!
Courtney will be back to work on-air (interviewing all the celebrities) mid-June… but not before she and I set up a playdate for our kids! Ha! Follow this foxy *Real Fab Mom* on Twitter, like Courtney on Facebook… and tune in to Fox!
ARE YOU INSPIRED BY A *REAL FAB MOM* IN YOUR LIFE? NOMINATE HER FOR A FEATURE STORY! DROP ME A LINE…