A couple weeks ago, I attended an online Mamarazzi with The Moms! The guest speaker was Laura Prepon, who most people remember from “Orange is the New Black” and/or “That ’70s Show.”
Laura Prepon’s new book entitled, “You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood” debuted on (virtual) bookshelves on April 7th! Being a mother, I’ve always been fascinated by memoirs that detail life as a mom. Is it going to be a highly stylized, glossy version of motherhood or a “warts and all” type of book? It turns out that Laura’s book leans more towards the latter.
We asked Laura what made her decide to share so many personal things that mothers go through. She replied, “I am a researcher and I couldn’t find a resource to turn to.” Adding, “I started to talk to mothers of all ages and I realized that we are all struggling with a lot of the same things – from stress, to loss of control, self-care, mom guilt, nourishing ourselves and our family; there are so many things that were common through everything that we are dealing with, that I just knew that I had to write a book about it.”
Laura interviewed her “Mom Squad” while doing research for the book. It was important for her to have a variety of voices represented in the book, moms of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages.
Like the title of the book says, Laura is raw and very honest, often sharing stories of her struggles. By laying it all “out there” and showing vulnerability, you must wonder how Laura’s family reacted to the book. Laura said, “Any time I speak about my family in public, my husband [actor Ben Foster] and I always have a conversation about it.” The same rule applies to Laura talking about her kids [in public] or putting out personal photos of her children [on social media].
In terms of the loss of a pregnancy, Laura wanted to put herself out there and start the conversation. Once she did, so many women came forward and said that ‘this happened to me.’ Laura could sense that there was a sort of shame about it and wanted to have an open dialogue about the topic. I haven’t read the book yet, but I can tell you that the comments by Laura and the women who attended this Zoom interview – it’s this sincere authenticity that draws so many people to want to read her book.
When asked what her life is like under quarantine, Laura responded, “It’s insane, this is unprecedented, we’ve never seen anything like this in our lifetime and staying informed [with the news] is also causing stress and anxiety – and I don’t want my kids to feel that.” She also adds, “We just try to laugh whenever we can…just try to have some lightness and be silly with our kids.”
The entire Zoom interview was about an hour long. Here are some highlights from the Q&A at the end!
Question: How are you moving through the low moments of being new mom in quarantine?
Laura: When I had my first baby, I had so much post-partum anxiety. I write all about it in the book – I was a complete mess. I couldn’t take care of myself or my family. I got really bad mastitis and I was a complete stress case. I couldn’t believe how much my hormones got the best of me.
With my second baby, I knew what to expect and I knew the support that I needed, especially with the book tour coming up. My hormones with my son are not as crazy and it’s very different from the first time.
Question: What do you want to pass down to your kids?
Laura: There’s a lot of things that are a mixed bag with your parents but there were wonderful things, like speaking up for myself and never conforming to a status quo. My mom walked to the beat of her own drum. As I’ve grown up, I’m so glad that I had an unconventional upbringing.
Question: What advice would you give to your kids when they are teenagers?
Laura: There’s only one you. Embrace that and go with that. It’s a knowingness, that there’s only one you, and just apply that to everything you do.
Question (the one that I got to ask): What do you find more rewarding – writing, directing, or acting?
Laura: They all use such different muscles and parts of my personality. Directing, I am such a fish in water. Writing is such a different kind of expression for me. In terms of being on a set, I’ll always act. I love acting! When I first directed, I was just like a fish in water, and this is what I’m meant to do. I loved it so much and I especially loved directing multiple episodes of “Orange is the New Black.” Directing is all encompassing, for sure!
Thank you so much to Laura Prepon for sharing your insights with us and also to The Moms for hosting this awesome event!
“You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood” can be found wherever books are sold. If you’d like more information on the author, check out her website at www.lauraprepon.com.
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I attended an online event hosted by The Moms which helped facilitate this interview. All images are my own unless otherwise noted. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.