Tina Fey’s Straight-Talk About Motherhood

Tina Fey doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to discussing the tenuous balance of career and motherhood. In an article she penned for this week’s New Yorker, the 30 Rock star talks about the myth of the perfect parent.

“It is less dangerous to draw a cartoon of Allah French-kissing Uncle Sam…than it is to speak honestly about [working moms],” writes Tina, who is mom to five-year-old daughter Alice with hubby Jeff Richmond.

Tina says she constantly has to deal with the “accusatory eyes” of those who question her ability to juggle career and parenting. “Sometimes I just hand them a juicy red apple I’ve poisoned in my working-mother witch cauldron and fly away,” she quips. “There’s another great movie idea! Baby Versus Work: A hard-working baby looking for love (Kate Hudson) falls for a handsome pile of papers (Hugh Grant). I would play the ghost of a Victorian poetess who anachronistically tells Kate to ‘go for it.'”

The Emmy-winner also takes on the double-standard in Hollywood for women of a certain age. “I know older men in comedy who can barely feed and clean themselves, and they still work,” she writes. “The women, though, they’re all [considered] ‘crazy.’”

Filed under: Alice Richmond,Celebrity Kids,Celebrity Moms,Tina Fey

Photo credit: Flynet

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38 Comments on "Tina Fey’s Straight-Talk About Motherhood"

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Helene78
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Tina- you think too much of yourself. Go eat that poisoned apple yourself. There are just as many “accusatory looks” given to women who choose to walk away from their careers to be stay at home moms. The vitriol comes from both sides. When one finds out you abandoned a lucrative career to be the primary caretaker to your child the reactions are akin to having to just admitted to shaving your head and drinking Jim jones kool aid. I am thrilled with my choice and never once judge those that do otherwise. unless they make grandiose attempts to alleviate… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
DivaMommy clearly is jealous of women with children who work outside of the home. There can be no other explaination for her childish, immature, and absurd post. My career is breast cancer research — I have been doing it for 20 years and we are just starting a second clinical trial testing what may be a new therapy for women with the most aggressive form of breast cancer based on findings that came from my lab. According to DivaMommy I apparently only had 2 choices — continue my work and forgo having children because I don’t deserve the wonderful aspects… Read more »
Tara
Guest
As a 34 yr old woman, who just had a double mastectomy and is currently undergoing chemotherapy, I applaud your work and the sacrifices you have made. Hopefully one day there will be a cure for this disease that took the life of my mother, her mother and her sister. Diva mommy is trying to be provocative, but all she has accomplished to do is undermine the true argument here. She has shown herself to be ignorant, uneducated and juvenile. So let’s move on from there. I agree that your work is vital and that you must continue your efforts.… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

See this is a response I can respect and appreciate. It is not judgmental it is from her heart. Maybe some of these other sahm can take a hint, and also some of us working moms too.

Diva-Mommy
Guest
@ TARA + ANO Firstly I am not ignorant. I have a double degree (BSc Chemistry + Biomedical Science) I also have a minor in Molecular Biology. I have two children aged 3 yrs and 7 mths. Currently I am a stay at home mommy on maternity leave. I wrote that post because I was very upset. I did not like her comment about Allah french kissing for I am muslim. I found it very very insulting and disrespectful. Anon I dont have anything against working mothers infact. I want to work at a childrens hospital, in the research department… Read more »
Tara
Guest
I apologize for calling you ignorant. I know how passionate I feel about staying home with my child so understand the heat of the moment. It’s just that nasty comments and foul language does not allow one to truly get to the root of the issue. It affords one with a counter view to discredit your right away. As I said at it’s core I am 100% behind your argument. But name calling gets us no where. Personally, as much as I dislike tina, I don’t think she meant to say derogatory comments about Anyones religion. She saves her vitriol… Read more »
Diva-Mommy
Guest

I just wrote a reply and then when I was about to send it off my internet got disconnected. Doh!!

Diva-Mommy
Guest
Dear Tara, I have no words to express how sorry I am that your health is not 100% at the moment. I hope you can beat it. You sound like a fighter ( I will include you in my prayers tonight). I know I should use bad language but I couldnt control my temper. Being a mom is very hard, I want another bub.. but then what about my career… aagggrrhh I wish I could have both, at the same time. I chose to stay at home, I saw what it does when mothers go back to work asap. My… Read more »
Diva-Mommy
Guest

>>>>I meant ( should’nt use bad language )<<<

Diva-Mommy
Guest

I also meant (adoration) man i spell bad, i should start reading novels.

Tara
Guest
Thanks for your well wishes diva mommy. I appreciate the prayers, I am taking each day as they come. My mom died when I was fourteen. But they have made many more advances in breast canc research in the past 20 yrs so i am cautiously optimistic. My son is my cure all tonic. I accidentally came upon this site the other day while sitting with my iPad at the hospital. Thought it would be a brainless diversion. But boy do we mommies get passionate. Not so thrilled with some of the unnecessary and arbitrary banter but, hey it keeps… Read more »
Tara
Guest
One last point. I know there will be those mothers who ask, why have a child with a health history like yours. That is a very valid argument. But when I was tested to see if I carried the BRCA gene it came back negative. I would never have had a child if that test came back positive. The cancer did not show up until a year after my sons birth. I know this is not part of the topic at hand but believe me I have been confronted about getting pregnant while knowing the disease had such a strong… Read more »
Vikki
Guest

You are too kind, if someone was that ignorant to question my right to have a child, I would tell them where to stick it. Although I know it indeed happens more often than not.

I like your posts, you seem like you have a good head on your shoulders.

God bless

Diva-Mommy
Guest

Thanks for your best wishes Tara. Some ladies are very bitter here. I like this website, but sometimes i get very annoyed.

Anonymous
Guest
Hey, I just think Tina Fey is feeling guilty. She works INSANE hours by her own admission. She has NO work life balance and I am sure she and Alice and her husband suffer for that in terms of quality of life in many ways. BUT it is her decision, and I respect it, even if I personally find it incomprehensible. Who am I to tell anyone how to live or what the best choices for THEIR family are. But I also think those guys who wrote the book about a working witch mom a) may not have actually meant… Read more »
Annika
Guest
Hello guys, I have just finished reading all the posts. I must admit, I did not make an effort to read the whole article as she disgusted me with her first very sentence. I don’t watch her show, so I don’t really know her but I wanted to share my opinion and experience with you. I just simply COULD NOT leave my baby with anybody else when he was little. I would have rather lived on bread and water than leaving him with somebody else. That’s just me. I would have been terribly anxious and terribly guilty. Then again, I’m… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

Nice try Helene, but you just judged Tina way more than she judged you. Not mentioning the challenges of SAHMs (or single moms or SAHDs or…) does not equal judging them. She’s talking about the challenges she faces. They’re different than yours. Get over it.

Donna K
Guest

Read the entire article in the new yorker. There is plenty of judgement spewing from her mouth. Her guilt speaks volumes. Furthermore her pathetic attempt at lacing it with sardonic humor only reinforces her doubts !

So does your ultra sensitive post to Helene.

You “get over it”. ( what are you two years old to use that phrase)?

Anonymous
Guest

I agree with you, Donna. Nice to see a mature post for a change!

Lisa
Guest

I agree with Donna and Helene there is nothing wrong with what either said. It seems like anonymous who was being the judgmental one to Helene.

Anonymous sahm
Guest

This is only a snippet of her opinion. The entire article is available online and I am not sure if that is what Helene is referencing. However if so, Tina does state that she feels she is judged by stay at home moms and gets accusatory eyes

She continues to judge women as a whole. Please go read the piece before you attack.

Helene78
Guest

I was referring to both this piece and the full article. She is not fair in her portrayal of moms as a whole. Sorry but as others have said, I have a right to my opinion as does she.

Tara
Guest

Sorry anonymous. Got to agree with Donna you seem to be the touchy one here.

Erin
Guest
I’m backing Anonymous on this…the lack of mention doesn’t equal judgement. Fey shares her experiences, I wouldn’t expect her to speak for others in a different situation. She may feel that not being a working mom is easier (she is entitled to her opinion), but the grass is always greener…obviously there are pros and cons to both. If there weren’t everyone would be doing it the same way. On a seperate topic, it can be discouraging to read all the negativity people post in the comments sections online. I can seem kind of catty (my opinion, I’m entitled to it).… Read more »
atd
Guest

Thank you, Erin. It can be upsetting to read such negativity.
Women are judged. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Tina Fey is speaking about her experience with that. Is she not allowed to have feelings on her life and her experience?
I just can’t find fault with a person who says being a woman can be hard. Because no matter how much stuff or fame you have, being a woman can be hard.

Tracy
Guest

Being a woman is truly no harder than being a decent human being. I find it deferential to the argument at hand here. I am a working mom, but I went to read the entire piece as suggested by others.

Tina is a tad defensive throughout the piece and she does use humor to deflect the sensitive subject matter. This leads one to conclude she is not that thoroughly confident in her choices.

Anonymous
Guest

Good point, Tracy.

esf
Guest
Um…, well, yeah, Tracy, that was the whole point of the article. If she was confident about it, she wouldn’t have written it. She makes no conlusion. She doesn’t say one way is right. She weighs each side of the argument. However, it is quite a different situation for a woman who is literally responsible for the livelihood of over 200 people, and is also in the position of helping hundreds of other women stay employed. And please forgive the rest of this. It has nothing to do with your comment. Having said that, I am personally confused why so… Read more »
United mom
Guest
Again it’s all subjective. That is your interpretation of what the article says. I presume by your tone, you are a mother who works outside the home. Thus you are going to be pro, ms fey’s point. Obviously a stay at home mother will take issue with her referencing that she is thought of as a “witch” by those who remain at home. Furthermore I must state I REALLY DISLIKE THE TERM “working mother”. Whilst I am one who works outside the home, I think it is offensive to those that do not. Believe me I can guarantee they are… Read more »
Jessie
Guest
“However, it is quite a different situation for a woman who is literally responsible for the livelihood of over 200 people, and is also in the position of helping hundreds of other women stay employed. And please forgive the rest of this. It has nothing to do with your comment.” That was her choice of a career. And it is rather egotistical of her to think their livelihood rests solely on her shoulders. Many of those employed by Her show have been writers, crew and staff members for over 20 years. She chose to have a child as well, ultimately… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

I am reading this correctly? Because she has a successful career therefore her child is adversely affected? That seems a particularly harsh accusation.

You want to know why it’s so hard being a women? Because we are so damn hard on each other.

Anony-mommy
Guest

If she works on a serial comedy as an actress and writer, her hours are extremely long. In order to be successful at it you need to dedicate large chunks of time to it. Therefore the child does not get the attention they crave.

So they end up being adversely affected.

Anonymous
Guest

Agree 100% jessie

Vikki
Guest

I am on Helene’s side with this argument. I have been in both positions. And Tina does come off on the defensive in the new yorker.

Diva-Mommy
Guest

I want Tina to pass away, like big time. Tina is a pathetic person and mother and whats with that statement about Allah kissing Uncle Sam.. please show some respect to other peoples beliefs BITCH!.

Im sure she has made enough money to look after her kids, I am sick of these working bitches who pop out kids and then get others to raise them… raise your own offspring or just dont reproduce. Its that simple.

Tara
Guest

Diva mommy while in general I agree with your sentiment about her attitude towards stay at home moms, Your language completely negates any support I can give you.

There is a better way to express your displeasure.

Diva-Mommy
Guest

Yeah Tara, I went overboard 🙂 (its that time of the month)

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