An interview with Kerri Pomarolli,
author of Moms’ Night Out…and other things I miss
MOMS’ NIGHT OUT and other things i miss by comedian Kerri Pomarolli (B&H Books/April 22, 2014/ISBN: 978-1433684845/$14.99) is a devotional intended to help moms survive the day-to-day calls to action that aim to define parenting. Inspired by the movie Moms’ Night Out, Pomarolli has created this light, yet inspiring devotional that will definitely make you laugh but will also help moms discover they are not without God’s gracious provision.
Q: This devotional was inspired by the new movie Moms’ Night Out, starring Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin and others. How did you become involved in this project, and what role did the movie play in the writing process?
My agent, Bill Reeves, pitched me to the directors when they said they were looking for a funny mom to write a devotional. Ironically, my little actress daughter Lucy got two call backs for the role of Bailey in the film when she was five. So I was going to be involved one way or another. Plus I love to support funny mom films that are clean.
Q: You’re an accomplished actor and comedian — what’s it like being a working mom in Hollywood?
I have four nannies! Just kidding. My only nanny is Ron, my husband, and I make my kids babysit each other in the car. I always have grand plans to sit down more and rest. I think it will happen when I’m 80. I spend my life writing, creating and compulsively cleaning. My dream is just to be famous enough to have Alice from the Brady Bunch come live with us! Well, I’m married to a comedian, so our life is a juggling act, throwing kids in carpool, trading kids at the airport because one of us is on the road at some point 40 weeks out of the year. We have world-traveler kids who know what it’s like to walk a red carpet and be part of the sermon presentation the next morning in a church. I personally have found there are amazing Christians out here in California, and our church family has been a rock foundation in our lives. We also strongly believe in Christian education. No, I don’t home school! I want my kids to be smart!
Q: What role does faith play in your own life when you’re facing the challenges of motherhood?
I think my plan is to raise my kids to be more afraid of the Holy Spirit than their mother. I try to instill the “why” behind “because I’m your mother, and you can’t do that.” My kids are smart, and my spirited six-year-old thinks she’s 25. She keeps me on my toes, but I’m still one up on her because I know all the tricks — I’ve done them all. We read the Bible and do the usual stuff, but I think the most important thing I’ve taught my kids is about spiritual warfare and that they have a choice to resist the devil and he will flee. Now they have to stop blaming everything on Satan though. . . . ”No, Lucy, Satan did NOT make you sneak in your sisters crib and wake her up!”
My kids are prayer warriors, and when I see them in the world praying for other people and having this faith that they can walk on water, I think I must have done something right! We definitely believe in miracles in our family.
Q: Tell us more about the devotional and how it is set up perfectly for busy moms.
I’m not your typical devotional mom. I’m not on Pinterest, and I don’t know how to cook or make cute table linens. I don’t have my act together, and quiet time with me and God happens when I’m in the “bathroom” or hiding in my car at times. So I wanted to write a book about the struggle of a real-life mom. I wanted to share from the “underbelly” of motherhood so others wouldn’t feel so alone in their own dysfunction. We could laugh about it together and realize that’s why God created grace and second and third chances. Each devotional is a funny or crazy story from my life with some thoughts to ponder and questions to ask yourself .I’m hoping you’ll laugh out loud and burn some calories, and maybe even cry a little, too, if I did my job right.
Q: How often do you get to have a Moms’ Night Out? Do you have a group of mommy-friends you’re able to connect with regularly?
I do have my friends my husband calls the mommy mafia. We met when our kids were babies, but because I was working I could never make the play dates. We started a monthly Bunco game, and that has lasted six years. I do my “mommy play dates” with my girls, and we laugh so much we don’t get home until very late. Bunco is great because it requires no skill; we just roll the dice and talk all night. It’s like therapy.
Every mom needs a moms’ night out, and we don’t have to feel guilty about it. I have this massage place that does feet massages for $20 for an hour. Sometimes I sneak out of the house and say I’m running an “errand” to go there with a friend or by myself. I come back a better mother.
Q: What’s the most comical experience you’ve had on a Moms’ Night Out?
For my last birthday I was going out to dinner with my girlfriends in Hollywood. I was so excited. I wasn’t feeling great, but in no way was I going to miss a moms’ night out. I got to the restaurant and started to have some pain in my side, then it got so bad I was doubled over. Turns out I had to get dropped off by my friends at the ER because I had a kidney stone, and my loving husband had to come rescue me. I spent my moms’ night out with my husband in the ER all dressed up, hanging out with nurses and on pain pills doing my comedy act all night.
Q: Moms really do sacrifice so much for their families; why is it important for moms to make sure they’re finding rest and encouragement?
If we burn out, the whole family crumbles. I never thought I’d be like those women you hear about on Oprah. I never thought I’d stop shaving both legs in one shower time because I was so rushed or I’d literally forget to go “potty” myself because I was running around so much. But it happened. I realized I had no boundaries and was trying to do it all. I needed to delegate and, goodness gracious, take some time to rest. I forgot what rest was. I’m still a huge work in progress and have to face my severe Facebook addiction. My husband has to steal my phone from me. When I’m not feeling well because I don’t rest, I won’t get better, and I’ve learned to ask for help and not feel ashamed about it. We’re not perfect, and that’s what friends are for. Speaking of friends, I think I’m going to try to load my kids this weekend at one of their houses so I can take an actual nap!
Q: What “other things” do you miss, besides having a night out with the girls?
I miss being able to take a road trip without packing diapers and snacks and having to plan it three days in advance. I miss going to a movie and not checking my phone for the babysitter’s calls saying my three-year-old overdosed on gummy bears. I miss being able to watch the world news like I did before I was a mom — and not break out in a cold sweat with worry. My whole mindset is different: the way I view pop culture, the internet and everything is now looked at with a watchful eye. But I don’t miss the loneliness I had before I was married. I knew I wanted a family to share my life with, and I knew I would be good at it. It just seemed to take a long time. My crazy nights now are watching Netflix movies with my kids and eating ice cream on the couch. My date nights with Hubby usually end with us coming home to watch TV at 9:00 because we’re both exhausted, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides we love the show Parenthood . . . the Bravermans are real to us!
Q: Raising kids can be difficult, but there are some funny moments along the way — share one of your funniest memories involving your own daughters.
How much time do you have? The whole book is me selling my kids up the river!
My daughter Lucy peed her pants for the third time in a row when she was three. When we asked her what happened she said, “You guys . . . this big rain cloud came, and it hit me in the butt!” When Lucy was two, she poured water in her training potty and said, “Look mama! I go pee pee. I want candy!” When she was 4, she saw a pregnant lady and said, “Mommy, that lady needs to go on Biggest Loser like my daddy!” She has no censor on her mouth. She’ll make a great comedian! Ruby, the little one, is getting to be a rascal, but up until now, compared to Lucy, she’s been “the good one.” That is, until she drew on my couch with a Sharpie!
Q: How does your husband help out in those moments when you just have to get a break, like the moms in the film Moms’ Night Out? Are there other people in your life you can turn to?
My husband is well-trained. I lowered my expectations of what a mom was supposed to do, and from day one, he’s been the chief bath-giver and nail-trimmer. My kids are six and three, and just recently, I realized he was the one trimming their nails because I had never done it. We both work, so he does a lot. I tend to try to take over, but when I hit a wall, he’s a great pinch hitter. He’s not exactly a gourmet cook, but if my kids want to eat his cinnamon and apple eggs without throwing up, so be it! At least it’s food! I’ve learned not to be picky when you’re getting help; be grateful. Your kids won’t break, and pizza for breakfast is a protein!
After all these years, he still calls me and says, “What do I feed them?” Like he doesn’t know how to pick up food? His love language is bathing my kids because he knows I hate washing screaming girls’ hair!
When we are with the grandparents, they are great, too. I’ve learned to accept any help we can get! Our trampoline is a great babysitter. We zip them in! (No, I’m not kidding . . . now don’t report me. No one’s been injured!)
Q: This movie, and this devotional, are very funny and lighthearted, but the day-to-day tasks of being a mother can become overwhelming. What advice do you have for the mom who is feeling completely overcome by her responsibilities?
Find a way to get out of the house. I’m not kidding; beg, steal or borrow some babysitting — or guilt your hubby or friends into it. Get your kids to the YMCA cheap daycare — whatever it takes — and find an hour for you, just you. Get a manicure or a burger, whatever makes you happy. Also get strict on bedtimes, and you’ll find you get a little more time at night. We just barricade the door and unlock it in the morning! Moms say we can’t find help, and we have to do it all. I just believe that’s us being martyrs. I know babysitting can be expensive. That’s why we moms trade play dates so we can find a small break from the chaos!
Q: What advice would you give to dads about ways they can help alleviate some of the pressures moms feel?
The best Mothers’ Day gift Ron got me was taking me out to lunch, giving me some magazines and chocolate and then taking the kids out for the afternoon! It was bliss. It’s not that I don’t love my kiddos, but he gave me a chance to recharge and miss them. If you bless your wife with some “me time” to remind her who she is outside of wife and mother, she’ll be better for it all around. Massages are great, too!
Q: Where can our audience find out more about the movie and book editions of Moms’ Night Out?
Learn more at www.MomsNightOutMovie.com.