Friday, May 4, 2012

Outstanding mom and superstar comic Jennifer Glickman

This article was featured  here:   I have a super fun photo wheel on there. Meanwhile, a shout out to Jennifer.

Jennifer Glickman has been making people laugh since the mid 90’s by writing and producing such shows as Caroline in the City, Ned and Stacey, For Your Love, The Big Bang Theory, Rita Rocks and most recently Melissa and Joey.  And this is a partial list.
Jennifer originally hails from Brooklyn, NY and earned her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing at USC.
She is married to Seth Kurland, also a renown comedy writer for such shows as Friends, Mad About You, Rita Rocks, Eight Simple Rules, Courting Alex and Melissa and Joey.  They often work together; which, given their incredible talent and endless humor, is a comedic bonanza.

Seth is funny ^^^^^    when in doubt give them bubble wrap.
Jennifer’s father is also a writer, a cinematographer and a magician. He too, is hilarious.  It must in the genes. In case you were wondering, the Glickman children? Funny, all of them.
It’s nearly impossible to visit Jennifer and not laugh, no matter how awful you may have felt before the get- together.  A visit to their home is a kind a parental Disneyland. This family insists on having fun and the end result is, everyone does.

Their actual backyard ^^^^
When thinking about outstanding working mothers who also contribute to the community and somehow seem to juggle all the plates while maintaining humor, (even if plates get shattered) Jennifer instantly comes to mind.

She and Seth have three children, a girl 11, and twin identical boys, 9.

1)     You are juggling so many plates: successful TV writer, devoted mother, devoted wife and a loving friend to all.  After the twins were born, as if you didn’t already have enough going on  you started a local Twins Club to help support other moms.  What prompted you to create a twin community?
Desperation!  I felt pretty overwhelmed (two newborns and an almost-two-year-old) and I knew I couldn’t be the only one.  Plus I kept seeing twin strollers everywhere in our community. Getting together with other moms going through the same issues I had was great support.  Misery loves company, right?

(These are our twins when they were babies. ^^^  I don't know who that strange man is, but Jen and I were probably getting lattes.)

2)     You opted to take some time off after the boys were born. Were you apprehensive about “leaving the work table?”  Often times mother fear they will not be able to pick up where they left off.  And many mothers fear the loss of income. How did you cope with this?
I really felt a responsibility to take the time.  They’re only babies for a short while.  I went back to work part-time when my first child was ten months old and I had pretty serious “nanny envy.” (“You’re giving her pancakes?  I want to give her pancakes!”)  I was honest with myself that I was not a full-time mom at heart.  I was able to get a couple of part-time jobs after my twins were one and a half.

(Harried mothers of three often mistake white ketchup for pancake mix. Known fact. ^^^)
I didn’t like the feeling of “living on somebody else’s dime,” but that somebody else was my husband, so that eased the discomfort some.  Believe me, I was working very hard during that time at home, so I earned it. A stay-at-home mom might possibly be the hardest job out there.
3)     (No shit, right?  Okay, I didn't actually say that, but..)  Isn’t that the truth. How do you maintain such humor and light when things can sometimes get so impossibly hard?
Well, it’s my job.  But it’s also just the way I have always looked at things.  I remember going out to coffee on Larchmont with the twins.  I was alone and they both started howling.  I had them  on my lap, they are screaming in stereo and because there’s two of them, I can’t whip out and nurse or walk around jiggling them (they were enormous babies.)  I had to laugh at how ridiculous I looked, sitting in the sunshine with my matching, screaming kids.

(These boys were huge. They are two days old here and already weight 15 lbs a piece. Jennifer just keeps smiling.)
If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.  I’d rather laugh.  And make other people laugh.  Fortunately, my husband and I have the same dark sense of humor, so he hasn’t reported me to Child Protective Services. 

4)     Sadly, my did. Kidding, kidding.  So, tell us about your schedule, how you handle three kids, all of their different needs, schedules and a full time demanding job in a very competitive industry.  
I am fortunate that the last few jobs I’ve had were not the usual horrible hours that often come with TV production.  In fact, I have always been able to take my kids to school in the mornings on my way to work and work close by so I can often make it to an on-campus event, even if I have to go back to work straight after.  Also, there’s a good portion of the job that happens at home anyway (writing scripts, giving notes on other stories and cuts) and I can do that after the kids are in bed.
When we are between jobs, I take advantage of that time to be more involved with the kids – volunteering in the classroom, on field trips, doing homework.
My husband and I were also fortunate enough to be working together this past year and we saw so much more of each other than we used to!  We could actually have lunch dates and uninterrupted conversations.
Also, I have been fortunate to have a nanny who’s been with us for more than ten years.  The consistency is so good for the kids and I know I can trust her.  There’s no way to do this without help.  My husband is my number one teammate and I’m also blessed with supportive family and friends.

(Jen's writing staff. All of them are happy. Jen is typically in the middle of pictures. :)^^^

5)     I put you in the category of moms that go above and beyond for their children.  Was this a commitment you made to yourself?  What are you personal thoughts of having it all? Is it actually possible? And if so, at what price?
I had a female boss at my first job that was also a mom of young kids.  She told me, “You can do it all.  But you can’t do it all well.”  She’s right.  You have to be reasonable about what you can and can’t do.  You have to find balance.  Give yourself a break, cut yourself some slack and stay forgiving.  There is this notion that women are supposed to be “perfect” mothers and I refuse to buy into it. Do I shave my legs every day?  No.  Do I see my kids every day?  Yes.  Did I write a great script?  Yes.  Did I write personalized, individualized love notes and put them in each kids’ lunch?  No.  I can live with that.
As far as going above and beyond, I do what I can, when I can.  There are going to be times when I can sew ninja costumes for their Webkins.  There are going to be times when I can’t hang out and chat because I have to do a rewrite.  There are also times that I’m going to do something to fill my well up. I like to crochet, watch TV, get a pedicure or have coffee with a friend.  You can’t be there for other people if you can’t be there for yourself.
In fact, one way in which I am guilty of going below and not-quite-there as a parent: I have not encouraged my kids to do any activity that might have the unwanted side-effect of placing me in the hot sun next to a soccer field at 7:00 am on a Sunday.  However, I will type up their stories, film their six-act Super Mario Bros. play, help build a science project, repair a Leo X-wing fighter, play a heated round of Monopoly until someone cries (not me) – I do what I can and I try to forgive myself for what I can’t.
(Jen and I are very much alike in this respect. I refuse to go to the zoo, Sea World, well any place with crowds, but I love to cook, paint and get manicures with my girls. However, I cannot sew.) 

6) You are notorious for helping other moms in your neighborhood.  Give us a few examples of what you have done.  
I think I’m famous for being the unofficial “Dean of Admissions” for the Montessori preschool our kids attended.  The year my kids graduated there were five sets of twins in their class.  I’ve offered my house for fund-raisers and even encouraged people to use my rec room as a theater to workshop their one-person shows.  I’ve been known to have seven or eight kids over for a play date because someone had a childcare problem.  I love helping my friends because I know I have been able to count on their help.

(One of the bazillion fund raisers, open houses, parties, or play dates Jen hosts all year round.)
7) Were the twins a surprise and what was your initial reaction?
I was totally shocked by the twins.  Seth and I started trying to get pregnant again when our daughter was a year old.  I was knocked up immediately.  Seth likes to say he made three kids in under five minutes.  When I went to interview a new gynecologist, he gave me an ultrasound just to see how far along I was.  I didn’t have to be a doctor to figure out the situation when I looked at the video screen – two coffee beans instead of one!  I was freaking out.  I had only planned on having two kids total.  I think I was in shock until long after they were born.  I’d go into their room and go, “There are TWO cribs in here.  TWO!”  That first year and a half was a blur.  Of course, now they are best buds and the three kids actually all get along incredibly well.

8) Tell us, most importantly, how you manage all of your responsibilities and maintain your sanity and incredible sense of humor.  
In a word, help.  I have help from my husband, our nanny, and friends.  I make sure I take care of myself in little ways every day – yes, sometimes that care takes the form of a chocolate croissant, but as long as I balance out my life I don’t see a problem. Not every day is going to be a perfect pie chart of spouse, kids, work, friends, and self, etc.  But over the long haul, you have to find balance.  Mmmm… pie.

9)  Education is clearly very important to you and Los Angeles and is a tough place to find a good one.  What are some of the prerequisites you look for in schools? And how in the world do you find the time to hold fundraisers, community activities and kids birthday parties?
We tried three other pre-schools before we clicked with the Montessori.  Sometimes it takes a while to find the right match.  We were fortunate that our local public school is one of the best in Los Angeles and California.  Though friends of ours chose a charter school, we liked the long history of success the school had.
The secret of success for a public school is definitely the parental involvement.  More, time, and parental support are essential to build a strong school and have a strong community.  I loved being part of the fund-raising board at my kids’ school and I’m so proud of what we accomplished there: a state-of-the-art tech lab that rivals most private schools, a beautiful library, secure campus, and arts programs.  I think my greatest contribution was stealing a fundraising idea from another school and implementing it to record returns.  I hope that will remain a legacy that will sustain the school for years to come.
As far as fundraisers, I feel like I can’t take any responsibility at all.  There are literally hordes of people who volunteer their time and expertise to make these events possible.  I just provide pizza and pick up the dog poop off the grass before people show up.
I like hosting fundraisers and being involved in supporting our schools because I want to set an example of service to others and working toward the greater good for my children.

As usual, it’s been a great pleasure and a lot of fun talking with you.  And as usual, you continue to inspire so many of us.  Emoticons

(How man of us can say we received a certificate for outstanding parenting?   Hmmm.)

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