A mom's life may play out like a sitcom, but no woman ever expects to actually watch hers on the small screen. This is exactly what happened to Mary Pols, author of Accidentally on Purpose the brilliant memoir of a 39 year old who had a one-night stand and ended up pregnant. I recently had a chance to chat with Mary about how her book became a CBS show starring Jenna Elfman. The second part of the season finale airs tonight. If you missed the first portion of the interview, check it out!
LilSugar: This one is for the wishful readers who rooted for the relationship, are you and Matt together now?
Mary Pols: We're not together. No traditional happy ending, just like the book. But being co-parents who are completely united in raising a child is a happier ending than a lot of people get, you know? I can live with that. Both of us could have had easier paths, but this little boy we share is just gloriously fun and sweet and charming and because of him, I wouldn't choose another life for anything. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think, this is hard, and then, "I am so lucky." Which is really the sum of parenting, isn't it? If you feel blessed, it's all the same, whether you're married, single, straight, gay, adoptive, transgender but miraculously reproducing or what have you. Damn, this is hard. Damn, I'm lucky.
LilSugar: Dolan is now six, does he know his life story has gone to Hollywood? Or does he live like a normal kindergartner?
Mary Pols: Dolan knows I wrote a book about him but is blissfully ignorant of the whole Hollywood angle. Unless I was the inspiration for "Glee" or the "Berenstain Bears" I don't think he'd care much if he did know. Someday when he's older, I'll tell him. But for now we're just glad his rapidly advancing spelling skills don't yet extend to S-I-T-C-O-M.
LilSugar: Where will you watch the season finale?
Mary Pols: I'll probably have to watch the season finale on my laptop via CBS.com, late next Wednesday night, because I am so often at a movie screening on the nights when the show airs. But I saw a lot of it being taped, so I already know a few secrets. Like the baby's name, which is not Dolan but is a name I am very fond of and does appear in my book!
To see Mary's thoughts on motherhood,
LilSugar: Fill in the blank. You know you’re a mother when ____?
Mary Pols: You're grateful someone threw up on you because you are so much easier to clean than the rug, the couch, or the car seat.
LilSugar: Fill in the blank. Why didn’t anybody tell me _____ about motherhood?
Mary Pols: That it is primitive and basic and beautiful enough to survive and thrive outside societal norms. Well, to be truthful, plenty of people told me, from Anne Lamott via her great memoir Operating Instructions to the women in my book club. There are very few wisdoms that haven't already been told. I just wasn't ready to listen.
LilSugar: What’s the best trick your mama (or parent) taught you?
Mary Pols: To find the comedy hidden within every drama.
LilSugar: Are you a helicopter mom or do you believe in free-range kids?
Mary Pols: Free range and organic all the way. Except at dinner, when I must say "bottom IN your chair" at least 20 times.
Photos copyright 2010 CBS Inc.