Family Life


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Stand-up Parenting

Jessicaholmes3 - stand-up parenting
Jessicaholmes5 - stand-up parentingPARENTSCANADA:
Did it bother you to be replaced (by Penelope Corrin) at Air Farce during your mat. leave?
JESSICA: It absolutely didn’t bother me, until in came this very beautiful, thin, funny woman and I saw both of us together in the mirror. And there I was –

giant! I was nine months pregnant the first time she came on the show.
   In my line of work, the whole talent that I have is as an impersonator – that I can become someone else. But I can’t just become someone when I’m pregnant and giant. And so while I never felt self-conscious of how I looked, I felt self-conscious about how I was performing my job. I was envious of the fact that everyone in the cast was able to do cartwheels and things that I couldn’t do. All was forgiven when Alexa was born.

Did the show use the pregnancy in the scripts?
JESSICA: They’d put me behind a desk or something to hide it. Once I was back on the show – I did the last four episodes of the season when Alexa was three months old – I was like, ‘Give me dancing scenes, give me cartwheels, give me Pamela Anderson and Britney Spears!’ I was excited to play people where I could be physically versatile again.

Have you missed being away from work?
JESSICA: No. When I work, it bothers me to be away from Alexa. The truth is, I can either work or we can move out of our house and live in a tent on the street. On the days that I complain about being away from my daughter, Scott says, “You have the best job in the world and you get paid really well for it.” And he’s right.

PARENTSCANADA: Do you have help?
JESSICA: No. We’re getting a nanny in September when I go back to Air Farce. When I work on private corporate jobs, Scott just brings her with him. But there was one night when I called the hotel to make sure they were okay and could hear Alexa screaming in the background. That was the hardest performance I’ve ever had to do. I’m surprised Alexa wasn’t the punchline to every joke, because that’s all that was in my mind.

How has becoming a parent changed you?
JESSICA: I’m more aware of whose feelings might be hurt in the comedy I do.

Are you softening towards Céline and Britney?
JESSICA: A little. Since I’ve had Alexa, some part of me is subconsciously making me a nicer person – which is no fun.

Do you ever spoof celebrities as parents?
JESSICA: Very lightheartedly. My rule, always, as a performer, is never to make fun of something that a celebrity hasn’t put in the public eye. Generally, people keep their kids pretty close.

What’s best about breastfeeding?
JESSICA: The snuggle. I can see why people breastfeed their kids
till they’re 10. It’s hug time.

What do you think of your new, larger breasts?
JESSICA: I think it really helps the marriage.
SCOTT: I call her ‘Boobs’ at home. When we’re out and she’s wearing a form-fitting top, I just lean into her ear and whisper, “Booby McBooBoobs”. And she’s all, “Stop it. We’re in public!”
JESSICA: I used to think boobs were very private and personal. Now I think they’re an absolute joke. They’re huge! They bump into things and knock things over. They poke people in the eye.
SCOTT: They do! I almost smothered one night while I was sleeping. But they’re fantastic! I find Jessica even more attractive as a mother. She’s perfect exactly the way she is!
JESSICA: Scott treats me like a queen. He always has.
SCOTT: Because she demands it!
JESSICA: I had a 12-hour labour without an epidural. The further along I got, the more promises Scott made.
SCOTT: After seeing what she went through, there’s a reason why guys don’t have babies. There would be no babies!

PARENTSCANADA: Why no epidural?
JESSICA: I needed to prove to myself that I could be stronger than I ever imagined; that I could have mother lioness strength.

PARENTSCANADA: And for the next one?
JESSICA: Epidural. I’m calling the hospital before I get there.

PARENTSCANADA: How do you share the baby chores?
SCOTT: Before we had Alexa, Jessica said she wanted this to be 50/50 parenting and it’s been that, absolutely.
JESSICA: But if Scott is in the house taking care of Alexa, I’m hovering nervously. I have to leave the house and go to a movie to have any ‘away’ time. I can’t seem to mind my own business.
SCOTT: I try to stay on top of the dishes and laundry because Jess has Alexa tied to her hip. But one time, while I was getting my hair cut, Jess called and said, ‘Scott, I know you’re doing your best, but if you could just be in Facebook a little bit less and make sure the laundry is put away, I’d be really, really happy’.
   And I thought, ‘Hey, Facebook is the 10 minutes a day that I get to myself!’ It shows how addictive Facebook is and how there’s always something to do in the house with the baby chores.
JESSICA: It was hard for the first six months. We’re so in love with her and we’re glad we had her, but you don’t have time to scratch your head. We were honestly like – ‘What on earth were we thinking?’ But now, it’s getting easier and easier.

PARENTSCANADA: What was hardest?
Interruption of sleep! I think every new parent will talk about that as
the toughest thing to adjust to because it knocks you out the next day.
JESSICA: I went to the park and a friend said, ‘Look at your feet!’ I had one gold shoe on and one black one. Sleep deprivation!

PARENTSCANADA: What’s great about Alexa at this stage?
JESSICA: At six months, she’s so playful. We’re definitely having more fun now. You can do things you both enjoy.
SCOTT: Before Alexa, Jessica was always business, business, business and go, go, go.
JESSICA: The career itch is one you can’t ever scratch enough. But this baby is everything rolled into one complete package.
SCOTT: It puts balance into your life. You feel like you can drop all the things that aren’t really important.
JESSICA: That’s not to say I haven’t dropped a couple of F-bombs when I can’t find the bottle or something.

PARENTSCANADA: How do you balance your careers?
We’re blessed that we don’t have full-time jobs. I’m the voice of
Sun-TV right now so I just go in for about a half-hour three days a
Sometimes it’s shocking that even with the two of us working maybe an
hour a day, we’re still overwhelmed. We can’t figure out how people who
work nine-to-five do it.
   I’m also glad I waited until my early
30s to have a child. I feel like we’re pretty wise. I know we don’t look
it because we do silly things for a living, but the timing is just
right for us. We’re willing to take bets on how old Alexa will be before
she realizes we’re totally embarrassing as parents. She’ll be 12 and
we’ll still be playing ‘peek-a-boo’.

PARENTSCANADA: What surprises you about parenting?
SCOTT: That everyone around you has an opinion about how to raise your baby.
At first, when people said that I wasn’t putting her to sleep right or
wiping her bum the proper way, I’d want to cry. Now I say, ‘Yeah, I’m
not interested. Thanks anyway.’ Nobody else’s opinion comes before my
instinct. Now, I’m that lioness.

PARENTSCANADA: What do you want for Alexa?
SCOTT: As long as she grows up and doesn’t hurt others or herself, she can do anything she wants.
We’re very spiritual, but we have different religious backgrounds, so
we’ve taken Alexa to Unitarian services which say, ‘let’s make the world
a better place’, without anyone having to compromise their spiritual
beliefs. Our big goal is for her to be happy and second, to be
SCOTT: I want her to follow her heart…until she brings home her first boyfriend.
JESSICA: Scott’s
already trying to calm me down. I’m like, ‘First she’ll take tap and
dance classes and then she’ll go to the arts school in Etobicoke and
SCOTT: Slow down…
Scott thinks she has to learn Chinese in case she goes into business.
But what kid of actors, who work one hour a day and then hang out
telling jokes, is going to want a desk job?
SCOTT: Jess’ mom is a strong feminist and Jess is a princess.
JESSICA: I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs or wear make up until I was 16. I feel all that pent-up girliness is going into Alexa.
SCOTT: I believe her soul has chosen us just like our souls have chosen her.
JESSICA: Look, I would have picked a longer-sleeping baby!
SCOTT: I practise Reiki which is energy healing. I believe Reiki babies are calmer and more content, exactly like Alexa.

PARENTSCANADA: Have you made mistakes?
I’ve made a few already and it felt terrible. One night she spit up as
soon as I left, so she was hungry until I came home. I felt horrible
guilt about that. But then, I realize it’s okay. I’m so full of love for
her. She’s going to have a long life with much more good in it than
bad. There is so much negativity out there on parenting, I really
appreciate how ParentsCanada is putting such a positive swing on things.
Mistakes will happen. Let’s just relax and know that kids turn out okay
from even crazier circumstances than ours. That said, this could all
come undone when Alexa grows up and writes a tell-all: ‘You’re horrible
parents because when I was four months old, I went hungry for an hour’. PC

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