Mom Fuse recently had the opportunity to interview Alex McCord about her experience on the show “Real Housewives of NYC” as well as her new venture into being a published author.
How did you get involved with the Real Housewives of NYC?
Through my career as an actor and Simon’s involvement with film production, we both knew quite a few people who work in film & TV production in the city, some of whom also work in reality TV. We heard that a show was being put together about parents in NYC, and knew they were looking for people with very young children. That was in 2006, and it was over a year before we began filming, and by then the show had morphed into “Manhattan Moms,” which was still not “Real Housewives.” After our first season was filmed, Bravo decided to make our show a spin-off of the successful “Real Housewives of Orange County.”
Did you enjoy being on a reality television show? Would you do it again?
Being on a reality TV show was a new experience, and Simon and I are always up for that. We had no idea what to expect as we didn’t watch any reality TV whatsoever and weren’t aware of how the process worked. We both had various levels of acting experience so initially jumped into season determined to make a good & exciting show. Once we got a better handle on the process, we realized that viewers really wanted to believe that what they saw on the show was all there was to us, when in fact selective scenes can distort and make something that is a very small part of our lives way seem more important than it is. We worked very hard in season two to make sure we were resolutely ourselves, and pushed against any attempt to direct us away from any action or words that would be inauthentic.
Did the show have any effect on your life our your family?
The show has affected our life in many ways, mostly positive. It does take up quite a bit of time, and you might not expect this but it’s a bigger time commitment when the show is airing versus when the show is filming. When we film, it’s just having a crew of 10-20 people along with you as you live your life. When the show is airing, it’s press appearances, writing blogs for Bravo, doing interviews, etc.
You seem to have a lot of critics out there, with the majority of them saying you are pretentious. What would you say to them if you could and how do you handle the negative feedback?
Most people reject what they see as different from themselves, sometimes in an effort to convince themselves that their own situation is preferable to the other person’s. What is pretentious to one will not be to another. My behavior is normal to me and my husband’s is normal to him — ultimately I can’t control what others think is pretentious and it’s a waste of energy to try.
You have a new book coming out soon.. can you tell our readers a little more about the book and why you decided to write it?
We’re very excited to be writing a book about our experiences raising two very young children in the big city. It’s a collection of stories about things that have happened along the journey of parenting young kids, the good, the bad and the ugly. After each story we talk about what was good, what was not-so-good and how we dealt with whatever happened, and it’s in a “he said, she said” back-and-forth so that you get both parents’ perspective. The parenting books that have resonated the most with me have all been “stories from the trenches” which to me are more helpful than a list of to-do’s. I hope that people will read it and be entertained, inspired, and maybe even validated in their own parenting methods.
Is there a second book in the works? Or may in sometime in the future?
We’ve had many fans & a few publishers ask us when we will write a book about finding and maintaining love, and are exploring that possibility now. Nothing to announce yet, but we’ll keep you posted!
As a new mom of twins, I’m always interested to see what other product moms can’t live without.. Do you have any?
Congratulations on your twins!! What products could I not live without as a new mom? A top-of-the-line pump if you are nursing, sleep sacks for chilly nights/naps & those little soft velcro toys you can attach to the babies’ wrists .
Any parenting tips you would like to share?
Trust yourself as a parent, and know that what works for one child will not necessarily work for the other.
Read more about Alex and Simon and their family life here.