My Baby or My Job
MC: If they had called, what would you have said?
EV: [pause] I would have said, “Listen, this is a tremendously difficult
deci¬sion for me to make, but this is what’s best for my family. I’m rolling
the dice, I’m gambling, I think it’s a good bet that I’m gonna have another
shot at a job like this. Charlie likes to say he’s the victim of circumstance.
In many cases, we all are. There’s a whole pano¬ply of things that happened in
the last year-and-a-half that I could never have anticipated—and that teaches
you that life isn’t something you manage. It hap¬pens, and you deal with
MC: Still, it couldn’t have been too great to open up the article
about you in New York magazine and see yourself described as “collateral
EV: You know what? I don’t think this is a business for pansies. You
don’t get into this business if you can’t take the heat. It’s brutally
competitive. The fact that someone else may have desper¬ately wanted this job
and fought hard to get it doesn’t erase the fact that I knew, for me, I was
struggling with the demands of the job, and the demands of motherhood with
MC: So in your 20/20 special, when you examine the issue of whether
women—even women with fame, prestige, and plenty of money—can have it all, your
answer would be . . .
MC: What do you think of the CBS Evening News with Katie
EV: I think they’re bold and trying a lot of new things. And now that
I’m not there . . . listen, I love seeing a woman sitting in that seat. A
woman, and not another white male.
MC: So what would you say to working women facing a choice like
EV: Every working mother faces my dilemma. I can’t think of a single one
of them who has ever said, “It’s easy.” It’s not. But I would bet that every
single one would tell you it’s worth it. It’s really important to let every
woman find her way. And it would be great to support their decisions, whether
it’s to take two years off or to take six weeks off. Working mothers have a
hard enough time as it is, wearing a zillion hats and juggling all these balls,
and meeting a lot of people’s expectations. What we don’t need to do is pile on
more pressure, and insist that she do it the way we would do it. Let her figure
out the best way for her. [baby squirms and looks like he has to burp] My
husband has been sleeping in the den at night because of this.
MC: It is awful being a baby. It is just very, very tough.
EV: [tenderly burping him] That must be why they don’t remember it.
Otherwise, they’d all be in therapy at 4.