Celebrity Sit-Down: Nancy O'Dell

In this Web-exclusive bonus, the co-host of 'Entertainment Tonight,' dishes about life on the red carpet, her pageant past and the challenges of being a working mom.

By David Hutchings
nancy o'dell image
Photograph: Jack Guy/Corbis Outline

Working mom guilt Michelle Obama told me a profound statement once that I’ve always remembered. She told me that being a working mom on the campaign trail was just one big guilt trip. And that is something I so relate to. If I turn down a work assignment because I need to do something with my kids, I feel guilty that I am letting down my boss and my job. And if I turn down my kids for my job, that is the worst guilt trip ever. But then my husband, Keith, gave me the best piece of advice on this. He said 'If you need to something important with the kids, your boss will surely understand. And if you decide to do this something with the kids, you need to let that guilt go because if you don’t that worrying will ruin this great moment you are getting to have with your children. You’ve made your decision, it’s the right decision, and now you need to enjoy it.’

Personal challenge I’m a very over-protective mom, probably because I lost my mom to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) a few years ago [Check out Nancy's ALS charity Betty's Battle.] When you lose someone close to you, you become scared that it will happen again. I know that I have to let my kids be free to do their thing, so I need to get rid of this worrying thing.

Want MORE? Check out our celebrity sit-down with singer Mary J. Blige.

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First Published September 15, 2011

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