How do you indulge yourself on a daily basis?
I used to just go for a walk. I'm not into working out, so I wouldn't walk to lose weight, just to breathe and listen to the birds. I would go by myself, but if you don't have that luxury, throw your kid in a stroller, give him a bottle and take him along.
Speaking of losing weight, you gained a lot during pregnancy. Do you have any advice for iVillage moms '- especially when the likes of Heidi Klum lose it all in what seems like minutes?
Yeah, that's bullshit. That just really annoyed me. I was 125 pounds before I got pregnant and 200 when I went into the hospital, so by the time I got home, I had about 50 pounds to lose. I had a hard time looking in the mirror -- I didn't recognize myself.
My mom talked about Weight Watchers, which I thought was such a Midwestern diet. But she lost 40 pounds in a few months '- and still ate pizza! So when she came to visit, I decided to try it. I signed up, I went to meetings and in six months, I lost all the baby weight. I still use the method.
What's the best thing about being a mom?
You realize the importance of life '- narcissism goes out the window. Heaven on earth is looking at my child. If I never did anything else other than be a mom, I'd be fine.
What sucks about being a mom?
Living in fear. It's a constant thing, always being concerned. Is he going to choke on that pacifier? Is he going to fall from the swing set? It's all day long '- these little voices of fear. And it doesn't end there! Will his girlfriend be good to him? I hope his friends won't give him that fifth of vodka!
How do you cope with all that anxiety?
I pray, I pray, I pray. That's all you can do.
Who inspires you as a mom?
My mother '- hopefully that's where all inspiration comes from, right? She gave us [McCarthy has three sisters] the two things kids need most '- unconditional love and safety -- to grow into strong, independent people.
You've been both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. Who has it harder?
It's equal. What's hard for working mom is seeing the "Mama, come back!" face in the window, but you have more time for yourself. Stay-at-home moms get to see the first steps, but they don't have any time for themselves. I liked staying at home better.
Can you share some of your can't-live-without products for surviving early motherhood?
I'm one of those staple moms. Freaking Desitin was great for diaper rash. And, oh -- those baby mittens that stop scratching. Evan used to have little scabs all over his face from that.