Jenny McCarthy has built a vibrant career on putting her opinion and life experiences out there for all the world to see. Now, what might be the culmination of everything she's encountered all along the way -- from show biz to the frontlines of single motherhood -- has come together in The View co-host's tenth and latest book, Stirring the Pot: My Recipe for Getting What You Want Out of Life. In the book, the controversial celeb mama divulges her advice for creating the life of your dreams.
That said, she'll be the first to admit in a self-deprecating, hilarious way that she doesn't have it all figured out! The Stir recently caught up with Jenny about dating as a single mom, how she ended up having "The Talk" with 12-year-old son, Evan, and her relationship with fiance Donnie Wahlberg ...
What inspired you to write Stirring the Pot?
I was looking at a cookbook, and look at all these ingredients just to make a meal, and I wish there were ingredients to get what you want out of life. What does it take to get certain things done? And I was like, 'Wow, no one's really done that kind of format in a book.' And I said, 'Well, uh, here comes book 10!' And I've learned so much in the 20-year roller coaster of being in this business -- through heartache, through health, through career, through love, sadness, and happiness, and I've done my homework and read and met with gurus and learned a lot of really special things to kind of offer and motivate and teach people to get past their fear and accomplish what you want out of life, and I kinda did it with through personal stories, and that I feel like people learn best. Especially when you're willing to humiliate yourself and have a sense of humor with it.
What life lessons have resonated most with your fans so far?
The common one people keep coming up to me and saying is 'Know when to fold 'em!' And it's like that Kenny Rogers' song, "The Gambler." Know when to get out of that bad relationship. Know when to get out of that job is that going nowhere. Know when to let go of that friend that isn't serving you anymore. These are all these we can all relate to, and we can all relate to making excuses as to why we're staying in those places. And 'know when to fold 'em' says pay attention to yourself when you hear yourself going, 'Oh well, you know, he's a good boyfriend, even though he only calls me once every two weeks ... but I know he's really busy!' You can't make excuses for people, for your bosses, your friends anymore. If it's not serving you, know when to get out, and move on.
What's the best advice you have for single moms who are trying to juggle parenting and dating?
It's really, really hard, because the single mom syndrome is number one, you're probably working, so you're away from your baby, and then, to have to leave your kid more to go on dates is painful. So you better make sure that every guy that you say yes to go on a date [with] is worth being away from your kid. Don't go on the 'ehhh I'm not into him' [date]. No. This guy has to -- you know, if you had a penis, make you hard, you know what I mean? You have to really get excited for the date, and then, you know, you should go on it. Then, the next step is never bring any date near your kid for six months. I have a six month rule, because then by six months, you really know whether you want to stay with that person or not. You get to know whether that person is a good enough person to be introduced to your child. So I kinda kept that rule, and it worked out really well, and Evan was only introduced to a couple of boyfriends since I divorced my husband. And it's good, because Evan saw me consistently with one person, and he then also saw when I would end a relationship, and I explained to him that endings shouldn't always be sad. He needs to know to move onto the next relationship when it's not serving him anymore.
How did you explain breakups to him?
I said, you know, it's kinda like, Evan, when you look at those hourglass things, and you turn one over. I go, 'All those things are like lessons and giggles and good times, and if you feel like all those sand particles drop to the bottom, then you know it's time to move onto the next relationship. There's going to be a time, when it's endless and the vat keeps getting refilled and refilled, and that's the person I know I'll be able to spend the rest of my life with. But it's time to move on, when the giggles stop, when you stop learning things.' And he has seen me do that and that has been a really important part of being a single mom, communicating not only who comes into your life, but also why they leave your life.
Evan reportedly helped Donnie propose. So cute! What's their relationship like?
It sounds weird, but it's always been me and Evan. Even though I've been dating people, it's still me and Evan. We're the best together -- just alone. The three of us are -- I was taking to Donnie just now on the phone, and said Evan officially moves June 4 to New York, and he's like, 'I cannot wait. Finally! Remember when we were on vacation?' He said, 'And what did we say about that vacation?' It was the three of us on vacation, for 11 days, in one hotel room. And I said, 'It was the best time of our lives.' And he said, 'That's right, so let's get on with the best part of our life, and get Evan in this house.' I feel like you're the best man ever. That's what you want -- a guy who realizes they're not just marrying a girl. They're marrying a package deal, you know?
Is Evan helping with wedding planning?
Evan loves to plan parties. I wouldn't be surprised if he was an event coordinator or architect or [involved] some type of design. He loves to have parties and design. ... He knows exactly what he wants and decorates. With the wedding, he's not gonna be able to tell me what colors, but he's definitely going to be part of it and feel part of it just like he did the engagement.
Now that Evan's on the cusp of adolescence, have you had any awkward talks about girls or dating? How do you feel about him reaching this phase?
It's happened! It's happened already! I made the mistake of years ago, telling Evan that sex was foot rubs, cuz I just felt like he was too young to know what sex was. So I was just like, 'Sex is when people give foot rubs.' So I was looking at his iPad the other day, and I went to go into look at his photos, and he's like, 'You can't go in there, there's inappropriate photos.' And I clicked on it, thinking there were going to be sexual pictures, being that he's going through this age ... and there were pictures of foot rubs! I am like, I have confused my boy massively, I need to sit down with him and have the talk. I mean, there were pictures of Justin Bieber rubbing Selena Gomez's foot. Any Google foot rubs, he took pictures of! I was like, 'Listen. Let me give you the birds and the bees talk.' So I gave him the talk, and of course, he was horrified and said he's never having babies. And I said, 'Good, good, think that way for now!' But I'm doing the best I can ... I can tell he's also kinda gonna approach Donnie also with questions, so it's good that Donnie came at the perfect time.
Which pieces of Jenny's advice can you relate to?
Image via Random House