Elyssa Friedland: 10.18.15

 

                              Melissa Breitbart

Author, Love and Miss Communication

elyssafriedland.COM

 

BCM: What was the best new parenting advice that you received? 

EF: More experienced moms and our pediatrician said that everything is a phase. Your kid is biting? It’s a phase. Your kid doesn’t sleep? It’s a phase. Your kid only eats white food? It’s a phase. My daughter had a rough case of the terrible twos. I honestly was convinced she was Rosemary’s baby. Now she is the sweetest, kindest, most loving five-year-old on the planet. See? Everything’s a phase.

BCM: What new parenting advice would you give to a new mom? 

EF: To relax. When I think about the things I worried about with my first child, like how many teaspoons of peas he ate and when he uttered his first syllable, compared to the way I am with my third child – I cringe. Instead of enjoying having a baby, with my oldest I worried nonstop. It got a little better with my second child, but by number three, I’ve finally mastered the art of relaxing and enjoying the baby years.

BCM: Congratulations on your book, Love and Miss Communication- we loved it and identified with Evie throughout! What was your inspiration in writing this book? 

EF: Walking down the streets of New York City and seeing everyone staring at their cell phones inspired me to write this book. It made me sad to think how much conversation and genuine connection is being missed while we’re all so busy posting pictures and waiting for likes. Not to mention just an appreciation for being alone with our own thoughts. I also have a love-hate relationship with Google. I love looking up recipes and getting quick answers, but I feel like there is too much information out there about people. There is no privacy and it saddens me to think that people look each other up instead of learning about them organically. My main character, Evie Rosen, is a busy New York City professional who relies on her smartphone for everything. When she faces some unexpected setbacks at work and in her love life, she decides to disconnect. Life without constant connectivity is full of surprises for her.

 

 

BCM: What is the longest period of time that you went without your phone? Tell us what happened as a result.

EF: Three days. My husband and I went on a service trip to Cuba and our cell phones didn’t work down there. We borrowed phones to call our kids once a day, but other than that there was no Internet use. It was amazing. Turns out if you don’t check Facebook or Instagram for three days, nothing happens! 

BCM: What is one item you always have in your diaper bag? 

EF: My cell phone! Which of course is totally ironic given the themes of my novel and my ranting about Internet addiction. But the truth is that I’m so much more likely to leave my wallet at home by mistake than my phone.

BCM: How do you manage work time and family time?  

EF: It’s really hard for me. I work mostly from home and the kids frequently ask me why I’m always on my computer. I try to explain to them that it’s pretty much impossible to write a novel without being on the computer. Ideally I would only write when they were at school, but I need to write when I feel inspired. Because I travel to speak about Love and Miss Communication, I’ve cut down on social plans in the evening. My husband and I never go out on Friday nights and we try to limit going out to two nights a week otherwise.

BCM: What has been your favorite vacation as a family?

EF:  We went to Rosewood Mayakoba last year over Martin Luther King weekend. It’s a spectacular resort with an amazing kids club. Our kids went on nature tours and frolicked on the beach while my husband and I ate and drank and totally relaxed.

BCM: What is your go-to family meal? 

CB: We eat a lot of chicken cutlets. My kids are very picky… all three of them. It’s really a challenge to feed them well. They want only plain bagels and plain pasta. It makes me a bit jealous when I’m out at a restaurant and see a four-year-old eating veal piccata with sautéed squash. Maybe my day will come, but I’m not holding my breath.

BCM: What baby product you could not live without?

EF: Mustela facial wipes. They are so gentle and smell amazing.

 

BCM: What is your perfect family weekend activity? 

EF: I live for the fall. Pumpkin-picking and all the attendant activities (corn mazes, hayrides, cider-binging) is my favorite thing to do with my family. I look forward to it starting in July! Our spot is Hank’s Pumpkintown in Water Mill. We are the first ones there to avoid the crowds.

 

BCM: If you had one hour to yourself, what would you do?

EF: Read. My to-be-read list is enormous. The trouble is that I only have time at night and no matter how good the book is, I fall asleep after five pages. It would be such a luxury to read during the day.

 

***FUN FACTS***

Favorite Beauty Product:

Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced in black. It’s incredible. Almost as good as fake lashes.

Favorite form of exercise:

Punch. I’m relatively new to it but I already see a big change in my body.

What is on your DVR?

A lot. Veep, Homeland, Bloodline, The Affair, Narcos.

Favorite App: 

Waze. I have no time to be in traffic!

Favorite kids store:

Crewcuts. At least 50% of my children’s clothing comes from there. I think the style is terrific and the price point reasonable.