My Name Is Earl star Jamie Pressly is hitting the big screen in the new comedy I Love You, Man, but on the printed pages of the April issue of Redbook, the newly-single star gets serious about the struggles associated with single parenthood.
The sweet girl with the slight Southern twang split from ex Eric Cubiche not long after delivering their son Dezi James, now 2. Jamie says the relationship lost steam when Eric took a job as a traveling DJ while she was pregnant, leaving the new family little time together.
“We’d been best friends for so long, and now it was kind of like we were leading two separate lives,” Jamie tells Redbook.
She adds, “It’s hard because when you’re with somebody for a long time or have a child with someone, you start to expect them to be this person you had in mind. Then if they don’t fill the expectation, resentment starts to come up. Sometimes it just doesn’t work.”
Last November, you and Eric split up. How does the parenting arrangement work now?
I have full custody, but when he’s in town, Eric comes and sees Dezi every day. Dezi’s too young right now to go overnight. But Eric’s very much a part of his life; he’s a great father. We make sure that no matter what happens, Dezi is okay and protected and knows that Mom and Daddy love him. We’ve never argued in front of him. We don’t raise our voices around him.
Your own parents separated when you were a teenager. Did that give you insight into how to make Eric’s moving out less traumatic for your son?
It absolutely did. It’s like the old thing: The parents stay together for the kids, but the kids know that you don’t want to be together. The kids would rather you be happy â€” and separate â€” than together and miserable. I don’t want my kid to grow up around two parents who just don’t work. Eric and I take him to the park, we take him to eat. We do things together so he’s with us as a family, so he knows Mommy and Daddy still love each other, that it just didn’t work out. Also, I didn’t want to wait until he was older and it affected him more. I was 14, in hormone hell, and in my first year of high school â€” and I knew my parents were going to separate before they did. They weren’t happy. But even if you know what needs to happen, you still don’t want to go through it.
Have you started dating yet?
Jamie’s Ideal Man: “I’d like to be with somebody who isn’t afraid to take care of me – whether they have the same financial means as me or not. What’s important is that they realize there are other ways of taking care of me that have [nothing] to do with money. Like cooking me dinner or going to the grocery store or picking up after yourself.”