Cameran Eubanks Wimberly, ONE DAY YOU'LL THANK ME

Cameran Eubanks Wimberly, ONE DAY YOU'LL THANK ME

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Zibby Owens: Cameran Eubanks Wimberly is the author of One Day You’ll Thank Me: Essays on Dating, Motherhood, and Everything In Between. She is an alumna of Southern Charm, the hit Bravo reality series, and also The Real World. She is a real estate agent based in Charleston, South Carolina, where she lives with her husband Jason and their daughter Palmer. I recorded this conversation with Cameran through Anderson’s Bookshop on a late night when everything went wrong with our technology. This episode could’ve probably been filmed in fifteen, twenty minutes, or something like that, but it took us almost an hour and fifteen in the end. It was really fun. We had a lot of laughs. Forgive any awkward cuts in and out due to Wi-Fi and technical issues.

Welcome, Cameran. So excited we get to chat. I was worried that wasn’t going to happen, but how delightful.

Cameran Eubanks Wimberly: Me too, honestly. I was thinking, oh, gosh, this is not going to work. Thank y’all so much for being so patient. I wish I could see you and see your faces and say hey to you. Thank you, Zibby, for doing this.

Zibby: It’s my pleasure. Got to hone my little stand-up skills. Cameran, first of all, congratulations on writing your book, One Day You’ll Thank Me.

Cameran: I’ll thank you today.

Zibby: Thank you.

Cameran: Thank you so much. It was so hard for me to come up with a title for that book. You’re like, what do I want to call my book? My god, this is a big decision. I thought about that because that is one thing my mom always used to say to me. One day you’ll thank me for this. That’s how the book came to be.

Zibby: That’s a great title. I love it. It’s perfect. Cameran, what made you write a book? How did this come about?

Cameran: Obviously, being on reality television, it gives you a platform and an audience for a brief window of time. I was joking earlier today that in a few years I will just be a washed-up reality television star. If I’m going to write a book, now is the time to do it. Really, being on Southern Charm, you obviously have access to social media. People can DM you on Instagram. Women would DM me nonstop about relationship advice, asking me about my indecision to have a child. It seemed to really resonate with a lot of women. Women would write me and say, oh, my gosh, I resonated with you with your whole breastfeeding quandary. I’m sitting here in my DMs counseling these women. I may as well just put it all in a book that you can hold and is tangible.

Zibby: Perfect. I bet that has not stopped the DMs. I bet you’re say that.

Cameran: I get even more now. I feel so guilty because I can’t get to them all, but I do. I try to read as many as I can.

Zibby: When you sat down to write about new motherhood and this whole thing, how did you go about it? Did you decide, all right, I’m going to start from way back when in dating and just go all the way through? How did you even decide on the scope of the book? Then what was it like just getting it all down and reliving it?

Cameran: I still get asked about The Real World all the time. Some of y’all are probably too young to even have been old enough to watch it back in the day. The Real World used to be a pretty big deal in its heyday back when I was on it. I figured I may as well start the book with The Real World because that’s a question I get all the time. Then there were parts of my life on Southern Charm that I didn’t really talk about it. I really didn’t talk about my relationship. I kept that private. I kept Jason private. I kept my marriage off the air. I knew I wanted to use the book as a way to be more open and honest about that so people could feel like they really got to know me. Then I would get into bed. I would drop Palmer off at school. I’d get cozy. I’d get in the bed. I’d just start writing. It was easy. It came pretty easy to me. The whole process was about a year and a half total.

Zibby: That’s not too bad in the grand scheme of book project world. Amazing. Tell me about what it was like debating whether or not to have a child and your initial reluctance which you were really open about in the book and I so appreciated because a lot of people don’t discuss it or they feel very judged about that.

Cameran: Speaking of, here’s Palmer and Jason really quick. They want to say hey to y’all. Hold on. Palmer just had her bath. Hey.

Zibby: Aw, so cute.

Cameran: Here’s Jason. He’s real. He exists.

Jason: Palmer, show them your little Elvis.

Zibby: Hi, Palmer.

Cameran: Ok, buh-bye. Sorry.

Zibby: So cute.

Cameran: The question was…? Before I got interrupted.

Zibby: It was about being so open about whether or not to even have children.

Cameran: Having a kid is a pretty big deal. Bringing another human into the world, I think, is a decision that should not be made lightly. For me, I was never the little girl that played with baby dolls and had this dream of having a big family. I felt guilty for a long time because after you get married, people start saying, when are you going to have a baby? I was in my thirties. To make a very long story short, it finally got to the point where I started to think, I might regret not doing this. I’m getting older. If I’m going to do it, I should probably do it now. I know I’m not going to regret having a child, but I might regret not having one. I’m so glad that I did it because it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s also the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s all the things. Motherhood is all the things.

Zibby: Yes. Thank you for being so open and sharing. Cameran, when you were leaving the hospital with Palmer and you were trying to deal with the car seat, you said, “What the heck do I with this?” I feel like that is basically the big question in all of parenting. What do we do with this? What do we do with this situation? How do we put in a car seat? What do we do as all the things change? Tell me about that. What do you do with all of the uncertainty? How the heck do we do this?

Cameran: One theme that I tried to make common in the book is when you become a mom, there is something kind of primal that takes over. It’s like a superpower that you’ve never had before. You all of a sudden get this keen intuition. At least, I did. You can read all the books in the world and take all the advice in the world. Ultimately, it’s really only you that knows what’s best for your baby because your baby is unlike any other baby and you are unlike any other mother. That is what I tell people. Then obviously, with stuff like the car seat and all that, thank god we have Google. Back when my mom had me, if she had an issue with the car seat, she was screwed. At least now, you just get on your cell phone. You can watch a YouTube video. I remember the stroller I got, I used to always have trouble unhinging it. I would just get on YouTube and watch the video, and it was no problem.

Zibby: I think I took my car seat to the fire station, honestly. I feel like that was where you had to go to get it installed properly. I didn’t go myself. I think my ex-husband did or something. So crazy. In addition to leaving the hospital, you got the car seat in, and then you went home and you had six weeks of what you called the baby blues which sounded very much like postpartum depression. My heart was just breaking for you crying every day for six weeks. Tell me about that feeling. You were beating yourself up for being sad on top of being sad. Tell me about that.

Cameran: It’s weird. When I was in the hospital, they give you a little questionnaire to ask — of course, you’ve literally just had the baby, so I don’t think your hormones are necessarily raging at that point. When I left the hospital, I felt totally fine. Then a couple days after being at home, I remember one night I started crying. I looked at Jason and I said, “I can’t believe we did this to our life. We had such an easy life. We used to sleep. Why did we do this?” Of course, you feel so guilty feeling that because you love this little baby. You would step in front of a car for this child, but you also feel just — it’s hormones. You can’t help it. It’s not your fault. It was extremely hard for me. At the same time, I knew in the back of my head, this is not who I am. This is not really the way that I feel. This is a chemical reaction happening to my brain. It’s not going to last forever. I at least was aware of the fact that it was not my fault.

Zibby: That is a lot of to be able to identify that and go easier on yourself for it, especially when you’re in the throes of it.

Cameran: My mom had it. She, luckily, talked to me about it. I knew there is a genetic component to it.

Zibby: So you were on the lookout.

Cameran: Yes, I was on the lookout.

Zibby: You had a whole chapter about, what about having a second child? Clearly, nobody is satisfied with whatever you do. Whether you have a kid, great. Now they want another kid.

Cameran: If it’s two girls, you have to have a boy.

Zibby: How do you deal with this public pressure? This is your life. All these people are weighing in on it. How do you deal with that? Also, talk about your decision that one is enough for you. That’s fine.

Cameran: What I tell people and what I have learned through all this is just don’t talk about these things with women. Don’t ever ask a woman, when are you going to have another child? Are you going to have a baby? Are you thinking about having a baby? When are you going to get pregnant? You never know what that woman is going through. For all anybody knows, I could’ve been trying to have a baby for the last six months and had two miscarriages. Nobody knows. It’s best just to keep your mouth shut and leave bringing a child into the world up to the person that is actually doing it and not give your opinion. Don’t ask. Obviously, people don’t mean anything by it. They can’t help it, but those questions can end up hurting somebody that might be having issues with it. I say don’t ask the question.

Zibby: That’s a great point. Yes, you never know in so many areas. You just never know what anyone’s going through about really anything.

Cameran: You really don’t. You don’t know what people are going through. For me, again, it just goes back to me trying to be self-aware, tuning out societal pressures, and going with my gut. Obviously, my head says, oh, gosh, Cameran, what a horrible mother you are. You need to give Palmer a sibling. Don’t be so — what’s the word? I don’t know. Then in my gut, in my heart, which I think is the part of you that you really should listen to, will say, Cameran, more than one is going to put you over the edge. You are going to be overwhelmed. You’re probably not going to be the best mother to two as you can to one. Obviously, there are women out there who can mother five and six children. They’re spectacular at it. I wish I could be that person, but I’m not. I try to be self-aware and know that one is my limit. I would rather give Palmer a happy and sane mama rather than a sibling. I never say never. I could wake up tomorrow and change my mind, but that’s where I am now.

Zibby: I don’t want to pile on and be another person asking you about all these decisions in your life, so I’m just going to let it go at this point. You do whatever is right for you.

Cameran: It’s like Shakespeare said. If I was to ever get a tattoo, it would be, to thine own self be true. Be true to yourself. Don’t worry what other people think. It was funny, I was talking to somebody earlier today. She said, “You need to have another because when you have two, it’s actually easier for you because they play together. One is actually more work.” I’m like, oh, god, maybe they have a point.

Zibby: I have four kids. It is not easier. It’s another person, for gosh sakes. It’s another person. If nothing else, it’s another set of forms for everything.

Cameran: I know, but you’re going to be so well-taken care of in your old age. You’re going to be a queen on a throne.

Zibby: Yeah. Although, the other day they were talking about where they wanted to live. They’re like, “We’re just going to take this house because either you’ll be dead or you’ll live somewhere else.” I’m like, I’m booted out of my own house already? What is going on?

Cameran: There’s someone saying, “What about hubby? He must be okay with just Palmer.” If was down for it, he would have another child for sure. He would have another. He obviously loves Palmer and is very happy with our one, but he would have another one. He wants a boy. I would get pregnant, and I’d have twin girls.

Zibby: Tell me about the way that your work and your public life — how do you integrate that with your personal life? How do you turn it on and turn it off?

Cameran: For me, I did The Real World when I was nineteen years old. I hate even using the words fame. To me, I consider someone famous if they have done something notable or if they have a talent. I don’t consider reality television people famous. What have we really done? We just live our lives on a TV show. The Real World gave me that little taste of what it feels like for people to all of a sudden recognize you on the street. I truly compartmentalize it. I try not to even think about it a lot. I feel like I’m a normal person. I live my life as a normal person. I do not consider myself a celebrity by any means. If anything, it kind of weirds me out that anybody could even perceive me as that. I’m kind of boring to live that exciting of a life.

Zibby: What kind of plans do you have going forward? You are an amazing mom. You’re obviously so invested in Palmer. She’s all over your Instagram. You’re so lucky in that way. What do you have coming next? You have this amazing book coming out. Are you looking to do more?

Cameran: I don’t know what I have next. I think I’m done with reality television, for sure, at least in the context that I have been on it. I think if I were to ever go back on it, it would have to be no drama, maybe like HGTV. That’s my new speed of reality television. I don’t like the fighting. I don’t like the vitriol, the toxic — it seems like the whole reality television world is taking a dumpster dive lately.

Zibby: Cameran, if you can hear us, to all the people here, do you have any words of wisdom or anything to say to them about your journey and this book and why it’s so important to you?

Cameran: Oh, gosh, that’s such a huge question. I’m thirty-seven years old. I have a little bit of life behind me. What I have learned from motherhood and life in general is, one, be true to yourself. Listen to that inner voice. Learn to decipher what is your head talking to you versus what is your heart. I’ve been reading a lot of books about this lately. It’s helping me a lot in my life, listening to my heart instead of my head. I think the heart will always lead you in the direction that is good for your life. That would be my biggest advice. I would say to girls that are not married and do not have children yet, take your time. It is not something that has to be accomplished by a certain age like society tells you. Live your life. Learn your lessons. Say yes to many different men so you can, I don’t want to say test drive. That sounds bad, but so you can learn who is the best partner for you and also as a potential father of your future children. Be open. I guess that would be my advice.

Zibby: That’s great. That was great. You pulled that out perfectly. What about one more piece of advice for people who would like to write a book, aspiring authors?

Cameran: Oh, my gosh, just do it. Get on your computer and start writing. It can be very cathartic. I feel like writing a book, it’s kind of like going to therapy with yourself because you learn a lot about yourself in the process of doing it. Just get on your computer and start doing it.

Zibby: Amazing. I love it.

Cameran: Bye, Zibby. I’m so sorry we had so many technical difficulties.

Zibby: That’s okay. Bye. Thanks.

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