Zibby Owens: Hi, everybody. I have such exciting news, I think, today to bring to you in the midst of this coronavirus quarantine season. I am launching a new site called which is a collection of essays written entirely by authors who have been on this podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.” We’re calling it Connecting Brilliant Minds to Busy Readers. Each week, we’ll have about five new essays in different categories that moms don’t have time to do. Moms don’t have time to breathe, work out, have sex, eat, read. Authors will write amazing essays and contribute them, all original, exclusive content. I’m really excited. My team and I have been working on this for months and months. We were going to launch it on Mother’s Day. Then we thought, you know what? Everybody’s home and could use a little inspiration, so we’re launching it early, this Monday, April 6th. I hope you will go check it out. It’s on my website,, which also has a complete refresh and is brand new. It’ll also live on Please go check it out today. Tell me what you think. I would love some feedback. Read the essays. I have essays this week by Gretchen Rubin, Claire Gibson, and Elissa Altman who are also the editors of the site and authors in their own right from the podcast. There is one from Nicole Kear, another author. Then I wrote one about working out. Go check it out please. Make sure to tune in each week. If you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter, I’ll be sending links to the articles weekly in there as well. Thanks for tuning into that also.

If you have not noticed on my Instagram if you don’t follow me or whatever, I’ve started an Instagram Live TV series during the quarantine called Z IG TV. We might just call it Z TV. I don’t know. What do you think? Each Monday through Friday from eleven AM to twelve PM Eastern time, I’ve been interviewing authors live on Instagram Live on the @ZibbyOwens account, usually about four or five authors in an hour, which has been so fun. Please check that out. You can join me on Instagram Live, comment, ask questions as I go. Or you can watch it afterwards in my IG TV feed, which in Instagram is when you click on my bio and everything. It’s in — well, you’ll find it. Anyway, it’s the IG TV button, which I’m sure you’re familiar with. So please check that out.

Then last week on my IG TV show, I had the pleasure of interviewing actress and author Laura Prepon, who by the way has six million followers, which is crazy. Her latest book is called You and I, as Mothers. It’s so good. It’s a first-person look at being a new mom, what it was like for her in the context of being an actress and directing on the set of Orange is the New Black and acting and all the rest of it. It’s honest and really great. You should all read it. I had her on my show. Then I realized after, that our interview was about twenty minutes. I might as well just make it a podcast as opposed to doing a separate podcast, so that’s what this is. The sound quality is a little bit different since it was just recorded on my phone as an Instagram Live. The content is really awesome and really helpful. It’s moms of all ages, not just little kids. It could be parenting your own parents. It’s a great book with lots of specific tips. Her previous book was a New York Times best seller. That was called The Stash Plan, which was a wellness book. As I said, she’s a star of Orange is The New Black. She was also in That ’70s Show from 1998 to 2006 and also in Girl on the Train and many other films and TV shows and everything else. Originally from New Jersey, she is now married to actor Ben Foster. They have two children, a girl and a boy who’s now four weeks old. They live in New York. Here is that Instagram Live episode. If you want to watch it after, you can do that too by going onto my Instagram feed, @ZibbyOwens, and seeing what she looked like when she was talking and all that good stuff. Please enjoy it. Let me know what you think. Bye.

Gosh, all these comments. Everybody’s so excited to talk to Laura.

Laura Prepon: Hi, how are you?

Zibby: Good. How are you?

Laura: I’m great. Thank you for having me.

Zibby: Thank you for coming on.

Laura: Of course.

Zibby: Oh, my gosh. Your book was so great, You and I, as Mothers. Now I feel like I really know you. Maybe that was just a filtered piece of you in the book, but thank you for that. It’s so great and relatable and awesome.

Laura: Thank you. I really feel like to be able to have this conversation about motherhood, that we really do have to drop our defenses and share our truths. This is the most vulnerable I’ve been. I really just wanted to have that open dialogue with the readers of the book. Thank you so much. I’m so excited that that came across and that it registered with you. Thanks.

Zibby: Of course. Even at the beginning when you were pregnant the first time and you were with a friend and you asked how it was and she said, “It’s really hard, girl. This is hard.” Congratulations on your baby also.

Laura: Thank you. Yes, it’s crazy. Having two really is a gamechanger, but it’s been great. Honestly, I’ve just been, besides doing wonderful things like this to get the word out about the book, there’s been so much family bonding. It’s been really special. It’s just a light in the midst of all of the craziness that’s going out there. It’s been really just trying to focus on the blessing of having two healthy children because as I wrote about in my book, we’ve dealt with some stuff. I’m so blessed to have two healthy children.

Zibby: Then I feel like having read your book and all the anxiety and your shining the light on postpartum anxiety for people who didn’t really know that much about it —

Laura: — I didn’t either. Zibby, I didn’t either. I didn’t know what was going on. I cut you off. Please continue.

Zibby: No, go, go, go. You talk.

Laura: I literally felt like I was completely upended. I didn’t know what was going on. I turned to my husband and I said, “The woman you married is gone.” I felt like I couldn’t take care of myself. I felt like I couldn’t properly take care of my family. I feel like a lot of people, when they hear the phrase postpartum, they immediately think of postpartum depression. I, in the past, had been guilty of that too thinking that postpartum is postpartum depression. Postpartum literally means, it just means after birth. I had never heard about this postpartum anxiety. I didn’t have depression. It was more of this mama bear to the nth degree, to a point where everything, I thought, was a threat to my child. Anxiety in general, I feel like as a mother, you can kind of quell it, but it never really goes away because we love our children. We’re worried about our children. One of the things that I really want to come across in my book is that it relates to mothers of all ages. Also, a lot of partners of mothers have gotten a lot out of the book, and people who read the book who aren’t mothers yet or may choose not to be. There’s a lot of stuff in the book that they can relate to. I really hope that it helps a lot of people because I certainly was helped so much and healed so much through the process of writing this book.

Zibby: I feel like anytime you really open yourself up the way that you did, you’re bound to help tons of people because people have to learn from others. You keep talking about the mom tribe or your mom squad.

Laura: My mom squad.

Zibby: Your mom squad, which is so important. I feel like the people who gave me advice when I had a new baby were the most important people in my life. Even people, they weren’t even that close to me, but they were the people who came through, like, “This is the stroller you need. This is that.” I’ll never forget that help. So now you’re that person.

Laura: For sure. Especially now with the self-isolation that’s going on, community is more important than ever. I really hope that how I speak to that in the book will hopefully help inspire people to build that community even more through things like this, through our social media platforms, through FaceTime and Zoom and all these great platforms that we can use now to connect. It really is so important. My mom squad is, they’re such an amazing support system for me. Because I want the book to speak to many different ages and types of women, my mom squad is women of all ages, background, ethnicities, professions because I wanted this book to relate to many different people. From the feedback, that’s been coming across and helping a lot of people, so it’s really exciting.

Zibby: That’s amazing, and even all your little videos on Instagram.

Laura: Thank you.

Zibby: Just so you know, we do have our little baggies of chicken now thanks to you. There are freezer bags of chicken.

Laura: Awesome. It makes a difference because if you throw it all together in a big clump, you have to then defrost the whole thing. Once you defrost it, you want to use it. You don’t want to then freeze it again. Little tips and tricks, I’m all about the tips and tricks.

Zibby: I can see that. The book has a zillion trips and ticks — no.

Laura: I get it. It’s a tongue twister. I totally understand.

Zibby: Wait, tell me a little more about the process of writing the book. What was that experience like? You said it was really helpful. Tell me, how long did it take to write the book? Where and when did you write it? Tell me about that.

Laura: What’s funny is I wrote it when we lived in an apartment in the Lower East Side. I wrote it in my bedroom — I’m not kidding — on top of a cardboard box. That was my desk because we couldn’t fit a desk in there. I had a box. I would sit on the floor in Indian style and write it on this box. I started writing it when I was dealing with these new things that were happening after the birth of my daughter. My husband had suggested, because I was dealing with all of these things and I would speak to other women and they were all dealing with similar things — as example, I have a friend who is a mom. She lives in LA. Her daughter’s eighteen years old. She was dealing with the same amount of stress about her daughter going to — this is before corona happened. She was dealing with the same amount of stress that I was, but her daughter was eighteen and going to Europe for the first time. She was freaking out about this lack of control. How am I going to reach my daughter? She’s never left the country. She was really nervous about that. I was dealing with just as much stress but with a toddler in a different way. That’s the other thing. There’s so many things that I feel like relate across the board.

When I was going through these things and talking with other mothers, I just knew that I wasn’t the only person dealing with this and that I needed to write about it. I feel like there’s all of these books about pregnancy. There’s all these wonderful books about those nine months of your life. Then after that, there’s a void. I thought to myself, what about the rest of my life? What about the rest of my life as a mother? That’s the void that I hope this book fills because I couldn’t find a voice to relate to. There’s wonderful books about parenting, but there isn’t a book that speaks to the mother herself or the partner or someone who wants to understand the process of what we go through even more. That’s what I’m hoping this fills, is that void that I felt so deeply. Already, the feedback has just been so wonderful. So thank you and your audience and everyone who’s watching right now. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Zibby: It’s really amazing. I also think you have a unique vantage point. You were writing about feeling tired on the set of filming and trying to direct a TV show. Most moms are just trying to take a shower.

Laura: Seriously. I get it.

Zibby: Seriously, you have a lot on your plate.

Laura: As my friend says, the juggle is real. It is. Even just trying to take a shower is a big deal when you have kids. I went back to work on Orange at six weeks. By the time my daughter was four months old, I was directing. What’s crazy is that the first episode I directed of Orange, I was doing all of these scenes with myself and my costars, I think five of my costars it was. We were all in a janitor’s closet. There were these really intense scenes where Taylor and I had to be — we were naked wrapped in a shower curtain with our hands duct taped behind our back, duct tape over our mouth. We had to be lowered to the floor by two stunt guys before each take. I would have duct tape over my mouth. I’m just like, “Action,” because I was directing while I was acting in these scenes. It was this totally surreal process. It turned out great. We put all of those scenes at the end of the schedule because I knew they were going to be very, very trying on us and I want us to have a break right after. Then right after we wrapped and I wrapped my first episode directing, I found out I was pregnant. So I was pregnant during all those scenes. It was just very surreal that then going back and directing again now having my daughter and having a whole different perspective on it, it’s crazy. It really just shifts — you know what it did for me? I feel like when I first had my daughter, my priorities were so laser focused that it really made me not sweat the small stuff. Now my priorities were so focused in terms of protecting this child that other things that might have stressed me out at work or whatever, I’m like, I got that. The real stress of protecting this child comes in and that mama bear instinct, that shift of priority was so fascinating to me.

Zibby: It’s amazing. I feel like if there’s a pie of all the attention that your brain fills once you have kids, it all shifts. Everything that used to worry you, it just becomes this little sliver.

Laura: It’s so true, and I love that. It really just reorganizes everything in a way that’s just so — the priorities are so crystal clear. It’s nice to have that. You don’t sweat the stuff that used to bother you anymore. It’s so fascinating how that happens. Look, being a working mom, being a stay-at-home mom, it’s juggling all of it. We do what we can. I’d never go back because it’s such a blessing. It’s crazy, but it’s such a blessing.

Zibby: By the way, my older kids are almost thirteen. I have a five and six-year-old. I have just as much postpartum anxiety now. It doesn’t necessarily go away, to your point about this relating to moms of all ages, so I get it.

Laura: Thank you. I get it.

Zibby: How are you doing now with the baby? I know it’s only been a few weeks, but this is a crazy time of life to bring a baby into the world. How do you feel?

Laura: You know what? I’m just so thankful that he came before everything, before the isolation started and everything because I have friends that are, whether they’re about to have a baby soon or have just had one, their partners weren’t even allowed in the room with them. Some of them weren’t even allowed in the hospital. That, I couldn’t imagine. Going through your birth, whether it’s easy or long or it’s difficult — our last birth was pretty difficult. Again, all worth it. There were things that happened that were unforeseen that none of us knew. Thank goodness everything turned out fine. I couldn’t imagine going through that without my partner. I’m just so thankful that he came when he did. In spite of everything going on, these early days are so special. We’re just really trying to stay present because it goes by so quickly. That’s one thing I’m really trying to do, is make sure I stay present even though I’m doing these wonderful things like talking to you and getting the word about the book out. I’m really trying to stay in this moment and not let these days just whip by, is what I’m trying to focus on right now.

Zibby: Good luck with that.

Laura: Yes, seriously. Look, it’s a constant negotiation every day, but I’m trying.

Zibby: I know you haven’t, or I don’t think you’ve announced your baby’s name. Are you keeping it a secret?

Laura: Yes, we are. All those decisions, we make as a family. We decided to say the sex, obviously. We haven’t mentioned the name yet. That’ll be the next discussion we have about it. We make all those decisions as a family because it is a public thing. It does become public. We just try to negotiate that carefully, for our children too. Everyone in our type of industry, when you’re in the public eye, we take those things seriously. Everyone has a different way that they go about it. There’s no judgment. Everyone handles it in a different way. For us, we always talk about all those things and make sure it’s the right thing for our children and our family.

Zibby: You have to.

Laura: You have to.

Zibby: Then you recently came out with the story of having to terminate a pregnancy late. I just read about it in People. I’m sorry you had to go through that. That must have been just a really emotional, difficult time of life. It’s really amazing, what made you decide to come forward with it recently?

Laura: It was really difficult. I went to this dinner. Again, this was a while ago. This was before I wrote the book. I went to this dinner with all of these wonderful mothers. I didn’t really know anybody there. It was this really great dinner where we could sit down, break bread, have a glass of wine. There was no social media allowed. You were not allowed to talk about it outside of this room. It was a very safe space.

Zibby: So now you’re talking about it on Instagram Live.

Laura: Well, no. This was a while ago. I wrote about it in the book.

Zibby: No, I’m kidding.

Laura: I wrote about it in the book because this was the first time — I would never tell anybody what any other woman talked about. What I talked about was that — we did this dinner. It was a really safe space. I think it was probably a year — it was definitely before I started writing the book, so it might have been like ten months ago or something. We all went around and we said one thing we loved about motherhood and then one thing we were struggling with. Everyone told these wonderful stories. Then it came to me. I had just gone through that. I shared the story about the loss of the pregnancy that we just had to deal with. It was still really fresh. I was really angry at my body and myself. I felt like a failure. I felt like I’d done something wrong, which isn’t true because it’s one of those things that just happened. I didn’t do anything to cause it, but you have all these thoughts that don’t make sense because you’re just upset and angry at yourself. I remember after the dinner so many women came up to me. Nobody had mentioned loss. They came up to me and they had told me how they experienced a similar thing.

I realized how many women have actually gone through that, how many women have actually gone through loss of pregnancy and having to either terminate them for different reasons, which is heartbreaking enough, but also a situation like mine where it was just a health thing that became dangerous for myself and the baby. I realized how many women had gone through something like that and how many women were ashamed to talk about it. I felt like it was really important to tell that story. My husband and I had a very long conversation about it before I wrote about it. He was really supportive and said, “You should talk about this in the book.” Again, we made that decision as a family. I wrote about it. I’m so glad that I did because I can’t tell you how many women have, since reading the book, come forward and said, “Thank you so much for sharing that. We had a similar thing,” or just a miscarriage. It’s shocking to hear the numbers of how much it actually happens. I had no idea. It’s also shocking that it is — why don’t we talk about it?

Zibby: I know. The whole don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant until you get to twelve weeks, those were some of the longest weeks of my — you’re going through the most physically changing time ever, and you’re not talking about it. Then if it doesn’t work out, you can’t talk about that either? I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense.

Laura: It goes back to what you said earlier where you mentioned that I was talking to a friend of mine who, when I said, “What’s hard about motherhood?” before I had my daughter, and she looked over both of her shoulders, leaned in and told me like it was a secret. I’m like, why are we whispering? Why is the fact that we don’t have it all together all the time and as a mom we mess up and there are mom fails — we should own that. We’re human. We’re not perfect. Why is this a secret? That’s another reason, too, why I felt like I wanted to write this book because even now there’s still a lot of things that are kind of shrouded in darkness in terms of that sometimes it is a struggle. It’s the most wonderful thing I’ve ever experienced, being a mother, but it’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. We should be able to say that and not be judged. That’s something that I really want this book to speak to also, is that we don’t have it all together, and it’s okay. It’s totally okay.

Zibby: It’s so nice that you use your own platform to spread that message. We can all shout it from the rooftops or whatever, but the fact that you would write this book and take the time and come out and just tell it like it is, is so helpful and I think makes so many people feel less alone when they’re going through these similar things and not feeling validating or feeling shame or all the rest of it. It’s really awesome. Thank you for writing it and sharing it.

Laura: Thank you. I really appreciate that. I appreciate you having me on to talk about it. It means a lot to me. I hope that people enjoy the book and get a lot out of it.

Zibby: I’m sure they will. Thank you so much for coming on. This was really a pleasure. Hang in there with your baby through the quarantine and everything.

Laura: You too. Hang in there with your kids. Wow.

Zibby: Thanks.

Laura: Thank you, Zibby, for having me.

Zibby: Of course. Thanks for coming on.

Laura: Bye.

Zibby: Bye.

Thanks again for listening today, everybody. Don’t forget to check It’s also available on as a tab, but also at Check out the essays. Go to Instagram, @ZibbyOwens, and check out my Instagram Lives, eleven AM to twelve PM every weekday Monday to Friday during this quarantine where I interview four to five authors live for a few minutes each. Please check it out. Thanks for listening. I really appreciate it. Bye.