TV host and journalist Tamron Hall on being a working mom, parenting during the pandemic, and how a pizza changed her life.

Advertisement
Tamron Hal

TV host, journalist, and mom Tamron Hall opened up to host Julia Dennison about parenting during the pandemic, her new book (As the Wicked Watch—out today!), and becoming a mom later in life via IVF. She even went back to her hometown in Texas to introduce her son, Moses, to her relatives.

"I have an aunt who's 88, and we took him over to see her, and the smile on her face was just joy," says Hall. "This is an aunt who picked me up from school when I was a kid. She never imagined, like myself, and she shared it with me. She said, 'I never thought you'd be a mom, and I can't believe it.' And she said, 'I'm so happy God allowed me to stay long enough to meet him, because I never would've known that he existed.' And I lost it, waterworks. And so, just having a lot of my relatives see this part of me. They've known me as Ambitious Tamron—the track star, the student who worked very hard, or the woman who went on to be a reporter and advocated on behalf of other families, after the loss of my sister. They've seen many professional sides of me, the talk show host. They've not seen this side of me, or they've not seen the side of me that is a mother."

Check out Episode 8 now for more with Tamron Hall!

Listen to We Are Family on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google, and everywhere podcasts are available.

Listen to Season 2, Episode 8 right now:

Plus, follow along here:

Tamron Hall: My name is Tamron Hall and, to me, family is the fuel that keeps my soul afloat.

Julia Dennison: Hello, this is We Are Family and today we are speaking to Emmy Award-winning talk show host, Tamron Hall. You will, of course, know her from the Tamron Hall Show, but she's also been a correspondent for NBC News, anchor for MSNBC, host of the program MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall, and a co-host of Today's Take on the Today Show. She hosts Deadline: Crime on the Discovery Channel and has a new novel coming out or, as we speak, it is already out, called As The Wicked Watch. And she's mom to her son Moses with her husband Steven Greener. Tamron, welcome to We Are Family.

Tamron: Hi Julia.

Julia: ... thanks for coming on the show. Hi.

Tamron: Hi. Thank you for having me. I'm excited to talk and just gloat over parenthood and potty training.

Julia: Yay.

Tamron: ... and all of those things.

Julia: Oh my goodness. My daughter is 5, so potty training is in the rear-view mirror, thank goodness, but it's amazing how these moments in parenthood are just so major when you're going through them, and then all of a sudden, you're done with them and you move on. But you are really part of the Parents family, because you have been a cover star on Parents magazine, and I just adored your cover story and the photo on the cover is just so precious and so awesome. We're just so happy to have you back. But Moses was a tiny baby. Well, I think he was like 10 months old when you did your cover with us. And now, he's, what? Two, right?

Tamron: He's 2 years, four months and he was 10 months at the time. His hair is now 10 pounds. He has curly locks and he looks like a completely different child. Let me tell you, that magazine shoot holds such a special place in my heart. It was right before the lockdown, and the only photo shoot that we did together where he was a participant in it. He was smiling and engaged with the team. It holds such a memorable spot for me. It would've anyway, but certainly given what the world looks like now, and what the world looked like just a short few months after the magazine was released.

Julia: Yeah, and what I loved about the cover story is all about you being really honest about what it means to be a boss mom, with a schedule that you run, and also being a new mom. It always feels like a clichéd question, because it's like, "How do you do the juggle?" It's like, "Hey, do you ask men that question?" But, as a working mom myself, I know how hard it can be, and it was just so refreshing. You let us follow you through your day and just see what it was really like. At that moment it was, like you said, before the lockdown, how different did motherhood become for you once the lockdown happened and within the pandemic?

Tamron: I wholly understood how much this would impact me as a parent, when I realized my son was switching over from formula to whole milk. I know that sounds so simple, but at that time, we lived in the city. We couldn't get groceries delivered. I was afraid, like most people, of going into the grocery store. We didn't know anything about the novel virus, and there I was thinking, "Wait a minute. This is a milestone for my son. He's supposed to be switching over from formula to milk and purees and what am I supposed to do?" And, Julia, I feel so silly saying that, but I can tell you the fear of not knowing even how my son would get his milk, was overwhelming, and I started crying. Because it was something that you looked forward to as a parent, that big moment where you don't need your formula anymore. I'm not shaking up the powder and the milk and doing all those things.

I breastfed for a short period of time, and I wasn't able to continue. My body didn't produce the milk that was needed for my son. And so, here I was with this stable backup of formula. And then, wait a minute, he's supposed to start transitioning. That's what the book says. That's what Parent magazine talks about. I'm at that moment, and I can't, and I can't even go into a grocery store to get him the little teething crackers or all of these things that were supposed to be a part of that 1-year mark. And, as small as it was, it was the biggest thing in my life, and it really made me question what my parent journey would be like from that moment on.

Julia: And it's stressful enough being a parent, when you add all that on top of it, it can just be just whole other level. But now, Moses is 2. He's a pandemic baby, how's it been for him and are you in terrible twos?

Tamron: Oh yeah.

Julia: What's it like right now?

Tamron: Well, listen, we are definitely in the terrible twos. And I thought to myself, "Here I am, a 50-year-old with a toddler, I will reject this mantra terrible twos. I won't say what my mother and aunts say, it's terrible. I'm going to call it the terrific twos." I read that in a magazine. The 2-year-old broke me in a day, and I met the terrible twos. Now he's terrible twos. Our day today, for example, I had a 5:00 a.m. work call and he is now waking around 7:00, 7:30, which is great. From birth to now, his sweet spot was around 6:30, 6:00 a.m. I'm very fortunate, for the most part of the two years, he slept through the night, but we got up this morning, we had our breakfast, we ran to the park with him for about 30, 40 minutes, came back and resumed my Zoom calls and prepared for our conversation today, so there's a lot of ping pong.

Julia: Now, going back pre-pandemic and your pregnancy. So you waited until 32 weeks to announce your pregnancy to the public, on the advice of your doctor—was it hard to keep a secret? What were you going through at the time?

Tamron: It was very difficult. I mean, you can imagine, I wanted to share the news, like any new parent or parent-to-be, with as many people as possible. Also, given my age, it was such a celebration, it was something I always wanted. I never thought it was going to happen. I don't know if I always wanted to be married, but I'm sure, like many of us, it's crossed my mind, "Oh, what would my wedding be like?" or "What is Mr. or Mrs. Right like for me?" And I met my husband later in life as well, so here we were on this new journey as a married couple. And then, we get pregnant, or I get pregnant. He hates when I say that, because I'm always like, "I got pregnant."

And we ended up with a successful round of IVF and conceived Moses. I was worried about the disappointment again and having my friends and family go through that heartbreak with me. At about, I think, Julia, about 20 weeks or so, I did tell the inner circle. My mother knew immediately. My husband's parents knew immediately. But our inner, inner circle, around 20 weeks, and keeping it away from others who I came in contact with that I loved that I knew would be happy, it was very challenging.

Julia: Mm-hmm. And, generally, how was the pregnancy for you, both mentally and physically? I know it can sometimes be an up and down roller-coaster.

Tamron: I have to say, I don't know what I did right, but I had a pretty—I don't use the word easy—but it was smooth sailing, considering my age and that I was high-risk. I was monitored regularly. I think I had two or three doctors appointments a week. My doctor called regularly to just get a read on how I was feeling, and any things that I might be suppressing that I was not revealing. As you know, we as women, especially moms, we hide things. It's something that we do, and we talk with each other about not doing it, but we do it. My doctor was great about the mental health aspect of my pregnancy, and as much as he was taking care of my body, he was very mindful, no pun intended, about my mind. And so, it was really good. I had a scheduled C-section.

I was home. My husband had gone to dinner the night before for a business meeting, and I started to feel this unusual feeling of waves of pain, and I thought, "No way. I'm not due yet. The C-section is a couple of days away. There's no way this is happening." And he loves to share the story that, around 4:00 a.m., I grabbed his leg and said, "Help me." And he's like, "What do you mean help you?" I was like, "Help me." And he's like, "Help you?" I said, "I think something's happening." And then, that was at 4:00 a.m. Moses was born at 9:00, so it went pretty fast. The pregnancy, I tried to keep a healthy, balanced diet. I was on tour a lot and still taking progesterone, I think daily. I try to put that out of my mind, but I was still injecting myself daily, I believe, Julia, up until my last month, so that was a challenge.

Anyone who's had to inject progesterone, it's an oil-based substance, it is pretty tough on the body, and that was difficult, because, on one hand, I was rubbing my belly and putting the nursery together, but every night ended with this injection, which was the most challenging part of the pregnancy. My body did great, I did great. My mental health and my support system. But I have to tell you, that part of the IVF journey, not complaining, but being honest, was very, very difficult. There were days that I thought, "I'll skip one. I can't do it today," and I would cry. And Steven said, "You have to, you have to. We've come too far." And he was phenomenal in that point.

Julia: Oh my goodness. I can only imagine. Talking to friends who've gone through IVF, it sounds like just such an extra thing—burden—to have to go through on top of everything else. So now, and I think you asked your viewers of your show to add tracks to your baby delivery playlist. Is that right? Were you able to listen to any of that?

Tamron: I didn't listen. We ended up in an Uber. So going back to the story, it's 4:00 a.m., my husband says that I say, "Help," to him. "OK, let's go. Let's get in an Uber." And I said, "No, maybe I'm paranoid. There's nothing wrong." We call my doctor. He said, "You might be dehydrated. You were traveling. You were busy," da, da, da. "OK. Fine, fine. I'll drink some water." Maybe an hour later I said, "Ah, this is weird." My husband said, "I think we should go. Just let's check it out." And all I could think of, Julia, all my friends who shared stories of being there and having to come back home, that it's too soon, and you're waiting 12 hours and that whole thing or walking in and out. And so, I kept rejecting my husband's advice. And then, I stood up and fell to my knees. And I said, "It's time."

And all I can see, we have this orange, round shag carpet that looks like from the '70s. It's from Wayfair. I don't know why I bought an orange, shag, round carpet, but I got rid of it after we had the baby, because all I could see was flashbacks of me crippling to my knees on the orange, round, shag carpet. We got to the hospital with the Uber driver, and I didn't have time to play music. I thought I was going to do my makeup. I visualized this whole event of a really cute dress and I would walk in with my bag, kind of Carrie Bradshaw-esque. And walking into the hospital and none of that happened. I think I had on a nightgown and no makeup, and the baby came right away.

Julia: You know what? I think the idea of a birth plan is the first exercise in letting go of control as a new parent, because it never goes to plan. I don't even know why we plan it out half the time, because your idea of what's going to happen in birth is usually just the opposite of what ends up happening.

Tamron: And I didn't know that, I guess. I'm a television person, I live my life on TV. I love sitcoms, so I'd picture every episode of every adorable sitcom of me grabbing my bag and marching out the door and being so happy and, "Here we go," and my husband being the frantic one. And I was going to calm him down, like every mom on a sitcom, and we'd get there. And it was quite the opposite. It was very uneventful, until I saw his face, and I heard the scream. And my husband saw him first, and I saw Moses through my husband's reaction, that was my first groundswell of just tears. I looked at him. I saw that he was looking at Moses, and then they brought Moses over to me. I think, I recall, Julia, thinking, he looked at me and I looked at him and we said to one another, without words, "Oh, that's you. I wondered what you look like." It was a nonverbal, clear communication. And it was amazing.

Julia: Oh, and you've called him your miracle baby. What were those first few months like as a new mother and getting to know Moses?

Tamron: I stared at him constantly. And I kept thinking over and over, Julia, of how we were in that bed, the two of us, me and husband, but there were three of us, and he was there, and now he's here. And that was such a sensational feeling of just joy to know that he was in my arms and there we were at home. As I shared with the magazine and you, it was difficult for me to admit publicly that I had a nanny, because there are so many things often associated with that that are negative, which are unfair.

My mother stayed with us for about a month, so my support system was phenomenal. I was planning a brand new talk show. I was truly a working mom in the home. And that helped a lot, but I was mindful, also, that I didn't want to miss out. I didn't want to have my mother and the baby nurse lead the way. I wanted to make sure I was present at every point, as well.

Julia: Yeah, that brings me to my next question. First of all, I think we have this idea as parents that we need to do everything on our own. And I think, if the pandemic taught me anything, not being able to see my daughter's grandparents quite as much, the value of a village and that support network. What kind of advice do you have for other working parents out there, trying to manage that balance?

Tamron: Well, it takes a village, to your point. Listen, my mother was a 19-year-old single mother who worked two jobs and was going to school to get her degree to go on to be a teacher. I have one aunt, I'm from the south, and her nickname was sister. So my Aunt Sister would pick me up, my other Aunt Katie would take me on the weekend to activities with her children, while my mother was trying to pursue her dream to become a teacher, and to be a great parent, and she needed that support system, and they were there. So I grew up around strong women and men who were always on hand to help my mother.

My grandfather and I were very, very close. Every summer my mother would let me go to stay with him while school was out, and I'd run the little country streets of his town and have fun with cousins who were there, so I was always surrounded by this incredible infrastructure of people. And so, for me, that was important, whether it was the baby nurse or my friends who are like my brothers and sisters, or my mother, who was there. We had a great circle of people, my husband is very, very hands-on, and we share the responsibility. But, again, there were times where my mother would say, "Listen, you need some rest. I can see it." She loves to say, "You're my child. I still have to take care of you."

And she would see that I was exhausted, like any other working parent, and I resisted, right? I resisted because I needed to be present and I wanted to be present and I didn't want anyone to think that I was not a hands-on mom. And, probably, I was being harder on myself than anyone else, because no one was accusing me of not being a hands-on mom. But I was getting up very early, jumping in the shower, getting everything done, so that I could stand there and watch him open his eyes, because I wanted to be the first face that he saw every morning and I wanted to change his first diaper. And my mother said, "You can't do that every day. There are days that I will be there to welcome him in the morning, or his dad, or even his nanny. You don't have to beat yourself up to run upstairs to be the first person that he sees every day. He knows you're his mother, and your bond with him will be unbreakable, and you don't have to prove anything to anyone."

Julia: Yeah, no. I love that idea, what you said about how you're her daughter and she's Mom. She's looking out for you the way you're looking out for your son, Moses. Do you feel like she taught you a lot about the mom that you're becoming and the mom that you've become?

Tamron: Absolutely. She's taught me a lot about not beating myself up, right? I mean, to have my mother sit down with me and say, "Don't measure yourself by a standard that doesn't exist," and knowing that here she was, as a 19-year-old who went home alone with a daughter and raised me to be who I am today, and made many, many sacrifices, and would leave her job at a bakery to make sure she was there for my track meets, always present with my teachers, to make sure that they understood that even though she was on this journey as a single mom, that I had someone advocating for me each and every step of the way as a parent, that was wonderful. And so, she said, "Don't beat yourself up." And to hear my mother say that was liberating and it allowed me to share it with others, and remind working moms, liberate yourself from this weight, as best you can.

Now, listen, there are days that I slip back into it and I backslide as much as anyone else. I feel good, I walk out the door and I'm like, "Yeah," and then I think about, "Oh gosh, my son, if I had been there, maybe he would not have fallen," or "If I'd been at home, maybe this or that would not have happened." And it's a work in progress, and my mother really helped me embrace that.

Julia: Yeah, no. That's great advice. And now, speaking of your childhood, you took Moses to Texas, right? Where you grew up? When he was a baby?

Tamron: Yes.

Julia: What was that trip like? Who did he meet? What was that like?

Tamron: Oh, yes. Well, first off, I wanted my son to be born in Texas, despite my husband's objections to me trying to come up with a birth plan in Texas. My mother did deliver Texas soil to me on the day he was born, and it's still under his bed. There's a little Ziploc bag of Texas soil under his bed, so he's always in Texas, even when he's in New York, so there's that. But yeah, we took him home to Texas. I grew up in the Baptist church. My husband is Jewish. We had a bris at our home in the city and then we had a ceremony at my church that I grew up in, in Texas, and my brother, and my nieces and nephews, my aunts and uncles, it was really special.

I have an aunt who's 88, and we took him over to see her, and the smile on her face was just joy. This is an aunt who picked me up from school when I was a kid. She never imagined, like myself, and she shared it with me. She said, "I never thought you'd be a mom, and I can't believe it." And she said, "I'm so happy God allowed me to stay long enough to meet him, because I never would've known that he existed." And I lost it, waterworks. And so, just having a lot of my relatives see this part of me. They've known me as Ambitious Tamron—the track star, the student who worked very hard, or the woman who went on to be a reporter and advocated on behalf of other families, after the loss of my sister. They've seen many professional sides of me, the talk show host. They've not seen this side of me, or they've not seen the side of me that is a mother.

Julia: You've spoken so movingly about the murder of your sister, which remains unsolved. And when someone's the victim of a crime, we often talk about the crime and not the person, and I would love for you to tell me a little bit about your sister and what kind of woman she was.

Tamron: Oh, wow. Thank you for asking about my sister. It's amazing how much of my sister I see in my son, which is fascinating. We are from a blended family. As I pointed out, my mother was a single mom, but she later married the father that I say God meant for me to have, which is my stepfather, who raised me as his daughter. And we have a beautiful blended family. My sister was very lively, the biggest laugh in the room. Moses is the biggest laugh in the room, constantly just cracking us up with that amazing laugh of his. But I get a little emotional and sad when I think about that—he'll never meet her. He won't get a chance to know this bright light that was a part of my life and a part of my childhood. But, for me, if he asked, "How would you describe my aunt?" I would just say, "Someone, truly, who was unapologetic about her mistakes and her joys and her struggles and she truly lived to be happy." Lived for watching others laugh, and I remember her trying to convince me to swim and trying to teach me to swim and we laughed more than I swam, and that's why I still can't swim at 50. I remember her getting me dressed for my prom and pinning up my bouffant hair and laughing as we ran out of bobby pins. She actually said, "You can't get through a metal detector with the number of bobby pins we have in your hair right now," trying to get this swept bun that I'd seen in a magazine. But she lived for joy, and it's been rewarding on so many levels, to be able to talk about her in places like on this podcast and with you, and also do work to help others who were, and are, in a similar situation as my sister, which was a home that was, sadly, plagued by domestic violence.

Julia: Yes, I want to talk about that, because that seems like it's been a real driving force in your career and a real, obviously, passion point for you. But that must've also been really hard to open up about this painful time in your family history, while also trying to help others.

Tamron: It was an evolution. It wasn't something that I was prepared to talk about after it happened, and I didn't, honestly, for years, talk about what happened to my sister. And then, on a chance moment in life, I was invited to host an event for Day One in New York. It's an organization that helps teach teenagers how to love, that love doesn't have to hurt. It teaches good dating practices and helps boys understand, particularly, that violence is not an answer to resolve anything. And then, I heard several girls, maybe five or six, all under the age of 19, share the most frightening stories of surviving domestic violence, one of which was... she was 15 or 16 and had to get staples in her head after being brutally attacked by a boyfriend.

And as each of them walked up to share their pain and their survival stories, I finally, at the end of the night said, "I feel so guilty. You are sharing this and here I am saying nothing," and there I revealed that my sister was the victim of domestic violence and I'd never spoken of it publicly. And, from then on, I started to work with organizations like Day One, like Safe Horizon, and many others who advocate an open and honest dialogue as it relates to domestic violence and survivors of domestic violence.

Julia: Mm, that's so amazing. What an amazing story, and so important. And, obviously, I'm sure it made a huge difference helping these young girls. That's shocking how young that is happening, and something to remember for parents who are listening too, to have those conversations.

Tamron: Absolutely. The conversation about dating, and healthy dating, is one that has to be factored in, based on just what we're seeing in reality, and again, during this unprecedented time of stress and anxiety and pain. All of it filters through in different ways, and it can impact how our teenagers date. And one day, I will have a son who dates, and I want to make sure that he recognizes the proper way to date and the healthy way to date, and what a healthy relationship looks like and is.

Julia: Totally. And speaking of healthy dating, healthy relationships, I'd love to hear a little bit more about how you and Steve met. I know you got married a little bit later in life, and how did you know that he was the one? How did you know that this was the person that you wanted to have a life with?

Tamron: Oh, wow. Well, I'd run into Steven many, many times over the years. He is a music manager, but he also works in television. He was the executive producer of the Bernie Mac Show and he worked with a number of people. And we were backstage at an event and he came over and formally introduced himself to me. And I was just, "Oh, hi." And I actually thought he was trying to represent me. He hates that I tell that story, but I thought he was trying to represent me. I didn't think his moves were meant for... I don't know, I didn't know he was asking for a date. I thought, "OK, I'll get back to you," and went about my way.

And we would run into each other random places. I think I was at dinner once with friends and I was walking up the stairs to a restaurant and he was walking down. And I was at an art gallery, ran into him again. I just kept running into this guy over and over and over. And after I left the Today Show, I was invited by Clive Davis to his Grammy party, kind of as an escape. Clive said, "Let's get you out of New York. Have some fun. Don't worry about work. Don't worry about your next chapter. I was on the plane and there was Steven, and he was the last to get on the plane and he had his headsets on, and he was too cool for school. And I thought, "Oh, there's that guy." He stops to say hello. Again, I'm thinking he's trying to represent me. It wasn't quite clear to me that he was asking me out.

And then, I think it was about three months later, Julia, I was at a hotel, at the pool, and I had had a pity party. I had been out of work for four or five months. We were planning this talk show. We had pitched the talk show, there was interest, but it wasn't going as fast as I had dreamt it would, and I had thrown myself a pity party. I read a quote once that was attributed to Jennifer Aniston that said, "You throw yourself a pity party, then you got to get up and get it moving." So I threw myself a proper pity party. I mean, screaming, crying, sobbing, wailing, in the room. Wiped my face, went to the pool, and he walked up and we started talking like, "What are you doing here?"

He said, "Oh, I was here looking for my friend," and da, da, da. I don't know who it was, some story he told me. And he sat down and asked me out for pizza and that was the first formal thing he'd asked me out to do. We were debating over who knew of the best pizza in New York. He's a Bronx kid and he insisted that there was no way that my pizza game could match his, and I agreed to go to pizza. He won, and now we're married.

Julia: All over pizza.

Tamron: All over a pizza.

Julia: Yes.

Tamron: Which is my son's favorite food.

Julia: There you go.

Tamron: He loves pizza.

Julia: There you go. As a native New Yorker myself, I'm sure I would side with on whatever he thought was the better pizza at that point, but that's such a sweet story. And so, how do you two parent together? What kind of dad is he?

Tamron: He's a great dad. I think, like me, he never expected he would become a father. His dream, I think like a lot of guys, especially with having a son, is to sit at the Yankees game and have hot dogs, as he says, with mustard dripping on our shirts and you are watching TV from home and there we are screaming with mustard all over us and I'm saying to him, "You got to change your shirt before you get home with Mom." So he has these fantasies of ball games and all of these things. But, again, he is trying to offer Moses things that, unfortunately, he believes that he didn't necessarily get from his own father. He loves his father, they are very, very close, but there are things that our parents, let's face it, did great, and there are things that, I'm sure, they would've changed.

And he's learning from his father, through their talks and discussions, about work-life balance, about involvement and breaking some of the gender stereotypes that I think we easily fall into. And so, he's been great about that. My husband had never changed a diaper. And even now, two years later, the other day he said, "OK, wait. Is the tab on the back?" And he changes all the time now, but I'm like, "Steven, we're two years into this."

Julia: Oh my gosh.

Tamron: But breaking some of the gender stereotypes of what parent responsibilities fall on one or the other. And so, he's very mindful of that. The other day, I gave him grief. He had our son, and he was trying to open the baby gate, and he says, "Hey, can you take him while I open the baby gate?" And I said, "No, what would you do if I wasn't here?" And he's like, "Ahh," holds Moses and opens the gate. I said, "See, you could do it, right?"

Julia: Right.

Tamron: And he also checks me, right? He checks me when I'm getting too worked up or if I'm distracted by the phone. He'll call it out. "Hey, are you calling me out?" And he's like, "No, but I just see you're not able to switch it off and I see you daydreaming while sitting there with Moses feeding him and not engaging him." And I was embarrassed, I'll be honest with you, and I was embarrassed sharing this story. I can't believe I just told you that.

Julia: Right, no. That happens. I mean, we've all been there. And we talk a lot about the mental load of parents and the fact that so often, as moms, we have all these things that are running through our heads that sometimes the best willing dad might not be thinking about, but addressing that balance is so important. But that brings me to my last area of questions, which is, for me, the hardest thing to do as a working mom and trying to balance being a mom and working is the creative work and writing. As a journalist by trade and whenever I have to write, it's getting in that mind space. But you, as everyone's listening to this, your debut novel, As The Wicked Watch, will have already been out. How did you find the time to write a whole entire book in all of this?

Tamron: You know what? It was my therapy, I think. Like a lot of people, I had that, what do they call it? COVID insomnia, where just my sleep was not regular. I couldn't fall asleep and I didn't want to turn on the television in the middle of the night and so, that became my way of dealing with the insomnia. The story takes us on a journey with a character I created, Jordan Manning, based a lot on, honestly, my career as a reporter. I, over the years, had two cases that I could not shake and they involved two young girls, both 11, who were murdered. And over the years, I just couldn't forget either one of them. And the story of Jordan Manning and her career gave me a bit of closure. Both of these young victims, I felt had been wronged by the system and by adults around them, and it just haunted me what happened. So, for me, this gave me a chance, I think, to give an ending that I wish had happened in this fictional character, with this novel, and this character that I think people will fall in love with and root for, and also root for justice, in a different form.

Julia: Well, I can't wait to read it. It sounds so great, and so impressive that you were able to do that.

Tamron: Oh, yeah. No, it's a thriller.

Julia: It's no easy feat.

Tamron: And there's a lot of dating and romance in the story, and here I am in bed creating it. Oh no, it's a thriller. It's part crime-thriller, but just a juicy read about life and love when you're a reporter who works a lot. And I think some of it will sound familiar to people.

Julia: OK, yes.

Tamron: When I was creating one of the dates for my character, my husband overheard me writing out this chapter where she goes out on a date with this guy. And he turns to me and he goes, "Is this about some guy you dated?"

Julia: That's really funny.

Tamron: You'll be able to get some juicy tidbits. You'll get some juicy tidbits.

Julia: That's so funny. Yeah, no. That reminds me of a guy I was dating and was like, "Is this going on your podcast?" Anyway, the last question I always ask everybody is what are your greatest hopes for the future of your family?

Tamron: Oh, I'm sure it's exactly like any other parent. I want a healthy family. Health is front of mind for all of us in a way that we never expected. But, at the end of the day, perspective on what really matters, right? People watch my show and say, "Oh, I love what you wear. Your shoes, your dress," all these other things, the trappings of life that are fine and wonderful to have and we all work hard to do a great vacation and take our kid to Disney or whatever that is, but having perspective. And I hope for more perspective, and I hope that that perspective leads us to what real happiness is versus what we think and what we thought. Hi Moses. Oh, guess who just made an appearance?

Julia: Oh.

Tamron: Can you say hi? Oh, he's looking now at the phone with his big milk mustache. So on that note...

Julia: On that note, Tamron Hall, thank you so much for coming on We Are Family.

Tamron: Thank you.

Julia: Much love to your family and thanks for chatting here, this has been great.

Tamron: Love to you. Oh, it's an honor and a pleasure always to speak with you. I hope I see you soon. Bye.

Julia: Thanks so much for listening to my conversation with Tamron Hall. Her book, As the Wicked Watch is out now. Come back next time when we will be talking to author and TV host Padma Lakshmi about the challenges—and benefits—of co-parenting and the incredibly special relationship she has with her daughter as a single mom. Be sure to follow We Are Family on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen so you don't miss an episode.

And we'd love your feedback. If you could rate this podcast and leave us a review, we'd really appreciate it. You can also find us online at parents.com/wearefamilypodcast.

We Are Family is presented by me, Julia Dennison and produced by Sam Walker. Editing is by Vincent Cacchione, and thanks also to the rest of our production team at Pod People, Rachel King, Matt Sav, and Danielle Roth.

We'll see you back here next week for more We Are Family!