This month we have TWO Warrior Moms of the month! Patty and Julie are not only amazing Moms but have been also working outside the home in the reality television and news/documentary field for over twenty years. Together they have produced hundreds of hours of television. Under the PB&J banner, Patty and Julie have executive produced projects for Showtime, NBC, TLC, Logo, HGTV, MTV, Food Network, Syfy, Travel Channel, A&E, AMC, CMT, Lifetime, The CW and Discovery. PB&J is now in an over-all production deal with Bunim-Murray Productions, where Julie is the EVP of Programming and Development and Patty presides over all PB&J Production and Development.
We love their story!
We’ve been best friends for twenty-four years and business partners for more than 12 years, so, it’s no exaggeration to say, “We’ve been through a lot together!” From college graduations to being each other’s maid-of-honor at our weddings to closing multi-million-dollar TV deals to traveling the world making TV shows laughing all the way, we grew up while living our childhood dream.
I mean, who gets to go to work everyday and share an office with their BFF?
Our company is named PB&J Television – a fusion of Patty & Julie – and a remnant of our time together as interns during the 1992 presidential election at CNN in Washington DC. At CNN, we had an editor tell us, “Patty and Julie – you two are always together, just like PB&J.” And – it was done – our collaboration and our company had practically named itself.
Truthfully, we started PB&J Television with little more than the belief that we COULD…and it has been a wild ride of success and the occasional failure that has challenged us to our core, but has been a true testament to the strength of our friendship and the commitment we have had to each other.
Becoming mothers was a major motivation for actually starting PB&J as a real, living, breathing company. It’s probably not surprising that the Entertainment industry is not super child-friendly, and as Show-running Producers, getting maternity leave is truly a challenge…especially ten years ago. So in our desire to build our perfect lives, we figured we’d just build our own company to give ourselves the flexibility to be the mothers we knew we wanted to be. Oh, ignorance is so bliss…sometimes it’s a blessing to not truly understand what you are about to bite off.
Between the two of us, we have 4 children – they are all almost exactly 18 months apart – which wasn’t the plan, but it was perfection. Lucas – 10, Roman – 9, Katie – 8, Tatum – 6.
They are default cousins who have grown up knowing that their mommies are Besties and that they all have a special place at PB&J…in fact, they have a lot of pride knowing they are a part of PB&J.
First – as every mother knows, Becoming a mother is the most humbling experience EVER. Welcome to being a true Grown-up…you are now responsible for raising another human being!
As two commonly referred to “Type A” women who had successfully “produced” their lives thus far…being a mother became a monumental lesson of ACCEPTANCE that no matter how perfect our plan was, we needed to be prepared to surrender it and just run as fast as we could to keep up. :0
This realization hit us hard. We definitely thought we had “beat the system” by building a “Mommy-ready-life” for ourselves complete with own successful company, including a beautiful on-site nursery where our future adorable, well-behaved children could spend hours frolicking with toys in a beautiful Santa Monica location. Oh how naïve we were! Yes, the nursery was ready for the pages of DOMINO, but the juggling act of having children shuttled to and from work, nap schedules and mommy & me classes all squeezed in between meetings with CEOs and celebrities…it was all overwhelming and not at all how our 20-something selves had envisioned it over cosmos only a decade early.
Reality check #1 – Real life is not a “Sex in the City” episode.
Reality check #2 – We quickly learned that being working mothers was going to be infinitely more challenging that either of us ever expected.
For us, being mothers hasn’t really been about chronicling the highs and lows, it’s been and continues to be a journey to becoming the women WE dreamed of being as young girls and modeling these women for the four children we’ve brought into this world. It’s so easy to tell our kids “Dream Big!” “Reach for the Stars!” but part of parenting is modeling that Truth beyond the sassy moniker…and owning PB&J Television and being working parents is not only about living out our dream, but modeling for our children that it will be possible for them to live out their dreams if they are willing to work hard enough to achieve them.
Being a working mom is not for wimps, that’s for sure.
Working motherhood can be a really lonely journey – it can be wrought with guilt and self-doubt. You have to find the courage to seek out women you suspect may share your struggle, you’ll find as we have, that there are plenty of incredible women trying to be the most phenomenal mothers they can be, all while juggling a very real and very busy work life. Connecting with other moms who identify with “the juggle and the struggle” is a true lifesaver.
We are 100% better people because we are moms…deeper, more compassionate, more well-rounded people. That’s truly why Moms should RULE THE WORLD…Life gets more three-dimensional the minute you become a mom.
Our company PB&J Television and both of our families have been dedicated to DROP IN THE BUCKET – an incredible organization that builds water and sanitation systems at SCHOOLS in Sub-Saharan Africa. DROP is not only helping communities gain access to clean, healthy drinking water, but they are also keeping children in school by providing access to clean water so children do not have to drop out of school to collect water for their families.