Ellie Kemper Talks Balancing Motherhood and Her Career: ‘Parents Feel Guilty Most of the Time’

Ellie Kemper attends the Lela Rose 2017 Presentation during New York Fashion Week at Washington Square Park in New York City.
Ellie Kemper attends the Lela Rose 2017 Presentation during New York Fashion Week at Washington Square Park in New York City. Desiree Navarro/WireImage

Ellie Kemper is an open book! The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star, 37, talked about the challenges of raising her 19-month-son James, whom she shares with husband Michael Koman, while juggling her busy career.

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“I’m new to this, but I would imagine all parents feel guilty most of the time,” the Bridesmaids actress explained. “I don’t know that that’s good, but it’s hard, as everyone knows. So accepting that you’re not gonna be everywhere at once is like an ongoing challenge for me. Guilt is hard to shake. I think anyone can relate to that.”

She continued: “Occasionally I will wonder, ‘How is that mom doing everything and apparently doing it really well?’ I think some things are maybe misrepresented on social media. Everyone struggles, I would imagine. I am a dinosaur and I’m not on social media.”

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While she tries her best to prepare meals for her son in her off time, The Office alum says cooking isn’t exactly her specialty.

“I’m a terrible cook and I’m terrible with timing. So, like the pasta will be ready, but then the sauce isn’t or whatever. Nothing comes together on time,” Kemper explained. “There’s just a lot always going on, whether you have one kid, two kids, 10 kids. So sometimes, I don’t always heat up [the meal] if I’m giving him leftovers. If he’s starving, I won’t always heat up the food. He’ll like touch it and then he makes a shiver sound like, ‘Brr.’ Probably not like he wants to remember from mom’s home cooking like, ‘It was really cold,’” she joked.

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Most recently, the actress — along with costar Jane Krakowski — have teamed up with Sonic Drive-In in collaboration with the iconic “Two Guys,” which stars comedians Peter Grosz and T.J. Jagodowski. The two pairs will be featured in their hilarious new commercial campaign.

“I love Sonic and second of all, I love Jane Krakowski, and I love Pete and T.J.,” Kemper gushed. “It’s such a momentous occasion because those guys are brilliant and geniuses and also very funny, so I’m happy to be following in their footsteps. We had a lot of fun shooting it. I’m proud to be a part of the, I guess I’ll say, the female installment of the Peter and T.J. kind of commercials. [I] just I feel lucky to be a part of this funny campaign cause I’ve adored those commercials for years.”

With reporting by Marc Lupo

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