Jenna Dewan says her experiences as a new mom differed greatly from partner to partner.
The actress and dancer, 40, said on the Dear Gabby podcast that her son Callum, with fiancé Steve Kazee, was born into a “love nest” in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, giving the family months together to bond at home. That wasn’t the case when she had had daughter Everly, 8, with ex-husband Channing Tatum.
It was big news when Dewan and Tatum, who got together after co-starring in Step Up, welcomed Evie in London —where he had been filming Jupiter Ascending — in May 2013. That sweet first family photo made them appear the picture of happiness. However, the truth was their work schedules took them apart — as she set off to shoot Witches of East End in Canada in early July of that year — and being left “without a partner” took a toll.
“I had to travel with her and at the time, Chan wasn’t available to be with us for the most part,” Dewan said because his film took him from London to Chicago throughout that summer. “So, it was me, my doula, and Evie all by ourselves traveling at six weeks.”
Dewan had to keep up with a production schedule in addition to Evie’s feeing and sleeping schedule.
“That was really hard because [of the] long hours,” she said. “I did have her on set with me constantly. It was just really difficult.”
Dewan said it led to her suffering from “a lot of postpartum anxiety,” explaining, “I just never stopped. You’re up a couple times in the night and then you’re working all day. I was breastfeeding. I was pumping. I was without a partner. I mean it was just craziness.”
In April 2018, the couple announced they had separated and she filed for divorce six months later. Her heartbreak was remedied, however, as she found love again with Kazee, who she started dating that October. Dewan and Kazee announced they were expecting in 2019 — and Callum arrived in March 2020. Despite the pandemic, Dewan was in a completely different mindset when her baby boy was born, saying she felt “so grounded.”
“Even though the world was crazy, I was home and in this love nest and it was different,” she said of parenting with first-time dad Kazee.
Dewan recently revealed that she first came face to face with Kazee in 2012 when she saw him on Broadway in Once. She and her mom were so touched by his Tony-winning performance, they went to the stage door after the show. Dewan said it was there that she and Kazee shared “one of those eye-catching moments.”
She said it was “very quick, but it struck us both. It was a moment. My mom and I told him what a great job he did and how it was such an amazing show, and that was it. We both went off into the night. But I never forgot the moment.”
And neither did he, she said. “Many years later, we were in different situations. I was single again, he was single,” she recalled. “He messaged me and said something like, ‘Hey, I don’t know if you remember me, but how are you?’ And I was floored. Of course I remembered him. And that moment in 2012.”
Dewan and Tatum, 41, had some early bumps in their co-parenting process, but came to terms.
Tatum released the book Sparkella earlier this year inspired by Everly and it became a best-seller. He said when he divorced Dewan in 2018, he had “a lot of fear” about being a single father and “connecting to Everly in every way that a little girl might want. I didn’t wear nail polish or know how to braid hair.” He started joining in the fun, making Everly happy and having fun in the process.
In a recent Instagram post, he called their daughter his “everything” — “my world and my heart.”