Jenna Dewan hits back at people who criticized Channing Tatum’s parenting: ‘As two working parents, we both faced challenges’

Jenna dewan
Jenna Dewan. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
  • Jenna Dewan recently talked about anxiety she experienced after giving birth to her daughter.
  • Dewan said her husband at the time, Channing Tatum, was unavailable because of his work schedule.
  • Dewan later criticized the media for not highlighting an important conversation about mental health.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The actor Jenna Dewan spoke out this week about her rough transition to motherhood after giving birth to her daughter, Everly, who is now 8.

Speaking on the “Dear Gabby” podcast, Dewan said she traveled from London to Canada to film about six weeks after Everly was born. As a first-time mom, she didn’t realize how difficult it would be to work long hours so soon after giving birth.

She said that her husband at the time, the actor Channing Tatum, “wasn’t available” because of his own work obligations. That meant that during the fragile postpartum weeks, Dewan was on set with her baby while Tatum was on another continent working on his own project.

Although she had a doula on hand to help, the setup took a toll.

“I did have her on set with me constantly,” Dewan said. “It was just really difficult. It was, like, I just never stopped.

“You know, you’re up a couple of 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.”

Eventually it resulted in “a lot of postpartum anxiety,” she said.

Dewan and Tatum divorced in 2018, when Everly was 5. Dewan now has a second child, Calum, 17 months, with her fiancé, Steve Kazee.

After the podcast aired and media outlets picked it up, many focused on Dewan saying that Tatum wasn’t there for her.

Dewan has since said that her comments were taken out of context and were never meant to be a reflection on Tatum, just their situation at the time.

“It’s unfortunate that countless media outlets have taken an important conversation on a woman’s experience with postpartum issues and pulled quotes to make it appear that I was slamming [Everly’s] father, something I would never do,” Dewan tweeted.

“As two working parents, we both faced challenges at the time, but I speak only for myself and not about him,” she wrote. “Anyone who actually listens to the interview, something I encourage everyone to do, will clearly see that my words have been distorted for clicks and to push false, salacious gossip with no regard for the actual people involved, or the message intended.”

During the interview, Dewan also talked about the importance of setting boundaries, especially for mothers who feel they need to constantly give from themselves to create harmony in their homes.

“I’ve had to learn the difference between codependency and being kind and empathic,” she said. “You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Dewan’s second postpartum experience was vastly different from her first, she said. Just after she gave birth to Calum, the COVID lockdown started, which forced her to put work aside and focus on her family.

“I didn’t have the bandwidth to think about work,” she said. Although the pandemic postpartum experience was scary, Dewan said she didn’t struggle with any postpartum mental-health disorders with her second child.

As with many parents, she’s now thinking about what comes next.

“I do have to and want to go back to work at some point, but it’s a constant balancing act,” she said. “I feel for every working parent out there.”