Parent You Should Know: Jessica Kartalija
"No two days are the same. You’re learning something new every single day. My career helped me be a better parent."
Jessica Kartalija is a CBS Philly (CBS3, KYW-TV) news anchor. Originally from San Diego, California, she has lived and worked in the Philadelphia area since 2001. She lives in Wayne, Philadelphia with her husband and 11-year-old son Drew who loves sports—especially lacrosse—school and traveling.
Kartalija has also taken her news anchor skills to Hollywood, appearing as a reporter in Michael Bay’s Transformers and as a news anchor in the Netflix Original TV series House of Cards.
What do you love the most about being a parent?
No two days are the same. My son is my whole world. Seeing the world through his perspective changed the way I look at things. The news business can have a lot of negativity, and (seeing) children approach things in such a positive light is eye-opening.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
That no two days are the same. You’re learning something new every single day. My career helped me be a better parent.
What’s something you wish you knew before becoming a parent?
I wish I knew that my whole heart would be with someone else at all times. You go from being selfish to selfless. Ninety-nine percent of my time is thinking about (Drew). It’s also okay to ask for help and rely on friends and family to help with parenting when you’re working full time. It’s often hard on your own. My husband is a huge help.
The biggest challenge in juggling parenting with my career is that from 4 (p.m.) to 7 (p.m.) I’m out of the mix. I can’t (pick) him up, drive carpool or be there. But someone will be there. If you support each other, love each other, unite and support each other’s goals and dreams, you will find a way to do it.
What’s something you hope your son learns from you and your career?
My son understands that his mother has dreams, too. It shows him it’s okay to want to have a family and your dream career. It’s important that he sees how supportive my husband can be, so he can be the same way with his future partner later in life.
It’s really important that Drew sees how much work it took to get where I am in my career. It shows him that paying your dues is important. I worked in four different markets before Philly. (Those) included long hours, holidays and weekends. It didn’t come easily.
Favorite Family Meal:
Anything my husband cooks! Especially pasta carbonara.
Favorite Family Vacation Spot:
Anywhere in Europe. Italy, France, Spain or visiting my parents in San Diego.
Favorite Family Activity:
Traveling, or going to new dinner places. But, it’s also fun to just hang out on the couch and spend time at home together. Travel gives us perspective—realizing that we’re just one little part of this earth.
Favorite Family Memory:
Family ski trips; watching my son learn to do something I grew up doing with my parents.
Skiing, needlepoint, tennis and golf.