Chicago woman vets wannabe dads on new pregnancy dating show
‘Labor of Love’ star Kristy Katzmann, a former contestant on ‘The Bachelor,’ is prepared to go toward motherhood with or without a husband.
The struggle is real for Chicagoan Kristy Katzmann.
Like many women in the workforce, she had to make a life-altering decision: focus on her career or start a family.
Katzmann, who works as an account executive in the health and wellness industry, wants to be a mom, and if she has to utilize unconventional means — starring on a reality TV series — to achieve her desired goals, so be it.
“I always knew, of course, that I would focus on career and there were things that I wanted to do in my life first. I knew that but I certainly thought I would have already had kids by now,” said Katzmann. “I think I’ve been ready, to be honest with you, for quite a while, but you know, for whatever reason, the timing just didn’t work out. 40 is a really iconic age for women.
“I became very aware that I was running out of time. I really felt like my dating pool really shifted. Once I turned 40, any date that I was going on at that point, I was really assessing this person for future father potential. So that was tough, you know, to put a lot of pressure on those relationships, but that was my reality.”
Katzmann, a Mokena native and a Notre Dame alumna, stars in the Fox series “Labor of Love” (8 p.m. Thursday on WFLD-Channel 32), where she vets 15 potential suitors who want to be dads while they undergo various challenges to prove their parental worth.
Also, Katzmann’s parents, along with the families of the contestants, are interviewed while they candidly share their thoughts on why the men aren't married.
In her quest to find a suitable companion — more importantly, the potential father to her child — she enlists actress Kristin Davis of “Sex and the City” fame as a confidant and Brian Kaplan, a well-known fertility doctor, as an advisor.
Katzmann, 41, does not suffer fools. In the show’s first episode, the men are subjected to a semen analysis to evaluate their fertility.
“I think it’s a really big differentiating point of what this show is all about,” said Katzmann. “You know, it isn’t just about romance, it isn’t just about dating. It’s about something much bigger and much more serious about becoming a parent. So doing something like that off the bat is a reality check for everyone involved, and everyone who signed up said that they were ready and in that place, and this was a way to really prove it.”
As her journey takes shape, Katzmann relies on not only her own experiences as a contestant on Season 11 of “The Bachelor,” which aired in 2007 (Katzmann was eliminated in Week 5) but also advice from Davis, a single parent of two adopted children whose “SATC” character Charlotte York had her own issues with pursuing love and motherhood.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better person to have on my side,” said Katzmann. “So she understands the pressure of not having kind of figured you’d be in this place and what you do about it, and she obviously had to take an unconventional route as well.”
And what if none of the men make the cut after eight episodes?
“Of course, my desire is to start a family with someone, so I certainly have gone into the whole experience with that in mind and in wanting that to be the outcome,” said Katzmann. “But I have also already been prepared in my life to pursue motherhood no matter what.”
Once the show wraps up, Katzmann would like for everyone who watches to see there’s more than one way to start a family — and amend one’s dating preferences.
“I think it’s really important for us all to understand that it’s really up to each of us to go out there and make our dreams happen,” said Katzmann. “And I think everyone can relate to that and I hope that everyone feels inspired by that; to take bigger chances in their lives.
“But at the same time, you do reach that point where if you know what you want — and you better know what you want by this point — you really don’t have time to waste and who wants to waste their time anyway? So I think being honest is really important. And you’re really kind of forced into that position when you no longer have time to waste.
“This is really about opening a new door. Rocking the status quo. Opening people’s minds to everything that it might mean in modern-day life to become a mom.”