Melissa Joan Hart Talks Bi-Coastal Parenting

KelloggÕs National Breakfast DayMelissa Joan Hart, star of the ABC Family comedy Melissa and Joey, has teamed up with Kellogg’s to help share one million school breakfasts with the Share Your Breakfast Challenge. Simply upload or text (the word SHARE to 21534) a photo of your breakfast to the challenge from now until July and Kelloggs will donate a breakfast to a kid in need.

Hart and her husband, musician Mark Wilkerson, live in Westport, CT, with their sons Mason, 5, and Brady, 3.

 Parents: You work on the West Coast, but live in Connecticut. How do you balance work and parenting from across the country?

Melissa Joan Hart: First and foremost, I’m blessed to have a loving husband. Since the day (my sons) were born he’s taken a chunk of the workload.  It has been hard on me to be so far away from my children for so much time. They left yesterday, and I won’t see them for two weeks, which is the longest I’ve been away from them. It’s a struggle inside of me.

My husband and I made the move to Connecticut two years ago and we thought a lot about it before we did it. We have a great home in a wonderful community. It’s great that they wake up in their own beds and can be around friends and family. The hard part wrap my head around is that I have kids I won’t be around. Here in California I work and get the hard stuff out of the way so when I get home it’s off time. Most parents have their day at work and home – I get that in weeks: One week is work, and one week is off. It’s not normal, but it’s becoming normal to us.

Why did you move to Westport, CT?

We decided when we had Brady that when Mason went to kindergarten we would move somewhere. I’m from Long Island and he’s from Alabama—we had community and wanted them to have that. We looked in a few cities…and fell in love with Connecticut. We went back the next year because it was a bad time in the housing market.

Do your boys watch your shows?

No, they know that mommy goes to work and I do a show. We watch a lot of the Disney Channel.

Why’d you partner with Kellogg’s?

I think it’s a great campaign they’ve got going on. Kellogg’s is teaming up with Action for Healthy Kids to give one million breakfasts to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have it. One in four kids in the United States is going to school hungry. As a mom that’s just unacceptable. You can’t tell when someone’s hungry necessarily, and how can children grow and learn when they’re hungry? We know this happens in other countries but it’s happening in the US too. It’s a simple thing we can do every morning.

 What would we see if you took photos of your family’s breakfast?

My husband is from the South and likes to cook a big breakfast. There’s always eggs. Ricotta pancakes are a favorite thing to make. We usually have sausage and grits, and every once in a while we mix it up with oatmeal and cereal. A lot of the time my sons do cereal for themselves. It’s like we have our own buffet!

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