Posts Tagged ‘
working mom ’
Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
Attention all 90210 fans! Tori Spelling and her California co-star Jennie Garth are back with their new sitcom Mystery Girls, premiering tonight on ABC Family. Parents caught up with the pair at a Mammarazzi screening event hosted by The MOMS, one of a series of town hall style events hosted by the mommy lifestyle brand. In terms of mommyhood, not all of the mysteries are solved yet, but Tori revealed to Parents what it’s like to go back to work with four kids at home (Liam, 8, Stella, 7, Hattie, 3, and Finn, 2), the secret behind her fabulous birthday bashes, and her proudest accomplishment as a mother.
P: Having four kids, how did your mommy duties play into your decision to go back to work full time?
TS: Having done a lot of reality work since Liam was born, I’ve had that luxury of always being able to have them with me, so this is my first job that takes me away from them in eight years. It’s been a definite transition. I don’t think I was completely ready. Finn is still so young. But the timing was right and in this business you don’t always get a second chance, you know? We had an amazing show that ran for 10 years and to me that was like lightening in a bottle and that is what this felt like with this show. It felt like Wow this is the moment for it so I gotta take it and create it and do it. The nice thing is they do get to come to set, so I get to see my kids. We shoot very close to where we live, so it’s a nice balance.
P: Not only are you starring in the sitcom, you’re also the creator and executive producer. Where did the idea for Mystery Girls come from?
TS: When I first came up with the idea it was “Mystery Mom” because I was a mom and I wanted to do something in the realm of comedy, but I also love mysteries. I love like the 80s, 90s mysteries and I was like “I’ve never seen a sitcom do it, why not?” And two women doing it! The idea that [our characters] used to be on a show together was a wink wink to 90210. It went from Mystery Mom to Mystery Girls because it opened it up to everyone. But what we bring to these roles, it’s not just like you could have hired any two actresses to play these roles because there is a friendship and a sisterhood that goes for 20 years that you can’t write that.
P: Before Mystery Girls, your birthday parties on your reality show were famous. Do you have any fun parties planned and where do you get your inspirations?
TS: I did it the wrong way. I’m just putting it out there. I did it backwards. I went all out for the first two and then I kept having babies and now at four I’m like “There’s always a party, oh my G-d.” As a fulltime working mom, you just can’t keep doing the big parties. We’re scaling back now and we’re remembering it’s about family and who’s at the party, not about how big they are, even though I do still fixate on the details. It’s all about the DIY. Stella’s definitely a mini-me as far as decorating. Inspirations just come from when I was a kid. Everything that is out kind of comes back. So I always try to bring things back. Right now we’re into Jell-o molds. Bring em back!
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P: You mentioned Stella got your decorating sense. Are any of your four kids a mini-me?
TS: I’m gonna have to hear that question again because as soon as you said four I was like oh my gosh I have four. All of them have a little, yes. Liam is definitely stubborn like me. He’s creative and passionate like me. He holds in his feelings like me. Stella does the same. Stella’s a DIY goddess, so she got my crafting gene and love for it. She loves fashion like I do. Stella does everything I do. We have a lot of fun together. We’re best friends. Hattie has a much bigger voice than I’ve ever had. I would love to have Hattie’s voice. I’m still trying to find my voice and Hattie has it. She’s loud and proud and she’s number three. I will see her using her hands like me—I talk a lot with my hands. The other day she was on the phone and she had her hands on her hip just how I talk on the phone. I saw her walking and I was like “That’s my walk.” And then Finn. Finn and I have a really special bond. I had a hard pregnancy with him, so he and I…I just want to hold him and never let him go. He has a little soulful spirit and he looks a lot like me when I was a baby. Oh my gosh there are so many.
P: What has your proudest moment been as a mom?
TS: [When they show love to each other.] Mine are so little that they were kind of their own people and now they’re starting to love each other. They are just starting to help each other and the other day Hattie needed help off the couch and she was starting to cry and she was like “Sissy Sissy!” Stella came running over and lifted her off the couch. She changes Finn’s diaper and he looks for her. It’s knowing that there’s a little community of love I created. That they have each other and that’s my legacy to pass on to them. I’ve given them this. I’ve given them love that will surround them forever.
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Friday, May 9th, 2014
Best known for her role as Grace Adler on Will & Grace, Debra Messing also plays another role she loves: mom to 10-year-old Roman. Her most recent gig, Outside Mullingar, was just nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. Now she looks forward to spending summer allergy-free and enjoying the outdoors with her son thanks to Zyrtec. Debra caught up with Parents to talk about juggling her career and motherhood, her most memorable Mother’s Day, and thoughts on her upcoming television series The Mysteries of Laura.
P: Congratulations on Outside Mullingar‘s nomination for a Tony Award. What was it like to juggle being a mom to a 10-year-old and acting on Broadway since time to leave for work is basically dinner, homework, tucking-in time?
DM: It was very very difficult. I’ve been offered plays in the past and it’s always been something that I couldn’t consider because normally when you sign on for a Broadway show it’s for a year. I just felt I couldn’t do that as a mother—that wasn’t the best choice for my family. This play came in and it was a limited run, just three months. I sat Roman down and told him what it would mean in terms of the structure of our week changing and he said “Mom, do it! You gotta do it!” It was hard to miss that time. But, being on that stage was a lifelong dream of mine since I was maybe 7 years old and it came to pass when I was 45. It just made me feel like it’s never too late for anything.
P: What is it like in general to juggle being a mom and a full-time acting career when your schedule is changing depending on your current job be it TV, film, theater?
DM: I try and just take it hour by hour. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed as a working mom. Juggling is just a constant part of your life. I happen to be a single mom, so there are extra challenges in that. It’s a matter of leaning on family, friends and people who can step in and be some support when needed. I think flexibility is really the key, but also trying to keep certain things a constant so that there is a feeling of consistency.
P: What are the kinds of things you and Roman enjoy doing outside now that your allergy symptoms are managed?
DM: He loves sports, all sports. Playing soccer, playing baseball, playing basketball, going on his little scooter, anything. He’s a very very active boy. It’s great. [With Zyrtec] I no longer have to worry about “Am I gonna be able to participate?” It’s like, “You wanna go? Let’s go!” That’s comforting.
P: Is there anything that Roman does that is just like you when you were a kid?
DM: Yes. [Laughs] He is a very very curious child—and I celebrate that and encourage that—but sometimes he can be a little too curious for his teachers and can ask too many questions in a class. When I was in third grade my parents were called in for a meeting with the teacher and they said, “Debra asks so many questions we are going to limit her to three a day now because there are other children in the class and there’s just literally no time for anyone else to ask a question because she’s always asking questions.” That’s a family story that people like to share because it is funny, but I’ve had similar conversations with Roman’s teachers along the way. I recognized it immediately. I was like, “That’s my fault!”
P: Where does Roman get his name? Is it a family name?
DM: Roman is not a family name. We just wanted a name that was strong and confident, unique, but not pretentious.
Download our Baby Name Chooser app to find a great pick, like Roman, or find tips in the video below.
P: Well, with a strong name and precocious personality, what is the parenting rule that you always seem to give in on?
DM: I try and do candy just on special occasions, so just at birthdays. Inevitably something will happen. We’ll be at the Harlem Globetrotters and they’ll have some guy walking around and saying, “Here kids! Here’s some candy!” Roman will look at me and say, “Mom?” I just can’t say no.
P: Does he ever outsmart you?
DM: He’s very tricky. He’s tricky and he’s smart. I think he’s discovered lying for the first time. I’ve caught him in a few fibs. He’s being a typical boy.
P: Mother’s Day is around the corner. Do you have a favorite Mother’s Day memory?
DM: I can’t remember if it was when Roman was 2 years old or 3 years old: He made a special book for me with pictures of us and he wrote in his hand little love messages he scribbled. It just meant everything to me.
P: Your upcoming television series The Mysteries of Laura is about a working mom doing her best to balance it all. Aside from being a working mom, how are you similar to Laura, if at all?
DM: I think that’s pretty defining, being a working mom. She’s also going through a divorce, and she’s very very passionate about her work. It’s something that she’s very good at and she loves. I related to that because I am fed in a way through my work that nothing else can [match]. In a similar way, being a mother feeds me in a way that nothing else can. I can’t imagine either not being a part of my life. But, one hour she is doing well balancing and the next hour she’s really messed up. I just relate to that. I relate to baby steps and little victories and trying not to beat yourself up over those mini failures.
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Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Today, one of my best friends embarks on a new adventure. After spending nearly two decades in a high-powered Wall Street career, she’s starting her own business. She’s hoping to achieve a new kind of success, one that includes plenty of quality time with her kids.
She was the last holdout among our group of friends—the last one with traditional, benefits and 401K kind of career. Every single one of the seven women who started our book club nearly a decade ago has dropped out of the corporate life to forge a new, more flexible career.
I left my fancy-office and expense-account editorial job six months after I became a mom, tired of the political intrigue of the office and too many nights where I didn’t get to kiss my baby good night. And as kids came into the picture, more and more of us grew tired of a dictated 9 to 6 (or in my friend’s case, often 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) schedule, of missing out on preschool parties and arguing with our mates over who was taking the day off to tend to a croupy kid. And so, one by one, we bought into the 21st-century version of having it all—sacrificing job stability and benefits for the greater flexibility and autonomy that freelancing provides. We are now all guns for hire—a TV producer, a writer/editor, a personal chef/caterer, a grants writer, a content strategist, an instructor and now, a corporate communications consultant. (By the way, this isn’t just a “mom” thing—even our childless-by-choice member ditched the corporate career a few years back.)
I think we all finally realized that all that time we were sacrificing in pursuit of our ambitions wasn’t necessarily going to pay off the way we hoped. In fact, Forbes columnist Meghan Casserly pointed out that women are often are viewed as workers who value their home lives more than their work. “To prove this notion wrong, women often feel compelled to demonstrate their commitment to the extreme.” And what comes of that extra time we were putting in, to the detriment of our families? Often, nothing more than exhaustion and burnout. It’s no wonder that Forbes reports that nearly a third of women who graduate from the Harvard MBA program drop out of corporate work within 15 years of graduation. (Most of them, because of the inability to get a good work-life balance during their kids’ formative years.)
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman had an interesting post last week, about the work-life balance we lost in the decades as women entered the workforce. While in countries like France, more women in the workforce has meant that everyone’s working fewer hours and enjoying more vacation and time with the family, here in the U.S., it’s just meant that everyone’s working more hours outside the home. And more hours of work means fewer hours for living—less time for the day-to-day drudgery of cleaning and cooking and caring for our families, and much less time to squeeze in something fun with our kids, as fellow Parents.com blogger Nick Shell pointed out yesterday. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what the previous generation of feminists was aiming for when they wanted us to have it all.
I’m thankful that I have a supportive spouse (with some excellent health insurance), a person who believed in me and my talent enough to gamble our financial security on a dream of greater flexibility. And it paid off in spades—as I’ve been even more successful as a freelancer than I was as a full-time editor, and I still get to slip away on occasion to read to my daughter’s kindergarten class. But sometimes I wish I had simply pushed for greater flexibility and kept the stability of that full-time gig. Because if so many of us simply drop out instead of pushing for the changes that will make work-life balance better for everyone, it isn’t going to happen.
So today, I’m celebrating with my friend. But I’m keeping an eye on what our choices may mean for our sons and daughters tomorrow.
Photo: Working mom by Vikulin / Shutterstock.com
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