Actress, producer, and mom of two Ryan Michelle Bathé talks parenting, work, and grandma’s wise words that help her hold it all together.
Advertisement

Ryan Michelle Bathé is an accomplished actress and producer known for her recurring roles on The Endgame and Boston Legal. You might have also seen the Stanford University alum on This Is Us alongside a younger Randall Pearson, the flashback scenes version of her husband Sterling K. Brown's beloved character. Together, the couple has two sons, Andrew and Amare. 

In an interview with Kindred by Parents.com, Bathé talked about why her role on NBC's crime drama thriller The Endgame is so important to her.

"I'm excited about the role of two women, one being black," she said. "In real-time, not a fictionalized time, dealing with misogynoir issues in her career brings that to life in a relatable way."      

Bathé says playing Val Turner, the butt-kicking, socially outcast FBI agent, while raising two sons presents a dilemma every mom has faced at one point: "Should I stay home or work? It's important that my kids see me surfing through life's ups and downs and grappling with real issues," Bathé said. "I don't want to leave them, but it's good that I feel the need to work and show them I'm going after my dreams." 

According to the US Census, working mothers make up a significant part of the labor force, accounting for nearly one-third of all employed women. And today, if we look closely at Black working women, half of them are moms. The key to maintaining for many moms is rooted in the balancing act of earning a living and being present for their children and themselves as an individual. In fact, Bathé says when it comes to the "work hard, play hard" mantra, she's heavy on the "play hard" part. 

"Sometimes I think the play is the only reason why we're on this planet. The play is what informs the work, especially for what I do for a living. You have to have something to draw from," she said. "Juggling all things as actress, wife, and mother, you must take time for yourself. My grandma used to say, 'sometimes, you've gotta laugh to keep from crying.'"  

Bathé also has advice for moms who feel overwhelmed at the thought of pursuing their dreams while raising kids: "It's never too late. Imagine every time you ponder that thought, ball it up and throw it in the trash."

Bathé admits that most of the pain she experienced was the result of internalizing that she wasn't good enough or that her time had passed her by. Learning that "there is a season and a time for everything" is what she says got her through: "What you're going through is not forever." 

The actress is also a producer, having inked deals with major corporations such as Viacom Entertainment Group. She is focused on her production company, Down on Maple, where she lives out her dreams and pitches brilliant projects. The mom of two is back to work on the CBS legal drama All Rise, of which one of the best parts of the show is sisterhood. 

What's evident on the show and in her real life is this, she said: "Behind every strong Black woman, there is a strong Black woman."