Mandy Moore on Being a Mom of Two Under 2: ‘I’m Trying to Embrace This Sleeplessness'

The 'This Is Us' star talks life a few weeks postpartum, taking a longer maternity leave, and starting new holiday traditions as a family of four.

For Mandy Moore, this upcoming holiday season is going to be what she describes as a whole new world. The This Is Us star says she’s excited to create new traditions with her now family of four—she and husband, Taylor Goldsmith, welcomed their second child, Oscar (aka Ozzie), in late October, joining their firstborn, August (Gus for short), who was born in February 2021.

“Having a kid now who's almost 2 will make it a little bit more fun in terms of seeing the holidays through his eyes and him having a little bit more awareness of how special this time of year is,” says the singer and actor. “I’m just excited to figure out what those new traditions are going to be.”

She'll be pairing some of those new rituals with some of her childhood favorites, too, like seeing holiday lights, opening up one present on Christmas Eve, and having breakfast food for Christmas Eve dinner, a special tradition her parents started. “Their very first Christmas Eve together, they realized that that's all they had in the house to eat,” explains Moore.

But the main goal is just spending family time together. “Especially with what we've all collectively lived through these last couple of years, feeling so disconnected and so isolated, anything that allows us to come together during this time of year to me is what's most important,” says Moore. Connection is also why she's partnered with Ferrero Rocher, one of her favorite chocolates, for the Give a Golden Greeting campaign, in which she will read personalized holiday greetings for a handful of customers who participate. The gold-wrapped chocolates have always been her family's go-to for gifting for celebrations and holidays.

Thankfully, Gus is adjusting well to spending time with baby Ozzie and becoming a big brother. “So far, it's been pretty dreamy—I feel bad saying that,” Moore jokes. For months, Moore and her husband had been telling Gus that his baby brother was on the way, but it never seemed to translate until the night before she gave birth. “He pointed to my stomach and said, ‘Baby brother,’ and I burst into tears,” she says. “And the second we brought Ozzie home, he just wants to kiss him. He wants to be close to him. If he's at the park with my husband and I'm home with the baby, he’s like ‘home Ozzie.’ He’s just starting to really clock that obviously there's another person in the house that's taking both of his parents' attention at certain points, but he's actually been very sweet about it and really gentle. And I'm excited to have these two boys so close in age, and hopefully, they'll grow up to be best friends.”

Of course, being a mom of two so close in age can also be a handful, although the chaos hasn’t started just yet. “I know it also hasn't gotten challenging yet at all,” she says. “Ozzie's just sort of waking up and having a bit more awareness of the world around him.” At the same time, Moore says she’s trying to soak it all in, especially because of how fast the newborn phase can pass. “I know how special and how precious this time is with him being this age and at this stage. So, I'm trying to embrace this sleeplessness,” she says. “You forget all those phases.” Whether it’s getting your tot to burp or dealing with a gassy phase, she adds, “It's like your brain has total amnesia about it until you're back in that place again.”

One thing that will be different for Moore this time around is the time she gets to spend at home. While her career has been more fruitful than ever with recently released music and well-deserved praise for her portrayal of the fierce loving mama Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us, she says she feels fortunate to be able to take a longer maternity leave now. She jumped back into work one month after Gus was born—something she acknowledges is the case for most American parents—but now aims to focus on family time until she heads back to work next year. She just announced she will star in and executive produce a new series, Twin Flames, for Hulu.

“To be able to close out this really seminal chapter of my life with This Is Us this past May and take this time now to kind of just hunker down and be a family, it's something I didn't get to experience with Gus,” she says. “I'm relishing this time. Again, especially around the holidays, it's so fun and it's the perfect excuse to just stay home and be cozy and get my feet underneath me and figure out how to operate in this new chapter.” 

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