April 25, 2019
Actress and mom of two Jamie-Lynn Sigler has an important message for other mothers: You're enough. Partnering with plant-based skincare line for kids Baby Bum on their new "You're a Good Mom" campaign was a no-brainer for the former Sopranos star. Not only does she feel like it's a message she could stand to remind herself of more often, but through co-hosting her podcast Mama Said with Jenna Parris, she knows all too well that other moms struggle constantly with feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
"The commonality we all have is just these feelings constantly of guilt or not being enough or not doing enough or trying to find the work-life balance, family balance and marriage balance and friendship balance and all of that," the mom of two boys—Beau, 5, and Jack, 15 months—tells Parents.com. "I feel like we have an immense responsibility in so many ways, and I think that there's also so much information out there. With social media, there's so much comparison. There's so much insecurity. It's just sometimes too much coming at us. I think that because we spend so little time on ourselves, and we're constantly focusing on others, we don't have the actual time to reflect about the good job we're doing. We're exhausted. We're overstretched. We're overworked."
Sigler recently took to Instagram to elaborate on the campaign, admitting, "Between the sleepless nights, the early morning carpools, the dirty diapers, the spilled spaghetti, the cooking, the bottle washing, the self-imposed pressure to be 'on' and strong at all times, I'd be lying if I said I never worried about whether I'm doing a good job. When my physical challenges makes days harder than others, I have these harsh conversations with myself wondering whether I'm holding my kids back from something better."
She says she gets affirmations in the form of "watching Beau laugh as he plays catch with Cutter in the backyard or listening to Jack snore peacefully in my arms."
Still, hearing those few words: "you're a good mom," "can mean everything," she tells Parents.com. "It can make you take the deep breath that you need."
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Sights from my Family Stroll: “You’re a Good Mom.” Honestly, I don't think I knew how much I needed to hear that. Between the sleepless nights, the early morning carpools, the dirty diapers, the spilled spaghetti, the cooking, the bottle washing, the self-imposed pressure to be "on" and strong at all times, I'd be lying if I said I never worried about whether I'm doing a good job. When my physical challenges makes days harder than others, I have these harsh conversations with myself wondering whether I'm holding my kids back from something better. Affirmations come in many forms - watching Beau laugh as he plays catch with Cutter in the backyard or listening to Jack snore peacefully in my arms - but something about being reminded "You're a Good Mom" so matter of factly...that really knocked the wind out of me and made me smile. Thank you @babybum for reminding us that we are killing the mom game. If you have a mom in your life, whether it's your own mom or a friend, remind her she's a good mom. That might be the exact thing she needs to hear today. Tagging to remind some of favorite moms @jogarciaswisher @haylieduff @jennacparris @odetteannable #BabyBumPartner #TrustTheBum #YoureAGoodMom
Since welcoming her second son in January 2018, Sigler has found it easier to remind herself that she's not alone in feeling like she's falling short. "I just realized that we all feel this way, and it's okay," she shares. "I think that just knowing that we're human and being a parent is one of the most intense experiences you'll ever have in your life, and you constantly feel like you're screwing it up because you want to be the best example for your kid. The truth of the matter is I think that as long as your kids know that they're loved and supported and you give them a moral compass in being kind and conscious of others, you really can't screw it up."
Another practice that helps Sigler when she's down on herself: taking a step back to actually look at her sons—and she'll see just how happy they are. "I see how they play with one another and with other people," she says. "That's what really gives me the biggest reflection of just like, 'You know what? Well, I'm doing something right!' Even though maybe I don't always do the most enriching teaching activities all the time, because I'm exhausted and might throw an iPad in front of them, so I could get a break. They're still really well-rounded and kind, which is the most important to me. I think that at the end of the day, that's all that matters, and that's what makes me feel like I'm a good mom."
Having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) 17 years ago, Sigler notes that her health definitely factors into her concerns. She initially worried that her disability would affect her eldest son, but she's realized her fears were unfounded. "I realized that through the years with him, our bond is so intensely close and that it's more about quality time," she notes. "It doesn't matter the actual acts that we're doing together. He's so happy to sit with me and do Legos and color. It doesn't always have to be the fact that I'm not the mom that's running in the playground with him. He still loves me and feels like I'm just as good of a mom."
Taking care of herself contributes to her parenting wins, as well. "I just have gotten better I think at telling myself that I'm allowed to take some time for me," she says. "Every once in a while, I know that I have a wonderful babysitter, and I can put the kids in wonderful hands and surrender that time to be for me and my friends. I realized that I'm actually a way better mom for it when I get those breaks."
She jokes that while she'd love for those breaks to include a massage now and then, more realistically, her self-care time more often looks like a "sitting and having glass of wine and some French fries."
Spending time with her husband Cutter Dykstra is another priority. "I've always told my girlfriends, no matter how tired you are, and you don't want to have sex, you never regret once you start or you never regret when it's over," Sigler shares, noting that it's important to "feel connected as a couple, because it's also been important I think for my kids to see. I want them to see a loving couple, and I want them to see a healthy couple."
Ultimately, Sigler simply hopes to support other moms and encourage them to treat themselves with as much care and kindness as they do those they love.
"We tend to be so hard on ourselves and speak in such a different voice than we do to the rest of the world," she says. "Give yourself that chance and talk to yourself like you would somebody you care about and somebody you love, and then you might walk away realizing all the amazing things about you. I love when I did the post about you're a good mom and seeing all these women hug their friends and give each other love back. That's what it's all about, the community of moms. It made me so happy to see."