Actors Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Odette Annable Share How Mom Friends Can Help Each Other Navigate Motherhood

Actors and besties Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Odette Annable live just 14 minutes apart in Austin, where together they navigate the ups, downs, and twisty turns of motherhood.

Actors Jamie Lynn Sigler and Odette Annable
Wardrobe Styling by Margaret Williamson Bechtold. Makeup by Lauren Andersen for The Wall Group. Hairstyling by Jorge Buccio for The Collective Atx Using Osis+ by Schwarzkopf Professional and Oribe. Wrangling by Lanae Hamilton. Photo: Jana Cantúa

There are two types of mom friends in this world: those you'll frantically clean up for before they come over, and those you'll welcome into your house no matter how many toys are on the floor or dirty dishes are in the sink. Actors Jamie-Lynn Sigler, 40, and Odette Annable, 36, best known from HBO's The Sopranos and CW's Walker, respectively, have seen each other's homes in every kind of state. In fact, when Annable and her family—her husband, actor Dave Annable, and their 5-year-old daughter, Charlie Mae—moved from Los Angeles to Austin last September to be closer to Dave's family, Sigler and her boys—her husband, Cutter Dykstra, and their sons, Beau, 7, and Jack, 3—soon followed. "I'd always fantasized about leaving L.A., and Odie just kept sending me these beautiful pictures of houses," Sigler says. "It was all part of my master plan," jokes Annable. "If I was moving to Texas, I was taking my people with me."

Sigler's house was still under construction when her family arrived last spring, so they moved in with Annable for several weeks. "If anyone else saw me pull up with my two kids, the dog, and so many suitcases, they would've run. But Odie was in the driveway, yelling, 'Back it up! Bring it in!' We had a crash-blending of our families and created this beautiful, messy, amazing village right away." "It's part of our culture," says Annable, who, like Sigler, is of Cuban heritage. "I grew up surrounded by cousins and aunts, and I love having people around. I'm just so grateful Jamie moved here, because now we get to do life together."

The friends live close to each other, have the keys to each other's houses, and chat multiple times a day. They sat down with Parents Latina to talk about the importance of ride-or-die mom friends, and to share their main strategies for making those vital relationships a top priority.

Actors Jamie Lynn Sigler and Odette Annable and kids
On Jamie-Lynn: Shirt, Doen. Jeans and Silver Rings, Redone by Bygeorge. On Jack: Top, Zara. Shorts, Sunday Collective. Shoes, Zara. On Beau: Top and Pants, H&M. Shoes, Zara. On Odette: Dress, Doen. Hat, Stetson for Maufrais. On Charlie: Dress, Doen. Headband and Shoes, H&M. Jana Cantúa

1. Don't Hold Back

Annable: We met about six years ago through a mutual friend, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who was in The Astronaut Wives Club with me. I don't think it's a coincidence that all three of us are of Cuban descent. We come from the same culture, so we really had this instant connection. Then we started this group chat, where we just cut the BS and kind of fell in love. We'd send one another video messages all day.

Sigler: I honestly don't know where I'd be without my mom friends. Odie in particular. She's somebody who I can be super-honest with, and she'll always tell me if I'm being completely ridiculous.

Annable: Which, by the way, whenever a woman asks whether she's being crazy, she's usually not. We're just meant to think that. But I always complain to Jamie-Lynn, and she listens.

Sigler: I wouldn't call it complaining. We're listing all the things we're juggling in the everyday chaos of life. Sometimes you just need to say it out loud. We lean on each other.

Annable: Yes, we really do. Your partner is there for some things. Your mom friends are there for basically everything else.

Actors Jamie Lynn Sigler and Odette Annable
Through thick and thin, Sigler and Annable lean on each other. Jana Cantúa

2. Embrace the Mess

Annable: Jamie was the first mom who never put a façade on parenthood with me. I knew if I were ever to have a hard time, it was okay, because Jamie paved that way for me. She made me feel like it was okay to make mistakes. It was okay to struggle with breastfeeding. It was okay to give formula. She'd always tell me, "Parenting is messy, but you find beauty in that mess."

Sigler: We never hide our struggles from each other, and whenever I'm around Odie, I feel completely safe and never judged. She's seen it all. Jack has a sensory-processing disorder. When he gets overwhelmed, he doesn't yet have the ability to calm down. So it's a lot of me holding him and breathing, and sometimes it's a minute, and sometimes it's 20 minutes. And then it's done, and we go to the park and have a great time, and he's so cuddly, and it's, like, "Wait, why do I have a pit in my stomach? Did that really even happen?"

Annable: I've been there during those times, and as a mom whose child also has sensory issues, I know how difficult and incredibly frustrating it is. The most important thing I can do is to just hold space for my friend and this little guy whom I also love so much. We're all figuring out our kids. My daughter is 5, and I still feel like I'm on a blind date with her!

Sigler: Last night, I literally googled "Why does my toddler hate me?" I can't believe how many blog posts there are about that! When I lose my patience with my kids, I'm so hard on myself, but Odie always tells me, "Jamie, back off of yourself. This is hard. You're doing great." That was one of the biggest lessons I learned from living with her.

Actors Jamie Lynn Sigler and Odette Annable and kids
Jana Cantúa

3. Let Loose

Annable: Luckily, our husbands connected in the same way we did, and our kids love one another like siblings, so hanging out is really easy.

Sigler: Just the other day, Odie's family came over. The kids swam until they were tired and fell asleep at 7:30 p.m. Then the four of us hung out, drank Ranch Waters, and watched TV. And they ended up sleeping over, which happens often. That's the kind of life we wanted to build. Those are the memories that I'm so happy my kids are going to grow up having.

Annable: Now we get together and play board games all night long too.

Sigler: Odie and Dave have turned us into nerds! But we think we've finally found a sitter to watch all of our kids, so one day we can double-date.

Actors Jamie Lynn Sigler and Odette Annable
Jana Cantúa

4. Know Your Pal

Sigler: I've lived with MS for almost 20 years now. I don't remember my life without it. It can make my body feel rigid and stiff. I walk with a limp. I can't run, hike, or wear high heels. I have moments every day where it gets in the way of what I want to do. But Odie just knows. When we're walking, she locks into my arm or she waits for me on the stairs. It makes me feel so loved, like I don't have to protect myself from my limitations when I'm with her.

Annable: I'm super-protective of Jamie. She just shared a story with me about somebody who told her that watching Jamie walk made them feel uncomfortable. Had I been there, I probably would've had some choice words!

Sigler: Sometimes people don't say the right thing, but that felt like a gut punch. You try so hard to blend in, to look normal. But I'm also prideful. I don't ask for help. That's the Cuban in me.

Annable: And I know she won't ask for help, but you have to read your friends. You just do things that you know they'll appreciate. Jamie does things for me that I won't ask for all the time! She'll get up and start washing my dishes.

Sigler: And you come over and just start cooking dinner.

Odette Annable

We work out together. We parent together.

We live our lives together.

— Odette Annable

5. Face Tough Times as a Team

Annable: This past year and a half have been the most difficult of my life. Dave and I separated for a few months, and then, by the blessing of the universe, we were brought back to each other. I lost a baby after we reconciled. I had already lost two after Charlie was born, but the third loss rocked me hard. I thought this would be the one—we even told Charlie that she was going to be a big sister—and it wasn't. But we're not going to stop trying. I don't know how I would've gotten through it all without the support of my family and friends.

Sigler: My heart was breaking for her. You never want your friends to suffer. What was especially hard was that Odie is usually the rock. She's literally the coolest person I've ever met. All grace, zero BS.

Annable: Jamie checked in on me almost daily. She let me know I didn't have to go through this on my own.

6. Make Time for Self-care

Sigler: Our kids just missed being in the same preschool class by half a year, but they'll still be seeing plenty of each other. We're so looking forward to the school year.

Annable: And not because they'll learn or make friends or anything like that. It's all about the drop-off!

Sigler: Last spring, we got in a groove. On Mondays, after drop-off, we'd meet at my house and work out together. We're going to try to do it again this year.

Annable: Jamie-Lynn and I work out together. We parent together. We live our lives together.

Sigler: It's the kind of friendship that I've always dreamed of having. It's as if we were built to support each other.

This article originally appeared in Parents Latina's September 2021 issue as "Amigas Forever."

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