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Over the past four and a half years, I've come to a conclusion:
Moms who work in
show business just might be conditioned to handle motherhood best.
Now hold up. I'm not saying that women in show business are better mothers, I'm just suggesting we've possibly been conditioned and unintentionally boot-camped for the challenges of motherhood in a more beneficial way. This crazed philosophy crashed
together while comparing showbiz and motherhood with some of my
dearest former TV colleagues. (OK, we were drinking wine, but … ) The common hitch? Energy and hustle.
No other job in the world requires more hustle than motherhood. No other
industry in the world requires more hustle than show business. Hustling requires tireless energy. You see where I'm going? Consider these musings:
1. The toils, trials and tribulations of
motherhood are ever-evolving, unending and thankless. You're never "done."
The toils, trials and tribulations of show business
are ever-evolving, unending and thankless. You're never "done."
My mom friends who have been to hell and back in the entertainment world (myself included) seem to have unknowingly and unintentionally developed some kind of resilience chip.
2. Moms get crapped on frequently.
(Literally. I still miss those white jeans I had to toss in the trash when my second-born pulled a real showstopper at my in-laws' house.) You too? Me too. Those who work in
entertainment, news and practically every other kind of creative form of show business also get crapped on frequently. Whether it's being yelled at
by a crazy director, producer, executive, camera-man, fill-in-the-blank-here who's
having a bad day and stressed about ratings and followers ... or just finding yourself "un-renewed" at a job (a job that you actually did a pretty good job at) because someone at the top wanted to "make a change" and give the gig to his/her new romantic interest. (You think I'm joking?) Us showbiz moms get crapped on (figuratively).
3. Moms do the same thing over and over
Sing this song! Unload the dishwasher!
Braid my hair! Load the washer! Make me a snack! Day in and day out, it's
the same rotating pattern. I seriously think I've assisted with princess
costume changes a record 7,345 times in the last month alone. (You too?) But luckily, I had the good fortune of having developed stamina for
it: Those who entertain others for a living must often do the same thing
over and over and over again. Stage and screen performers do dozens of
takes and multiple performances, and we're required to make each effort appear
fresh and happy and energetic. Making lines look and sound fresh is our job. You need that again? No
problem! Smile and do it. 7,345 times if you have to.
4. Moms have jacked up sleep patterns. (No explanation needed.)
Those who work in news and/or entertainment have jacked up sleep patterns. Try waking up at 2 a.m. (for a morning
news shift), or working a 16-hour day (any actor will tell you that's normal),
or not sleeping more than three hours a night (red carpet awards season) or working
an overnight shift because the morning show that airs in the UK (that you're reporting for) needs you to do a live satellite hit at 1 a.m. Los Angeles local time because that's when it's 9 a.m. over in England. (Sleep? What's that again?)
5. Moms must have a bottomless well of patience.
If you stop, the house stops, yet much of the day is spent
waiting. (You're STILL putting your shoes
on, my toddler? Adorable, but quite a wait sometimes, no?) Those who work in entertainment must have a
bottomless well of patience. If you stop seeking
and reading and emailing and pitching and creating and pushing and calling and
smiling and blogging and networking and following up even a little
bit, then you may as well quit. (Most of the time, you don't even get a response.) No one is going to ring your doorbell to give
you a job, a role, a gig, a segment or even an audition without you hunting it
down and pinning it to the floor. And then after you do all that, you must
wait and wait: Sometimes a day, sometimes a week, sometimes a year to see if you
actually got that gig. (Most of the time, you didn't.)
My mom friends who have been to hell and back in the entertainment world (myself included) seem to have unknowingly and unintentionally developed some kind of resilience chip that guides our navigation through the many challenges of motherhood. No matter what you do, working in entertainment often yields little guarantees for results and requires you keep going—with passion—no matter what gets thrown at you. Sounds like parenthood to me. Who knew all those failed auditions would pay off like this?