Melissa Joan Hart is ready to have her house back.
Photograph by Rob Latour/REX Shutterstock
The former "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" actress admits that while back-to-school season is hectic, it's also nice to have a moment to yourself after drop-off.
"It's a little bittersweet because you're sending your kid off and they're a year older, but at the same time you're excited to have the house back to yourself," she says. "But in the morning it's just a crazy rush, trying to get them out of the house, fed, dressed."
While her ABC Family show "Melissa & Joey" wrapped its last season this year, Hart has not taken a break. The mom of three boys (Mason, 9; Brady, 7; Tucker, 2) with husband Mark Wilkerson has also branched out into clothing design with her and Wilkerson's new boys-only line, King of Harts.
While chatting about her latest project — promoting Old El Paso mini taco boats in Philadelphia — Hart also talked to mom.me about busy back-to-school mornings, what has kept her marriage going strong and how she wants to celebrate the big 4-0.
School has officially started. What are your biggest challenges in that department with three boys?
Mornings are really rough, and after school is just hectic,
so I try to alleviate some of the pressures of that. At night when they're in
bed, when it's a little quiet and I'm cleaning up the kitchen, I like to get their lunchboxes ready. In the morning,
I can just grab it, grab an ice pack, zip it up in their lunchbox, stick it in
their backpack and they're on their way. Another thing I like to do is lay out
their clothes the night before, so I can send them upstairs and
trust that they're going to get dressed, hopefully with what I give them and
not tear apart their closet or dig through their hamper.
You and your husband launched a clothing line, King of Harts [pictured right, worn by her sons]. What inspired that?
I was sick of shopping in stores and finding there was only
a small section for boys, and I didn't really like the options. I didn't really
like my kids always being in graphic tees that have licensed characters like
Spider-Man and that kind of thing. I found that everyone was wearing Minions
and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [clothing]. I wanted to give them really cool artwork,
really great quality, really awesome denim washes, put together little cute
outfits that Mom and Dad can be proud of, that they can [also] wear to school picture
You and your husband have been married more than 10 years.
Yeah, we just had our 12-year anniversary.
Congratulations! Since this seems to have been the summer of celebrity heartbreak,
what is your marriage secret as a celebrity yourself?
There are highs and lows, and I think you've got to go
through the valleys to get to the hilltops. You celebrate the good times when
you make it through those bad times. My husband and I just accept that we made
a commitment to each other, and we're going to stick it out, and when we hit
those rough patches, we just take a breather, step aside, have a good
conversation or just give each other room to figure it out. I think it's about
picking your fights, too. What's really important to you, what's really
bothering you, have those discussions and let the rest go.
My husband and I just accept that we made a commitment to each other, and we're going to stick it out.
Who has been your career role model?
My mom [Paula Hart] has been, of course, the biggest champion of my
career, being my manager, and then my producing partner at Hartbreak Films. We
produced "Sabrina," and we produced "Melissa & Joey," so of course my mom is
my role model. Otherwise, I would say that it's Sandra Bullock, because I just
love people who are versatile that can do comedy and drama, people that are
relatable, people that you feel like you can identify with that make you laugh.
As far as celebrity couples, I don't think there's
any left, are there?
You're turning 40 next year. Do you have any big plans?
We are making some big plans. My husband is planning a
birthday party. It's funny. A week after my birthday, my mom turns 60 and a
week after that my sister turns 30, so we have a lot of big milestones in
two weeks. I don't know if we're going to have a joint party, but I kind of
want my own party, though. Maybe we'll do a bunch of parties. I am planning a
girls' trip away with some of my girlfriends.
Where do you like to
Anywhere there's music and a beach, so we can sit on the
beach during the day and go dancing at night.
What are your
favorite parenting hacks?
If you take a salad dressing container from a
to-go container or takeout — a lot of times soy sauce will come in it or
dressing. If you clean that out, you can put a pacifier in that, keep it in
your purse to keep it from getting dirty. Old plastic baby wipe containers, you
can use those—put a little label on the front and keep your puzzles or games
like Uno in there. That keeps it organized on the bookshelf and
you don't lose pieces.