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While Alyssa Milano welcomed baby daughter Elizabella just last year, she's got another new "mom" title to brag about.
The 42-year-old "Charmed" actress, and mom of two with husband Dave Bugliari, is now Sprout Network's first-ever "Mom-Bassador."
"We're a Sprout family," Milano said during a press conference with mom.me. "And just to be able to be a part of something that means so much to my kids and their childhood is everything."
To celebrate the 24-hour preschool network's 10th anniversary and brand refresh, Milano will serve as the brand's family-friendly voice, narrating segments, offering up first-hand advice and acting as the face of "Kindness Counts," the brand's campaign that celebrates everyday acts of kindness.
Milano chatted with mom.me about her new role at Sprout, what she keeps consistent in her household, and about all that controversy surrounding her breastfeeding photos.
As the face of Sprout's "Kindness Counts" campaign, how have you modeled kindness for your own children?
Hopefully, you teach kindness by
being kind yourself and having [your children] witness how you treat other human beings
and other things that are alive on the planet. If we're walking in the park or at [my 4-year-old son Milo's] school, and
we see trash, we pick it up, because it's also important to be kind to the Earth. Instilling "thank you" and "please" and all of those basic things, but
really I try to instill in him that you can be smart and you can be funny
and you can be sweet, but the most important thing for you to be is kind.
The breastfeeding photos are controversial because we are in a society that just sexualizes breasts, so it's hard for people see past that these are things that have a specific purpose.
What did you have to change when you became a mom in order to find better
balance with your career while also making sure that you were present with your kids?
Everything had to change, but also things change
daily. And that's the thing about being a mom that I think is really important
to remember — that things are always in motion. And as soon as you think you
have the schedule down and you have the "juggling all the hats" down, things
shift and change, and you've got to go with the flow.
The other thing that I
think is probably the most important thing is being kind to yourself and
understanding that something's got to give, and you have to balance what that is
on a daily basis. And it changes. It changes moment to moment, day to day.
You've been in the news for posting breastfeeding photos on
social media. Why do you think that's so controversial, and do you consider
yourself a role model for standing up for yourself, especially now that you have
I think that the
breastfeeding photos are controversial because we are in a society that just
sexualizes breasts, so it's hard for people see past that these are things that
have a specific purpose, and so I think when I first posted the pictures months
and months ago, I didn't realize that breastfeeding needed a voice and a face
because it's so normal for us moms.
But the responses that
I got — the negative and positive responses that I got — were so overwhelming
and so many that I thought, "Oh OK, this is obviously an issue that needs to be
discussed." And so I am glad that my photos are able to start that discussion,
and I do hope that when my daughter breastfeeds that it's a little easier for her.
But really my goal is just to make things easier for moms anywhere, whether
they be breastfeeding or bottle feeding. I think that we need to come together
as a community of moms and make things easier for each other, take care of each
It's really, really tough right now because we're in a time that celebrates women being horrible to each other.
What is the one thing
that you keep consistent in your household?
I try to keep
the bedtime routine as consistent as possible so that they're in bed by 7:30,
asleep, so that my husband and I can be together. I think that is super, super
important, so that's my thing that I try to really stick to. And it's
getting easier now, because Bella's getting to an age where she can appreciate
reading a book with Milo.
And the other thing,
just for me, is I need to spend maybe 45 minutes to an hour every day, whether
it's walking or going to the gym or something, doing something physical. For myself.
Because even though there's not enough time in the day, I have to make time to take care of my body because that helps my mind
just stay level. I try to schedule it like it's part of my job.
What could we do
differently to make things easier for moms?
I'm a big believer in that mothers and women have suffered
since we've taken away this village mentality. I really feel like there needs
to be more community access for women and mothers specifically, because that's
how it was for decades and decades and decades. You would live in a village,
you would learn how to breastfeed from another mother. She would teach you how
to wash the baby, and it just doesn't happen like that anymore.
It's really, really
tough right now because we're in a time that celebrates women being horrible to
each other, like with all these reality shows and the competitive nature of
where we are right now. But I would love to get back to that place where we find
other moms to have a mom village to be able to share things, to be able to
vent, to be able to help each other, and lift each other up and be proud of one