Here are some of the highlights:
Can balancing a demanding career and children ever really be 50-50?
It’s hard to strike that 50-50 mark each day, but if I look at a whole week or month, I feel that overall I get to spend a lot of time with my children. And when I’m with them, I give them my full attention. When I go to work, I give work my full attention and commitment. Everyone has doubts occasionally, but it’s important to know you’re doing the best you can. And if you regret a decision, make a different choice next time.
What do you do when you feel pulled in different directions?
That’s a tough one, but there’s no question that my kids come first. Every time there’s a call from Ben’s preschool, I worry that it’s an emergency. Even when I get normal calls from the preschool, there’s that instant that I wonder why they’re calling and if everything’s okay. There was one time that my husband and I were on our way to a charity event when the school called and said that Ben got a nasty scrape on his forehead. We turned the car around and met our son and his babysitter in the emergency room. I had that sick feeling in my stomach until I was there with him, holding his hand, making him laugh. Ben, on the other hand, was completely calm, asking questions about all the equipment, how the bed moves.
I eat healthy meals—my husband is a great griller. I schedule going to the gym into my days. I do a lot of cardio, especially spin classes. I also run, hike and do circuit training and yoga. I typically work out four or five days a week. Of course, sometimes it’s three days, sometimes it’s seven days. In my new book, The Mommy Diet [available in October], I encourage moms to take care of themselves.
What has been the best surprise of becoming a mom?
You can’t comprehend until you’re a mom how much your kids take over your whole world. Every decision I make, I’m always thinking how it will affect my children. I’ve gotten to the point that if I’m in the car by myself and I see a fire engine, I’ll say, “Hey, Ben, look at that,” and start waving at the truck. Then I realize I’m driving alone. [She laughs.] And the firefighters are probably thinking something totally different from what I was intending.
Did you take maternity leave?
With Ben I got four weeks off. It was awesome for a first-time mom. I took advantage of every minute. With Megan I was back to The Biggest Loser eight days after I gave birth and back to Days of Our Lives after two weeks. That was really hard. Both shows offered me more time. I was in a heavy story line at Days, though, and I didn’t want to break the story. With Biggest Loser, it was only one month before the end of the season, and I didn’t want to miss out on the finale. But I couldn’t have done it without my husband and healthy kids. We all adjusted to things easily. It was a team effort.
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