Take Five…with Lauren Holly: My Top Tips for Working Moms

Lauren Holly arrived at the Canadian Screen Awards with her three young sons in tow. Though she told Hello! Canada that getting her brood dressed and out the door was decidedly unglamorous, seeing the star of Motive (CTV) share the special evening with her boys prompted us to ask how she manages to balance her time. Here, the witty actress shares five tips for those of us looking to do it all.

DON’T AGREE TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS!

I’m sorry, that was rude. To explain, I just mean that being a mother and working at your job is enough. Both are full-time gigs, and adding in extras won’t work. I get a pass on this one because having this printed may make more people aware of me, and that is always a good thing for an actress. If the goal is to be a good mom and a rock-star at work, you are going to have to quit the bowling league. The only sure thing in both worlds is: plans change.

LEARN HOW TO BOB AND WEAVE

This one can be the hardest for me, but it is a necessity. You have to learn to breathe deep and go with the flow. Every day is an exercise in balancing. Who is going to be home, and when? Where? How? I’m an admitted control freak. I try to prepare for it all. I’ve had [the kids come home with] stitches or needing surgeries – once the procedure was for a swallowed loonie! Change can’t kill you. (No pun intended.) In my family we are all invested in each other, we communicate and promise to make the best of it.

HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILDREN

My children are getting big. And by the time you read this, one will even be a teenager. We can talk, and I make sure we do. I want to know what is going on in each of their days. Who are their friends? What are they learning in school? What is the thing that makes them laugh the hardest? What do they need to talk about? It’s not always easy. I am acutely familiar with one-word answers. Here’s a bonus tip: they talk a surprising amount if you chat while they play a video game. It’s amazing how much they’ll reveal! I’m proud that we have a ton of inside jokes. That only comes from knowing each other well. The trick is making sure that that bonding dance continues throughout their lives.

BE HEALTHFUL

Working and parenting means you are burning the candle at both ends. Regardless, I’m up when they are, or earlier, and that means not much sleep. I do my best to eat right, and I make them do the same. If I’m short on time, I [exercise] with my kids. I’ll go outside and play with them. If I’m responsible for their habits, let them be good ones. I want them to see me busy and happy. I think it is important to be an example by working hard and trying my best. They need to know both success and failure, and how each is achieved. Energy is needed to accomplish all that we want, and you will only have it if you care for your body. Mind, body and spirit need to be nurtured. So, if you can get a reprieve, grab it!

BLOW OFF STEAM

I’m pretty good at keeping everything going, but inevitably I get to the point where I have to toss it all out the window. That’s when spontaneous “me time” is key. Usually mine includes some kind of cocktail. Don’t worry, there is even enjoyment in the backlog you unfortunately will have to face, or at the very least the knowledge that your fun was worth it. Finishing a report or doing a sink full of dishes before breakfast won’t seem as bad if you’ve enjoyed yourself. It doesn’t matter if it is a luxurious soak in the tub, a laughter-filled night with friends or something more romantic. Do it, and you’ll be better at both of your jobs.

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