Beverly Hills, 90120 was pretty much required watching when I was growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. If you weren't up on what was happening in the lives of the West Beverly High gang -- well, you just weren't all that cool.
Every girl I knew could relate to all that teen angst and heartbreak. My favorite? Kelly Taylor. She was cool (even in the occasional scrunchy), confident (though not overly so), she made mistakes (but owned up to them), and had a crush on the super cool Dylan (and who didn't?). Some 20 years later, I still relate to Kelly. Well, actually the actress formally known as Kelly -- Jennie Garth.
I caught up with the star at the Oral-B and Crest Back-to-School new product launch in New York City. Now a single mom of three (Luca, 15, Lola, 9, and Fiona, 5, with ex Peter Facinelli), there is a whole new set of real-life experiences she shared that we all can relate to.
How do you keep your kids grounded while growing up with two famous parents?
We are actually similar to a lot of families. We do all the same things. There are big differences, of course, but just like every family, we are always so busy. One of the things we make sure to do is eat our meals together. Actually, we have breakfast together every morning. We watch movies together. We make sure to spend quality family time.
What is your philosophy when it comes to discipline?
Oh, I believe in tough love. I'm serious. I am nurturing too but I am like, "Here's the deal. Here is what needs to happen for everyone to be happy. Here is what you have to do." It's funny, I have a friend who I was helping through a situation and she said, "You are not nurturing enough." But I am ... just in my own way.
A lot of moms feel like short order cooks -- making different things for each kid. Is that how it is in your house?
I used to be a vegetarian but now I eat chicken and fish to get more protein. So I cook one meal for everyone. They know you are eating what we all are having. Here's your helping. Don't want it -- there's the fridge!
As a mom, which age is most challenging to raise?
Every age! Being 15 is tough in its own right. Then 5 is extremely hard. They want to be very independent but don't know how to take care of themselves yet. And 9, well, being in the middle is not easy either. I have to find time for each of them and figure out what they need. But it's still the most rewarding -- and difficult -- job I've ever had.
Would you be okay if your kids wanted to follow in your footsteps and become an actress?
For years I said, "Absolutely not! No way!" Then my 15-year-old daughter Luca started showing signs of interest in some form of entertainment. You know, I'm a mom so I just want her to be happy. So I am going to support her no matter what she wants to do.
Have they watched 90210?
Luca holed herself in her room for like a week watching every season. I am still friends with Luke Perry, and now when he calls, she gets all giggly and says, "Oh my God, it's Dylan!"
What do you do that makes your kids cringe?
What haven't I done! I try to laugh when they get annoyed or roll their eyes. I don't take it personally. I laugh and they laugh at me too.
What's your biggest fashion regret?
Definitely the 2012 CMT Awards! I took Lola and Luca with me to the fitting at they said, "Don't wear that mom." I didn't listen. I thought, They'll see I'm right when the pictures come out. We'll, people hated it. Really hated it. When I saw the pictures, I said, "You were so right." My girls really have good fashion sense.
Fashion has changed so much since you were a teen. What do you think about what your kids wear?
It's funny. Luca did a fashion shoot for Teen Vogue. I was on set and kept walking over and pulling her skirt down.
Are there any products you swear by?
I'm a natural product person. And I am coming out with my own skincare line soon.
What is your mommy must-have?
The iCloud. If you don't have it, you've got to get it. I have a calendar for each one of my girls. It syncs us all up so that I know what they have going on and they know where I am too. It's the best thing for busy moms, it really is.
Were you a huge 90210 fan? Who is your favorite West Bev alum?