Your Best Birth, amazon.com
We know actress Ricki Lake as host of the long-running "Ricki Lake" talk show and as Tracy Turnblad in the original (John Waters) film, "Hairspray." But she's also a documentary filmmaker ("The Business of Being Born"), a passionate natural childbirth advocate, and mom to sons Milo and Owen.
Now, with Abby Epstein, who directed the documentary, she's written a book called Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience. (Keep an eye out for my upcoming talk with Ricki on the book.)
Here, she shares her thoughts on motherhood with us....
In honor of Mother's Day, all of the Daily Buzz bloggers are talking to famous moms about life with kids -- check the other channels today and Monday for more interviews.
And here's what Ricki had to say about her most important role.
What's the most important lesson that motherhood has taught you?
When you become a mother, it puts everything in perspective. What’s important to you, why we’re here -- for me, it just shook me up. The world does not revolve around me, it revolves around my children. It’s a selfless act to become a mother and it’s never-ending. I have such respect for all mothers, particularly single mothers and underprivileged moms.
Becoming a mom, getting pregnant, having a baby, it’s all challenging, but it only gets harder as your children get older. I thought it would get easier. But now I have a 12-year old on the verge of becoming a teenager and it’s daunting. I’m having to let go of him because he’s becoming so independent, it’s almost like mourning a loss because I feel like my baby is not a baby anymore.
How has the state of the world today affected your view of motherhood?
It’s definitely a challenging time to raise children. The challenges we face with the economic climate we are in, it’s not easy, but I don’t think it ever was easy. Our parents had problems and issues that are comparable; certainly, my grandparents did. You do the best you can and I want to raise young men who are enlightened, behaved, respect women, take pride in who they are, and want to do something good for the world.
What's the best part of being a mom?
Every moment! Starting from their birth -- it's an amazing thing when you bring life into the world. Words can’t describe that feeling. I’m proud of them every day. I’m proud of the questions they ask, their accomplishments. I just came from my son’s performance -- he played guitar at school this afternoon at the class musical share. The fact that he can get up in front of a crowd of people and feel confident about his ability -- it’s as small as that. They are such confident, interesting little men and I am so lucky to be their mom.
What is the most important parenting lesson you learned from your own mother?
My mother really supported my interests and desire to become a performer. She drove me to my singing lessons every week, and my dance and acting lessons -- she really supported me and I want to do that for my kids. I don’t want to instill in them what I think they should do with their lives, I want to support what they choose to do.
How do you plan to spend Mother's Day this year?
One of my favorite things is to hike near my house -- I do it just about every day. It’s my quiet time, where I feel I'm most spiritual. I usually go with just my dog and my children. We went last Mother’s Day -- it’s a time that’s really special to me. That’s how I want to start my Mother’s Day -- with my boys and my dog on my favorite hike.
What is your greatest wish for your children?
We all want our children to be happy and healthy. I want them to give me grandchildren (haha!), but, really -- I want them to love themselves and do something that they’re happy with, and to grow up and feel like they've accomplished something. They already are doing amazing things and I want them to continue to be conscientious, productive, and respectful young men.
Like Ricki's mom, my mom always supported me and was wonderful about telling me I could do anything -- that there were no limits. I knew before I had kids that I'd want to impart that same kind of support and encouragement to them.
What's a lesson you learned from your mom that you want to make a priority when you become a mother?