In honor of Mother's Day, we bring you one of our favorite editorials to have worked on - a mommy and me story featuring Autumn Reeser ("Last Resort," "The Girl Next Door") and her sons Finn and Dash! Motherhood is difficult... an occupation all in its own. On top of acting and running her own lifestyle blog, Autumn makes sure she's the best person she can be for her children; a job that doesn't ever end. She opens up about her childhood, her mother, and her ideal Mother's Day.
What is one of your favorite memories of your mom from your childhood? Bike riding through the redwoods with my mom on one of our many camping trips up the California coast.
In what ways does your own mom most inspire you? She has an incredible wellspring of patience and kindness within her. Watching her with my son really taught me how to be a mother, how to nurture and how to give care. Mothering did not come entirely naturally for me and I am a far better parent through watching her example.
When you first decide that you wanted to be a mommy yourself? I always knew I wanted to wait until my thirties to start a family, and I found out I was pregnant with Finn on my 30th birthday, which was the best present I could ever ask for.
What are some tips and tricks you have for balancing motherhood with a full career? Wherever you are, be all there. Don't waste energy feeling guilty when you're at work and don't waste energy feeling guilty when you're at home. You'll be much happier if you're fully present, wherever you are. You'll also be setting a great example for your kids of how to be a positive influence on the people around you.
Can you tell us about some of the ways your kids most make you laugh? My oldest loves to sing and is starting to invent his own songs. Yesterday it was 'Macaroni, mac and cheese.'
What is one of the most challenging things about being a mom? The endlessness of it. You are always mom. In a film/TV career you work very intensely for a few months and then you have time off to recharge, but as a mom you never get that chance to press 'reset.' That's why it's really important to learn to find that space for yourself in smaller ways -- a yoga class, a good cup of coffee, even just a deep breath with closed eyes. You have to invent ways to allow yourself to feel replenished or else you totally burn out.
What do you wish you had known before your first baby was born? I have a completely different concept of time now. I wish I had known how quickly each (sometimes painful) stage would pass. It would have given me strength and patience to ride out the tough days with more grace, knowing things would very quickly change. I'm much more patient and happy the second time around as mom to a newborn.
How do you feel most appreciated on Mother's Day? As well as other days throughout the year? A simple 'thank you' goes a long way! Acts of service also mean a lot to me - doing the dishes, making a latte, getting up with the kids so I can sleep an extra hour - all those things make me feel cared for and loved.
Special thanks to Eat Sweets Pastry for all the treats!