Actress and mom-of-two Alyssa Milano captured America’s hearts when she was just a kid herself, starring as spitfire Samantha Micelli on Who’s The Boss? In her nearly lifelong Hollywood career, she has appeared in dramas like Charmed, Melrose Place and, until recently, Mistresses, but many of her fans relate even more to her role as outspoken advocate for moms and kids alike. She’s a breastfeeding proponent — a nursing photo she shared on Instagram made national news, as did a Twitter exchange with Heathrow Airport after they confiscated her freshly pumped milk — and a Unicef Ambassador, not to mention the fashion designer for her Touch by Alyssa Milano line of women’s fan-gear and host of Project Runway All-Stars. But first and foremost, she’s mom to 8-month-old Elizabella and 3-year-old Milo. Case in point: She talked to Yahoo Parenting from the parking lot of her son’s soccer practice.
I love that you’re waiting for soccer pickup, just like any other mom. How do you juggle everything you have going on – Project Runway All-Stars, your fashion line – with being there for your kids? Is it a struggle?
It’s hard to juggle everything. Every day is a process and a balancing act, but I try to take everyday as it comes. My schedule is sporadic, which is good because it allows me some real quality time with my kids. When I have business to attend to, I’m always aware that I need to get home as soon as possible or I feel guilty.
So many moms feel that similar guilt all the time, I think. How do you cope with it?
I have learned, through a lot of therapy, that a lot of guilt is pre-wired in a woman’s being. I think if you go back to the caveman days, we are wired to not want to be away from our young because they didn’t have caretakers then. They didn’t have nannies. We needed to keep our offspring safe, and I don’t think we’ve evolved out of that. We still have the biological urge to be with our kids, and to know that the guilt is coming from some place biological, it helps. You realize, ‘oh, this instinct makes total sense.’ I think the same goes for dads. I hear friends complain that their husbands work even more now than before they had kids, and it’s because they’re hard-wired to want to provide.