German-born television star Jeri Ryan, 39, jumped on the phone with Modern Mom’s Mommywood to discuss her off-screen life with son Alex, 13, and husband, chef Christophe Eme. The former Miss America contestant is currently on break from starring in CBS’s “Shark” with James Woods and Danielle Panabaker, and, is keeping busy preparing for baby number two — a girl due to arrive in March.
What’s your definition of a Modern Mom?
I think we do it all. For many, our moms and their moms before them, mothering was the only job they had — which was great and they did wonderful job raising all of us, but I think for Modern Moms it’s a different ball game. Most women work outside the home — they have careers and also raise kids and take care of the household. So I think we are busier in a different way than previous generations were.
What’s your secret to balancing career and family?
You need to know what’s important and family is always the most important thing. Always. Your marriage, your children — that’s life. That is what’s important; that is the real substance of life. Then the work is something to keep us fulfilled and feeling more whole and balanced. But you’ve got to prioritize and family has to come first.
What did your parents teach you about parenting?
I am so lucky… my parents are amazing. They still would do anything for their kids and now grandkids. They taught me what’s important and to always put the family first.
What do you want to teach your children?
I want them to have values. It’s so hard in our society now because you’re constantly bombarded with the complete opposite of values. It’s a hard time to raise children… We’ve become so materialistic and have gotten away from the focus on simply being good people. I’m raising good people. My son [Alex], who is now 13 is a really great person�??very sensitive, very caring, very thoughtful. And that’s just so important. Hopefully my daughter will be the same way.
Who do you admire the most?
My mother. She’s always been my role model. She’s an amazingly strong woman who has always been incredibly loving to her family. And, she’s an absolute wildcat if you cross her children! She will do anything to protect her family. She’s just amazing. She taught us values and what’s right from wrong. She’s always, always been there for me.
What’s your favorite family activity?
Everything! Our time together is so precious because my husband works so much. When I’m working the scheduling gets tough. Meal times are very important to me, not only because Christophe is a chef, but because that is our time to really just sit down, be together as a family and connect.
What is your greatest achievement?
My son. I couldn’t be more proud of him and what a great person he is. Not just because he’s my son and I love him, but I honestly can’t think of a person I’d rather hang out with or a person I admire more. He just absolutely has a heart of gold and is a great guy.
What products can’t you live without?
It’s not a product, but I have to get massages. I have to. It’s my reward for working out because for me, working out is never fun. I’m not athletic, I never have been, so I work out to stay in shape and de-stress. But my reward after is getting a massage, which is also a big stress-reliever for me.
What do you do when you’re feeling selfish?
I usually cook (or just read cookbooks), or curl up with a book. It’s a real luxury for me to be able to sit down with a good book or just putter around in the kitchen by myself. That to me is really relaxing and rejuvenating. I also have no problem doing absolutely nothing! I don’t feel guilty about it. Some people get bored and restless, but nope�??I’m okay! I can sit and do nothing and love every second of it.
What’s keeping you busy these days?
We’re trying to remodel part of our house before the baby comes. Now that I’m not at work, I can finally focus on getting her nursery ready, so that’s really keeping me hopping!