Melissa Joan Hart has been in the public eye since she was three, making her showbiz debut in a television commercial for a bath toy called “Splashy.” She went on to perform in 25 more commercials before she reached the ripe old age of five. But she became an American icon when she was 19, taking on the starring role in Sabrina, The Teen Age Witch, which ran for seven seasons. When Melissa got married to musician Mark Wilkerson in Florence, Italy in 2003, the cameras were rolling once again: the whole ceremony was captured on film for Tying the Knot, a television miniseries produced by Melissa’s production company, HartBreak Films. By her own account, Melissa was a girl who had come of age in front of a small army of cameras.
Was it any wonder then that when she and Mark found out they were expecting their first child in 2005, Melissa was nervous about what America would think? “I had to remind myself I was 29, and not an unwed pregnant teenager!” She gave birth to Mason Walter Wilkerson in January 2006 and has been raising her son without a nanny in sight – a rare and valiant feat in Hollywood. “I didn’t have a child just to have him raised by somebody else,” Melissa says.
This month, Melissa, 31, will welcome her second baby – look for the news in Mommywood any day now! She recently moved Mason into a “big boy room,” with a “big fish theme. “My stepmother painted murals of fish, whales and turtles there,” Melissa says. “It’s huge and he’s got a fish tank now.” And she’s busy prepping Mason’s outgrown nursery for baby #2. Melissa spoke to Modern Mom about putting her family first, and figuring out just how to handle two young children at once!
What’s your definition of a Modern Mom?
A Modern Mom is the same as an old fashioned mom — a woman who can multi-task running a household and with a baby or two on the hip. These days we are told that we have to have highly successful careers and be great moms — I find that is too much to ask of anyone. Good luck accomplishing one let alone both. It is possible but like they say, “It takes a village.” In the case of both career and mommyhood, I think it takes an army!
What’s your secret to balancing career and family?
Haven’t figured it out quite yet. But as long as family takes first position the rest will fall into place where needed.
What did your parents teach you about parenting?
My mom made it look soooo easy, having had seven kids and a great career and being able to cook and take care of the house. I am lucky if I get the bottles clean at night. Forget about cooking!
What do you want to teach your children?
To be fair and love unconditionally!
Who do you admire the most?
Right now it is parents with more than one child. I am in awe and in a studying mode as I try to see what I have in store.
What’s your favorite family activity?
Family walks and playing in the yard. We also adore going to fun places like the zoo and Disneyland for special occasions.
What is your greatest achievement?
Surviving the birth of my son.
What product(s) can’t you live without?
Born Free sippy cups and Little Giraffe blankies.
What do you do when you’re feeling selfish?
I indulge myself only sooo much. These days I take the time I need to rest or eat since I have another little life depending on my body.
What’s keeping you busy these days?
EVERYTHING! My husband’s album release and Grammy nomination, my crazy little man who just turned two — I planned two celebrations for him after the holidays – prepping for baby #2 by nesting, organizing and sterilizing everything before baby comes home.