Most of us recognize Lori Loughlin from her years on the hit comedy series, Full House, in which she played Rebecca Donaldson. But more than a decade has passed since that iconic show last aired, and, of course, so much has changed in Lori’s life in the meanwhile.
In 1997, the Queens, New York-native married designer Mossimo Gianulli, creator of the Mossimo clothing line, and the couple welcomed their first daughter, Isabella Rose, now 9, and their second, Olivia Jade, 8.
Since her Full House days, Lori has certainly kept her career going – she notably starred in, wrote for and produced the WB family drama, Summerland, for which she won an anti-drug abuse Prism award, and has made many appearances on prime time TV (remember her turn as Seinfeld’s girlfriend?). But for the past few years she says she has decidedly focused on her favorite role: that of being a mother. “When making a choice about taking on or accepting a role,” she tells Modern Mom, “The first thing I think about is how it’s going to affect my kids. If it takes away from an important time when my kids need me, then I pass on the project and stay home with them. I always make my children and family my first and foremost priority.”
But now with Isabella and Olivia reaching tweendom and taking on more independence, Lori is spreading her professional wings again. The stunning 43-year old graces our screens once more: this time in the Beverly Hills 90210 spinoff, as Celia Mills, a former Olympic medalist and mother to the series’ central teens Annie and Dixon.
Lori talked to Modern Mom about teaching her daughters to be strong, and how to live in the moment, and about learning a few new tricks herself – try learning to ski in her 40s!
What’s your definition of a Modern Mom?
A modern mom is often a woman trying to juggle a career and parenting. A modern mom is also a woman who has taken a break from careers to raise their families. A modern mom is in my opinion dedicated to her family and children first and foremost.
What’s your secret to balancing career and family?
I always make my children and family my first and foremost priority. Also when making a choice about taking on or accepting a role, the first thing I think about is how it’s going to affect my kids. If it takes away from an important time when my kids need me, then I pass on the project and stay home with them. However, I realize not all moms are in a similar position where they can choose to stay home with their kids. I do realize that my husband has a good job and can support our family and that I am very lucky that I have the flexibility to make those choices.
What did your parents teach you about parenting?
I think that the biggest things my parents taught me about parenting is to not be rigid, keep an open mind and communicate with your children constantly. They also taught me to deal with every situation as it’s handed to you. They helped me realize that it’s important to allow for flexibility as a parent and to understand and to empower my children.
What do you want to teach your children?
I want to teach my children to be independent, kind, compassionate and self-sufficient. I think being self-sufficient is very important, especially for my girls because I want them to be able to rely on themselves in life. But if I could teach my children one thing it would be to live in the moment and enjoy every minute of life. I think it’s hard to really step back and enjoy ourselves in the world we live in, so I want to teach them that.
Who do you admire the most?
I really admire my own parents and my mother. My mother is a good friend and someone I turn to for advice constantly. She is my sounding board.
What’s your favorite family activity?
I love when we all go skiing as a family in Aspen, CO.
It’s such a great thing to do with my husband and kids because we get to spend entire days together. Starting from the minute we wake up, we’re together all day having meals as a family, exercising, watching movies and just spending good quality time.
What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is learning how to ski. And I’m not kidding because I started skiing at a much older age, which was tough! I actually had to learn because my children wanted to go skiing, and they picked it up right away. So in order to keep up with them, I threw myself into it as an adult, which was scary and fun at the same time.
What products can’t you live without? I can’t live without sunscreen. My favorite is Coppertone – I love the smell because it makes me think of the beach and puts me in a happy place. I also have terrible allergies so I’m always sure to have my allergy medication with me. Claritin relieves my worst allergy symptoms all day and I know it won’t make me drowsy.
Right now, I’m working with Claritin on their “Clear to Drive” campaign, which aims to raise awareness of drowsy driving and offers tips for prevention, such as making sure people know how important it is to check medicine labels for warnings about drowsiness before they get behind the wheel.
What do you do to pamper yourself?
For me, to go to a 1½ hour yoga class is something I try to do for myself, but I don’t get to go all the time. Also, when I get a manicure and a pedicure sometimes I stay the extra 20 minutes for the foot massage. I love when they ask, “Do you want the extra massage?” and I actually have the time to say yes.
It’s such a treat!
What’s keeping you busy these days? The CW’s Beverly Hills 90210 series! I play Celia Mills, who’s a former Olympic medalist and mother to the teens Annie and Dixon. It’s fun to play a mom, now that I am one in real life.