|Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Dern|
We all know the stereotype of the Hollywood actress â even at charity events, she’s the botoxed and bejeweled diva who shows up and demands to know, “What’s in it for me?”
That less-than-flattering image was completely laid to rest at the P3 Beauty and Forbes Life Executive Woman’s Mom’s Day of Beauty, held last week at the sleek and luxurious Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Although many celebrity moms turned up for the event, they did so knowing they were not the queens of the day.
So just who were the stars? The mothers of young patients of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, a renowned medical center that treats kids from all social, financial and ethnic backgrounds. Thirty-two dedicated moms, many of whom practically live at the hospital with their kids, were invited to indulge in makeovers, hair styling, manicures and much-deserved massages.
High-profile mothers such as Cindy Crawford, Jamie Lee Curtis, Laura Dern, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Lisa Rinna and Ming Na flocked here to support these moms, whose little ones suffer from such life threatening ailments as leukemia, brain tumors or cystic fibrosis.
None of the stars asked for any pampering treatments.
They were solely there to open their hearts and to lend an ear.
“It’s so important for these women to take time out for themselves,” says Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, the mother of sons Christian, 4, and Ryan, 2. “One of these moms told me, âOh, I thought I was going to get a massage â I didn’t know we got to get our nails and hair done, too.’ They work so hard and give so much to their families. They are so excited to finally have a little âMe Time.'”
Laura Dern, mom of son Ellery, 6, and daughter Jaya, 2, was so moved by the stories she heard that day she ended up in tears. “One of the mothers told me her four-year-old is suffering from cancer,” says the one-time Oscar nominee. “I asked her how she was doing and she said, âThings are going so well. He made it to another birthday.'” Laura paused to catch her breath. “That is their experience of their life with their child right now,” she says. “They don’t want to leave the hospital. What if they’re away and something happens?”
One could only be touched by seeing these mothers smile as they got their long-neglected tresses blown dry or their make up done. For many, this was the first time they had tended to themselves in months.
Read on for what these celebrity moms said when we asked, “How do you make the most of your quality time with your child?”
“For some moms it almost seems as though life outside the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles is put on pause,” says Brenda QuiÃ±onez-GarcÃa, a social worker in the hospital’s leukemia and lymphoma program. “They learn to live day by day. There is no certainty of what tomorrow holds for their child. And yet, for so many of these moms, even with a very sick child, life cannot stop. They still have to juggle home life and work stresses; they have to take care of other children, their spouses, pay the bills, get the homework done. What falls at the end of this spectrum? Self care, of course.” Finally, these mothers were indulging in a little of that â with some help from their new friends from Hollywood.
“When you put a group of moms with sick children together you are bound to get emotion and sharing,” says Jamie Lee Curtis of that special day. These women, along with mothers everywhere, she added, should never forget about taking care of themselves.
“A mother,” she says, “is the most important person in a child’s life, bar none. That alone should define our priorities.”
When tending to sick or injured children, mothers clearly have limited time for their other children. With that in mind, Modern Mom asked the stars at the Mom’s Day of Beauty, “How do you make the most of your quality time with your child?”
Here’s what they said:
Laura Dern: “There are times when I am working 14 hours a day on a film and I have only 20 minutes to put my child to sleep. I make that time totally count. I turn off my brain and focus on my child. There are times when you are just so irritated by the stresses of the day. You have to learn to detach and focus fully on what they want to tell you about what happened at school. It doesn’t matter if that happens at bath time or bedtime. You just have to be there fully.”
Cindy Crawford, mother of son Presley, 8, and daughter Kaia, 6: “I spend a lot of time with my kids so I don’t put pressure on myself to make every minute meaningful. I think quality time should be organic. Yesterday, my daughter and I sat at Starbucks for 45 minutes and just talked. If you are relaxed with your children and you are in the moment, then that time is meaningful.”
Lisa Rinna, mother of daughters Delilah, 9, and Amelia, 6: “I try to be there for my kids physically, and of course emotionally, as much as possible. I drive them to school almost everyday and that’s when we talk about everything that is of the moment â any situation at school, things that come up with other girls. In the car, I just start talking. It’s then that they’re my captive audience, after all!”
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras: “I’ve learned to play together outside so we’re not near a television and I leave my phone and my Blackberry in my purse. I literally caught myself once with Christian — I was talking on the phone, checking a text message, and I had a call waiting for me. I remember my son watching me so patiently. He went to sit on a swing by himself. That moment stayed with me for a long time. Life can get so cluttered. It’s so important to be in present time. It only took that one day to drive home the message. Just seeing his face â that was enough for me. I just said to myself, “âI can’t do this anymore.'” So all that stuff is gone.
“Christian’s nursery school is also a co-op, so teachers and parents run the school. Now all his little friends know my name is Bridgette and I am getting to know all of them. That’s important to me.”