It’s finale week at Dancing With The Stars, and in a strange way I feel as exhausted as many of the dancers. I remember what the road to the finals was like. It’s a thrilling time, physically grueling and indescribably challenging. Everyone is stressed, their bodies are worn out, and just when you feel as though you have nothing left, you are preparing the most difficult and the most important dance of your life. It was a crazy time and here I am again in season 12, but this time I get to cheer on someone else!
I am on my way back from doing a press tour in NYC. Everyone is asking for my pick to win the mirror ball trophy. This is the only season I have not had a personal favorite, honestly! I love the unpredictability this cast brings. I think each one of our finalists deserves to win and I will be happy for the lucky couple that will hoist the coveted mirror ball trophy over their head this Tuesday.
The stress of my role as co-host cannot compare to what all the dancers are going through. But in my own demanding life, I feel worn out and ready for some R&R. I have been traveling a lot this month between shows, and it’s taken a toll on my family and me. I am ready to go back to my most exhilarating role: Motherhood. Of course, I am always mommy to four, but summer for us is all about downtime: sleeping in, spontaneous days, and lots of quality family time.
My youngest daughter Rain has been tolerating a lot of time this month without me, which breaks both of our hearts; it seems to be the hardest on her. I brought her and her brother to the studio with me last week so we could be together during my long workday. Knowing I was leaving for NY the next day, she began her efforts to sabotage the trip. She pleaded, “Mommy, you don’t have to work. I am more important than money….” “Yes you are," I said. "You are the most important thing in the world. I love you so much. I wish I didn’t have to go too, but I made a commitment, and I have to keep it. I must go to work, and I will be back so fast. " Shaya chimed in and said, “I have money Mama, and its ok I take care of you.” I about lost it. I totally understood Rain’s issue, her need for reassurance, and also her need to come first. It’s amazing how she processes life. Of course my boy was all about fixing it and finding the solution, LOL! My method to the madness of being a busy working mom has always been honest communication, explaining the value and necessity to work, and of course balancing time away with extra love and connection when we are together. I have been sending her play-by-play pictures while I’m away from the house:
Mommy at work:
Mommy loves you:
Mommy helping puppies get adopted:
We exchange photos, and we look forward to that visual. Those are some of the oddities that make sense only to a working mom who is committed to staying connected even when work keeps you apart.
I have been up at 3am, 2am, and will do it again at 4am tomorrow all week. Sleep is hard to come by these times, (what else is new) but I am somehow powering through it. I have 2 more shows to shoot, a few more brutal press days, and then I will collapse in the arms of all my loved ones.
A lot of things can be said about my abnormal Hollywood life. To me, it’s full of blessings and none of them are bad. Not long ago, I was waiting for my next big gig. I am always hoping for lots of work. I love what I do, I am grateful for it every day. Even during my most demanding, exhausting, and frustrating days, I adore the big picture, and I remind myself of its many colors. The life/work balance is hard for every mom; there are no easy solutions for the guilt and heartache that go with it. When it comes to work, I always have something more important to do- being with my family. They give me strength to get through even my toughest professional days.