Julie Bowen On Riding Out the Terrible Twos

07/17/2009 at 06:00 PM ET
 alt= Charley Gallay/WireImage

Oliver McLanahan Phillips, 2, is quite the opportunist! So said his mom, actress Julie Bowen (pictured left with Busy Philipps), during a chat with Celebrity Baby Blog at the launch party for The Little Seed‘s all new Private Label, eco-friendly children’s clothing line.

Oliver — whom Julie describes as “smart and conniving and willful” — is “not psyched” about his twin baby brothers John and Gus, 10 weeks, and he makes his feelings known at the worst possible time.

“He waits until I’m double breastfeeding,” she shares, “and then he throws crap across the room! I can’t stop him because what am I going to do? Dump the twins? Throw one to the ground? It’s fine. This will all be over soon enough.”

When asked what her biggest family accomplishment is of late, Julie jokingly replied that she was simply pleased that her marriage to husband Scott Phillips is still intact and the boys are all breathing.

“That’s about as much as I can hope for,” she kidded.

Having three children under two is not for the faint of heart, and Julie — who co-hosted Thursday’s event — expressed gratitude that she is able to have full-time help. Even with a nanny, however, breastfeeding in tandem has seen her waking every four hours to feed. “Kids need the boobs,” she notes, “and the kids need attention and love.”

Having put “everything on hold” between the twins’ birth in May and her return to work next month on the new show Modern Family, Julie admits that she’s ready for a break!

“I can’t wait to not be in my house and have people ask me if I want regular or decaf, and ‘Can I bring you a breakfast burrito?’ ‘Bring it here. I’m not gonna even stand-up.'”

The 40-year-old actress shot the pilot in the latter stages of her pregnancy with John and Gus, and shortly thereafter learned that the show would air on ABC this fall — making for a very eventful delivery! “Unlike with my first son where I was on set at Boston Legal when I went into labor, [with] the twins I induced,” she explains. “But I still had an exciting day because it was while I was literally pushing, the phone rang and that’s when I found out my show got picked up — in labor, pushing.” And that’s not all! She adds,

“I [also] found out my house got sold. My house was for sale, so it was a good day.”

‘Doing it all’ isn’t something Julie is striving for, however. The best advice she ever received was from a doctor, who — shortly after Julie learned she was expecting twins — advised her to “give 75%” — and no more.

“I was like, ‘Wow!’ That actually was really helpful. It gave me permission to not be on all the time because you can kill yourself having three kids that are two and under, trying to do everything. I can’t do it. I can’t do it!”

Although she is “much lower on the totem pole” than she used to be, Julie adds, “you do still have to take care of yourself.”

— Missy with reporting by Jessica Wedemeyer

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Multiples , News , Parenting

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audrey jones on

Thought it was interesting that she said she has fulltime help. I remember back when she was pregnant with her first she made some negative comments about having extra help. I bear no ill will toward her but thought it shows that before someone has a baby they can be judgemental on what it takes to “keep it all togther” and then after esp. when you have some extra money having some help seems like a good thing.

ShiraB on

wow im first to comment…anyways…. julie seems like a great mom who is just as normal as every other mom out there with more then one child!!! i really do hope we will get to see a picture of the twins and an updated photo of oliver soon!!!

Sam & Freya's Mum on

I know she’s an older mum & possibly why they’re close together, didn’t want to leave it too long?, but this is why i didn’t want two or more under two years or so, lol. We have just over 3 years between our two and works for us, but of course realise it’s diff as get older as some don’t plan the closer age or way it worked, makes it esp busy I guess with having had twins, much as they’re surely blessings and nice for Oliver to have siblings, not that he feels that way just yet by sounds of it! but when they’re older and can play together. Sure she loves them of course and wouldn’t change them for the world, but for sanity I wouldn’t want that close a gap, plus the older one still being pretty young and not able to understand, jealousy issues etc, am glad we avoided that – don’t mean that to sound arrogant, I’m not hugely organised time-wise so know my limits, lol, just personally relieved and no regrets about 3 year gap, which isn’t for everyone either of course. Hope things settle down for them soon, least it won’t last forever, another stage, as you findout from the 1st one. Least she has the help of a Nanny. would prefer the gap of Molly Ringwold with say a nearly 6 year old then twins, can help out and fairly independent…

Sam & Freya's Mum on

They’re both looking great for new mums, by the way, esp Julie as 40 year old mum of 3!

Mary on

I love it when celebrity moms admit that motherhood is hard because it is! I remember nursing my infant daughter and my 2 yo son acting up or even needing something and telling myself the same thing, ‘this will be over soon’. Heck, that was 2 years ago and I’m still saying it!

HeatherR on

Julie looks like a blonde version of Rachel Ray in this picture. She certainly looks amazing after having the twins!

Lorus on

One thing my Mom taught me that I use quite often is “This too shall pass”.
They both look great for being new Mamas. Kudos to her for breastfeeding twins!

happymom on

It’s so refreshing to read honest comments about how tough it is instead of the usual spin!

Sadie on

Hi Sam and Freya’s mum, I have 3 under 2 – in fact, I had 3 under 13 months at one stage! My son was 12 months old when my twin girls were born. It is really full-on, but there are certainly a lot of pluses of having three so close as well… they will pretty much be at the same developmental stage their entire lives, so while it is hard yards in the beginning, it will certainly pay off later on when they all play together and keep each other entertained for hours! I understand why you opted for a bigger gap, but believe me, it’s not all bad having a close-kit crew either, it’s actually kind of nice. xx

Mrs. R. on

Sadie –
I have a good friend whose husband is a twin (with a brother), and they have a brother who is 11 months younger than them.

My friend always says that the pictures of their mother from the early days are always of her looking tired, but totally content.

Now – the 3 grown boys have nothing but fond memories of all the ruckus they caused together. They felt more like triplets than twins and a younger brother. They still call themselves the 3 musketeers.

I wish you and your family all the best. It’s so rare to have twins and a 3rd so close together – what a unique and exciting family to have!

sam and freya's mum on

Sadie: Kudos to you, seriously. I didn’t mean any offence at all (and hope none taken?!), just diff strokes for diff folks as they say and I know, as I said in post earlier, what my limits are, but I’m sure they will have a great time growing up being close in age, just not for me personally, like enjoying one on one time one child at a time, as a few other friends have said, and my sis as 3 1/2 years and is now pleased she has a bigger gap, that’s not being rude at all, just a diff experience/position I suppose – that said, some people like the close age gap and you have my admiration for doing it and coping, good on you! Pros and cons to both I guess. Thanks for that, is always good to hear a different perspective as not all the same with same experiences…Just don’t think I’d be patient enough to cope, hehe…

Sadie on

Sam and Freya’s mum, no offence taken at all. Just wanted to offer my experience of 3 under 2 because a lot of people assume having three so close together is hell (including myself prior to having them – when I was pregnant with the twins the thought of so many kids close together was terrifying!!), but the reality is so much more lovely and joyous than I imagined. It’s just like Mrs R said, I am bone tired but so content (although soooo green with envy over Julie’s hired help, LOL). Yep, lots of chaos but lots of cuddles and laughs as well, as little ones really are the funniest creatures. Anyway, I know having 3 so fast wouldn’t suit everyone (it certainly wasn’t in my plan, I used to look at Seal and Heidi Klum and Brad and Ange and think they were mad, now look at me, hehehe).
Mrs R, thanks so much for your comments. I love hearing these stories. I hope my “Irish triplets” grow up with equally happy memories of causing many a ruckus together!!
And I hope to see a pic of Julie’s kids soon as well.

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