Kellie Martin Is Enjoying Maggie's Independence

11/12/2009 at 06:00 PM ET

Having welcomed a healthy daughter in 2006 — Margaret ‘Maggie’ Heather, 3 — actress Kellie Martin is ever cognizant of all she has to be grateful for.

“I had no trouble and no complications, and it’s still difficult to be a parent … It’s still difficult to be a new mom,” the 34-year-old former ER star notes to Celebrity Baby Blog at the March of Dimes‘ Fourth Annual Celebration of Babies.

“The idea that people have babies who are born with complications and issues or really, really low birth weights, that’s so much more difficult. I’m right here to support that.”

As for Maggie, preschool is underway and although she suffers some separation anxiety from mom and dad Keith Christian, the experience has been a good one.

“She gets a little nervous for us to get there, but when she’s there, she’s fine. And it is really cool to see her have her own life that has nothing to do with us. She’ll say something and [laugh], like a little inside joke she has with her friend Olive at school.”

Watching Maggie become more independent is something Kellie says she relishes.

“I felt like she was really ready and she was craving more,” she explains. “Like she was over me and my husband at home. She needed to broaden her horizons. So knowing that she was ready for that, I was fine.”

There are lots of other milestones to celebrate, as well. Kellie says that Maggie knows her ABCs — “I don’t even know where she learned them because we are not trying to push her,” Kellie notes — her numbers, and she’s already showing keen observational skills!

“On the way here she said, ‘We’re going to the March of Dimes benefit so we can help babies.’ And she must have just heard us. If we say it, it’s a part of her world….she’s at that point where she’s this incredible sponge and nothing gets by her — which is why we can’t use the f-bomb in the house because it would be part of her vocabulary!”

Click below to read about whether Kellie is supportive of a career in acting for Maggie.

There are no immediate plans for Maggie to pursue a career in show business, and Kellie says she hopes it will stay that way. “I don’t want her to do it,” she admits. “I really had a great experience and it was awesome for me but the people I know who it really worked for, I can count on one hand.”

Kellie — who says she’s considering going to culinary school — credits motherhood with teaching her to live in the moment.  “That was what I always aspired to do,” she explains, adding,

“I love yoga and I was always going to yoga class so I could live in the moment. But having a child made me live in the moment because it’s just a series of new things and chaotic situations. I feel like … when she was born, she brought with her a beautiful chaos, which is now a part of my life. I like things organized and I like things to like go just so. But Maggie, that just doesn’t work for her. So I have to go with the flow with her.”

That laid-back approach extends to shopping for the upcoming holiday season, with Kellie revealing that “one gift from mom and dad is plenty.” Describing her philosophy as “less is more,” Kellie says that a $20 present “is fine.”

“My daughter is three years old. If she gets more than one gift, she just glazes over. She doesn’t really absorb it and I think that people really need to not go overboard … just one thing at a time.”

Simplicity is also key! Kellie offered praise for a cardboard teepee sold at pal Soleil Moon Frye‘s store The Little Seed.

“You can recycle it when you’re done,” Kellie notes. “But they can write and paint on it and have a little fort. That’s actually something I’m thinking of getting her.”

— Missy with reporting by Tiffany Matloob

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Kids , News , Parenting

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Showing 17 comments

Brooke on

Maggie is a really pretty little girl!

Kimberlee Chrisman on

Maggie is so cute!! She looks just like daddy.

Liliana on

She’s adorable! Definitely resembles her dad.

llc on

I don’t think mom should rush into anything like an acting career for her daughter. I have seen a lot of celebrity kids burn out because of that kind of pressure. Childhood is for childhood.

missy on

Kellie sounds like she’s very grounded, unlike some of these other Hollywood parents.

nonsinger3 on

Oh — this was a pleasant surprise. I love Kellie! My favorite yet so sad episodes of ER to watch were her final 2 or 3 shows. Very nice looking family, and she does sound really grounded.

Anna on

I have never understood people that spend 500US$ per child on Christmas, children don’t need that! But Kelly contradicts herself saying she will get a 20US$ present and than talks about the tipi that is 85US$!

kmb on

cute kid, she is all her father!

Sam and Freya's mum on

Have never seen what hubby/dad looks like til now – wow, she sure resembles him, they certainly look the same around the eyes etc..@! She’s a cutie, and Maggie’s a sweet namee.

Sam and Freya's mum on

….also forgot to add, wonder if they’ll have any more, their business of course, but curious, lol. She has a refreshing attitude too.

ITA re Xmas pressies for young kids and not going overboard, good for her – make the most of them being preschoolers young enough to not be so greedy/demanding/picky etc…!

Georgina on

Who was she in ER?

Tess on

She played medical student Lucy Knight on ER circa 1998-2000. Her character was killed and Carter was stabbed by a patient.

Monique on

As a mom to a micro-preemie born at 1lb 6oz at 24wks and who sadly lost his battle 3 days later, I am so glad that this cause is also supported so well!

Sam and Freya's mum on

Monique, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your son. Can’t imagine how painful that was. As it’s close to home for us, preemie babies always touched by stories about them, and feel for the families.

Our son was induced (following emergency c-section as his heartrate dropped) at 33.3 weeks back in Sept. 2004, weighing 3pds 9oz, which was small for the dates as a singleton pregnancy as I’d developed pre-eclampsia. Thankfully he’s doing well, turned five recently & started school 2 mths ago. We’re so grateful to the nurses for their wonderful care for the 3 weeks he was in there, and for the technology and here in NZ will always donate to our local hospital’s Neonatal unit. I’m also considering taking Sam into see them to see where he lived for his first few weeks, we show him his preemie outfits and planning to keep a couple of them. Always tell him he was a our special little lad born early. It was scary at the time being first time parents, luckily our 2nd child was born full term weighing 7pds, so less stressful start to life. What a great cause & good on Maggie for voicing her support!

Jessica on

Maggie is absolutely adorable!!

Gigohead on


You and I have a similar story:

My son Jayson was born at 31 weeks via c-section. I too developed preclampsia and the doctors were unsuccessful in curbing the high BP so my only option was an emergency c-section. Jayson was born 8 weeks early on August 27, 2009 at 3 pounds 4 oz. He stayed at the NICU for 25 days. He is now 9 pounds and long! I’m so glad to see how medical discoveries are helping these babies thrive and go home faster.Perhaps it was all the work of the March of Dimes that has contributed to new advances in NICU care.

Sam and Freya's mum on

Gigohead, congrats. I presume you were meaning me?, Sam and Freya’s mum?!, anyhow, glad to hear about your son Jayson, and that he’s growing well! Is always a big relief, remember those days, even though it was over 5 years ago. Does sound a similar story, similar gestation dates when delivered (Sam probably sligh tly smaller considering he was in belly over 2 weeks longer than Jayson?), very close birth weights, pre-eclampsia meaning early induction, & emergency c-section. Is he your first child? Just curious as I was told it was more common being my first pregnancy, one of the higher risk factors (along with being overweight &/or having a new partner/diff father from previous children for some people etc, not in our case, just hubby and I, lol), so probably was in our case one of the causes…Can relate, isn’t easy while they’re in there but best place for them til they grow and can leave their little home in there. Nice to hear of another similar experience…!